School Figures

School Figures

The Data behind the Debate

Editors: Hanna Skandera, Richard Sousa
ISBN: 978-0-8179-2822-3
Publication Date: 10/27/2003
Pages: 342

School Figures presents the most recent statistics, along with historical trends and cross-sectional comparisons, and thus provides a clear, factual picture of today's educational landscape. Organized in a concise and understandable format featuring numerous tables, charts, and graphs, the book provides a unique visual picture of the facts on K–12 issues.

Each chapter presents surprising facts on key, much-debated areas of K–12 education, including

  • School demographics: children in public schools are actually receiving more, not less, individualized attention
  • Family/student demographics: when it comes to a good education, family may matter most
  • Teachers: teacher certification is not necessarily a quality guarantee and for some is a deterrent
  • Cost and finance: expenditures may not matter as much as allocation—and when it comes to achievement, the largest source of federal aid to schools has not made a bit of difference
  • Testing and achievement: secondary school math and English test scores are not commensurate with the time spent learning these subjects—and while homework matters, the amount of television watched may matter more
  • Public school reform: school choice means more-involved parents—which means higher-achieving students
  • Alternative education routes: home schooling is the fastest growing alternative to public schooling—and a good one at that

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Hanna Skandera

Hanna Skandera was a research fellow at the Hoover Institution.

Richard Sousa

Richard Sousa is senior associate director and a research fellow at the Hoover Institution. He has been at the Hoover Institution since 1990. Sousa, an economist, specializes in discrimination, labor market issues, and K-12 education.


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List of Propositions


List of Figures and Tables: By Chapter


List of Acronyms


Manuscript Notes


About the Authors












School Reform


Students and Their Families


Appendix: Basic Data




The Hoover Institution on War, Revolution and Peace, founded at Stanford University in 1919 by Herbert Hoover, who went on to become the thirty-first president of the United States, is an interdisciplinary research center for advanced study on domestic and international affairs. The views expressed in its publications are entirely those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the staff, officers, or Board of Overseers of the Hoover Institution.

Hoover Institution Press Publication No. 494

Copyright © 2003 by the Board of Trustees of the Leland Stanford Junior University

All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise, without written permission of the publisher.

First printing, 2003

10 09 08 07 06 05 04 03 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1

Manufactured in the United States of America
The paper used in this publication meets the minimum requirements of the
American National Standard for Information Sciences—Permanence of Paper
for Printed Library Materials, ANSI Z39.48–1984.

Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data
Skandera, Hanna, 1973–
School figures : the data behind the debate / by Hanna Skandera
and Richard Sousa.

p. cm.

Includes bibliographical references and index.
ISBN 0-8179-2822-7 (alk. paper)
1. Educational indicators—United States. 2. Education—
United States. I. Sousa, Richard, 1949– . II. Title.

LB2846.S54 2003




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