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Stats That Stick: July 20, 2011

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July 20, 2011 07:50 pm

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As many as four out of five community college students in the United States want to transfer to a four-year institution so they can obtain a bachelor’s degree, according to a College Board report. But many transfer students have taken classes that make the advising process complicated.

According to a new U.S. Department of Commerce study, growth in science, technology, engineering, and math fields (STEM) jobs over the past ten years was three times greater than other occupations and STEM workers earned 26 percent more than their non-STEM counterparts.

Countries in which schools frequently hold back or kick out students with low academic performance tend to have weaker, more expensive, and more socially inequitable education systems overall, according to a new analysis by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD). While fewer than 3 percent of students in 13 countries—including Japan, Norway, and the United Kingdom—reported ever repeating a grade, more than 25 percent of students repeated at least once in France, Spain, Brazil, and a dozen others studied. The United States reported more than one in ten students repeating a grade, higher than the OECD average, while the top-performing countries, Finland and Korea, do not allow grade retention. (Education Week)

The National Center for Education Statistics released results yesterday for the 2010 National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) in geography. It found that fourth graders scored on average 213 out of a possible 500, an “all-time high” since the test started in 1994, but the rising scores have not translated to more students moving from “basic” to “proficient” performance on the test, and the percentage of students achieving at the “advanced” level has gone down in every grade. Similarly, average 8th grade scores are flat at 282, and in 12th grade, average scores have dropped from 285 in 1994 and 2001 to 282 in 2010, a significant decline. (Education Week)

Almost two-thirds of U.S. shoppers plan to spend the same or less this back-to-school season as last year, a survey showed, in an early sign that retailers may not obtain a huge boost from the second-biggest selling season of the year. (Huffington Post)

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