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Back to September Ed Reporter

Education Reporter
NUMBER 260 THE NEWSPAPER OF EDUCATION RIGHTS SEPTEMBER 2007

Minority Enrollment Nearly Doubles in Thirty Years

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A recent government report shows major changes in public school student demographics between 1972 and 2005. While in 1972 minority students made up 22% of public school enrollment, in 2005 they made up 42%. Hispanic students mainly drive the change; their enrollment has risen from 6% to 20% of the student population.

Representation in schools of African-Americans, the nation's third-largest racial group, has changed little: from 14.8% in 1972 to 15.6% in 2005.

The racial composition of student populations varies greatly by region, the report found. While in 1972 the South was the most diverse region, with 70% white, 25% black, and 5% Hispanic students, today the West is most diverse. There, 46% of students are white, 5% are black, 37% are Hispanic, and 12% are of other races including 7% Asian. The Midwest remains the least diverse region, with 74% white students, compared to 88% in 1972.

The congressionally commissioned study, "The Condition of Education," comes out annually and looks at a variety of indicators.The study also found that students today spend more time doing homework and are more likely to take advanced courses in high school. 37% of public school 10th-graders reported doing ten or more hours of homework a week in 2002, up from just 7% in 1980. The percentage of 10th-graders who reported doing less than five hours of homework a week decreased from 71% to 37%.

The increase in advanced coursework occurred across the board ethnically and racially. Twice as many minority students took Advanced Placement courses in 2005, for example, as did in 1987. (http://nces.ed.gov/programs/coe/list/index.asp)


 
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