United States Secretary of Education Arne Duncan has issued the following statement in response to “The Condition of Education” report for 2009 released today by the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES):
“These findings clearly show the need for us to make college available to all young people and adults and the bottom line benefits of a higher education. Over the last three decades immediate college enrollment increased for all income levels, although we still need to help close the gap between those who need financial help and those who don't. The enrollment gap between students from low- and high-income families shrunk by nearly 50 percent, which means more low-income students are accessing college. This is extremely encouraging, as they have the potential to lift families out of circumstances of poverty. The financial advantages provided by a college education are clear. Young people with a bachelor's degree earn twice as much as those without a high school diploma, according to this research.
President Obama has set a goal that by 2020, America will once again have the highest proportion of college graduates in the world. This requires more college enrollment right out of high school and more adults going back to college as our workforce reinvents itself. Stimulus funds and our proposed 2010 budget are targeted to do just that by increasing access to college and reducing high school and college dropout rates.
While the findings of the 2009 Condition of Education report show that young students are showing some progress, we can't overlook the fact that adults need more help in preparing for the work world or further education.
As I reflect on these findings, I am confident that we are on the right course as the Administration implements a comprehensive cradle-to-career education agenda to prepare our citizenry to compete in the global economy. Every single child deserves the very best education possible and our job is to give it to them.”
The Condition of Education 2009 summarizes important developments and trends in education using the latest available data. To view the report, visit http://nces.ed.gov/programs/coe/.