Demographics and Societal Trends
- Schools are facing a period of rising enrollments after a long period of decline. (Indicator 38, Conditions of Education, 1996; see References)
- Many more disabled students, particularly those with learning disabilities, are receiving special services. (Indicator 43, Conditions of Education, 1996; see References)
- Many more students speak a language other than English at home and have difficulty speaking English, a likely indication that even more students may have difficulty reading and writing in English.
- Many children live in poverty (21% or 15.3 million), and these children typically live in neighborhoods and attend school together. (Indicator 44, Conditions of Education, 1996; see References)
- In 1970 there were 6.7 million single parents; in 1992 there were 15 million. Conversely, there are relatively few stereotypic families. "...a working father, housewife mother, and two children of public school age was 6% of all households for most of the decade" (Hodgkinson, 1992; see References)
- The fastest growing demographic group in the country from 1980 to 1990 was the prison population, which increased 139% (Hodgkinson, 1992; see References), with recent rates estimated at 300%. There were 1,000,000 people in prison in 1994, twice that of just ten years before. The US has the highest prison population in the world.
- The illiteracy rate among current US prisoners is 86%.