A r c h i v e d  I n f o r m a t i o n


Indicator 30.

Degrees Conferred

In the 1960s, women's participation at all levels of higher education began to increase and has continued to rise. In 1959-60, women received 35 percent of all bachelor's degrees and 32 percent of all master's degrees. By 1990-91, nearly 54 percent of all bachelor's and master's degrees were awarded to women. Moreover, the percent of doctor's degrees awarded to women had climbed from 13 percent in 1969-70 to 37 percent.

Degrees conferred by institutions of higher education, by level of degree and sex of student: 1949-50 to 1990-91

Percent of bachelor's, master's, first-professional, and doctor's degrees awarded to women: 1949-50 to 1990-91

Indicator 31.

Reading Proficiency

Average reading performance for 9- and 3-year-olds was the same in 1990 as it was in 1971. However, the performance of 17-year-olds improved. Hispanic 17-year-olds were reading significantly better in 1990 than in 1980 and the improvement for black 17-year-olds was particularly strong. Although there is still a performance gap between white and black students, the gap narrowed in the 1970s and 1980s.

Student proficiency in reading, by age and selected characteristics of students: 1971 to 1990

Reading proficiency of 9- and 17-year-olds, by race/ethnicity: 1971 to 1990

Indicator 32.

Writing Proficiency

The overall trends in writing achievement suggest few changes in performance during the 1980s. There was a small decline in the performance of 8th graders between 1984 and 1990.

Average writing proficiency scores, by grade, sex, and race/ethnicity: 1984, 1988, 1990

Writing proficiency of 8th and 11th graders, by race/ethnicity: 1984 and 1990

Indicator 33.

Mathematics Proficiency

At all three ages, students' average mathematics proficiency was significantly higher in 1990 than in 1978. At all three ages, white students in 1990 continued to have a higher average mathematics proficiency than black and Hispanic students. The gap between white students and their black and Hispanic counterparts has not narrowed significantly since 1982, except between black students and white students at age 17. In 1990, the average mathematics proficiency of males remained slightly higher than that of females at age 17.

Mathematics proficiency, by age and by selected characteristics of students: 1978 and 1990

Mathematics proficiency of 9- and 17-year-olds, by race/ethnicity: 1978 and 1990

Indicator 34.

Science Proficiency

Between 1977 and 1990, the average proficiency of 13-year-olds increased significantly in all three racial/ethnic groups. Among 17-year-olds, there was a significant decline in achievement from 1977 to 1982 for Hispanic students. The performance of 17-year- olds in all three racial/ethnic groups increased from 1982 to 1986, but there was no significant difference in achievement between 1986 and 1990.

Science proficiency, by age and by selected characteristics of students: 1977 and 1990

Science proficiency of 13- and 17-year-olds, by race/ethnicity: 1977 to 1990

Indicator 35.

International Mathematics and Science Comparison

In a 1991 International Assessment of Educational Progress (IAEP) in mathematics and science, 13-year-old U.S. students performed at or near the IAEP average in science, and below the average in mathematics. U.S. students were not among the highest performing group in either subject.

Average percent correct on international mathematics and science assessments of 13-year-olds in Selected countries: 1991

Average percent correct on international mathematics and science assessments of 13-year-olds in selected countries: 1991

Indicator 36.

International Reading Comparison

In a 1990 international reading assessment, the United States was in the second cluster for both 9-and 14-year-olds. At both age levels only Finland outperformed U.S. students. Countries ranking about equal to the U.S. for 14-year-olds were France, Sweden, New Zealand, Hungary, Iceland, Switzerland, Hong Kong, Singapore, Slovenia, Germany (former East and West), Denmark, Portugal, Canada (British Columbia), and the Netherlands.

Average score on an international reading assessment of 14-year-olds in selected countries and provinces: 1990

Average reading assessment score of 14-year-olds in selected countries: 1990

Indicator 37.

Science Scores and Home Activities

International comparisons provide useful information about education variables that relate to learning across countries. Sometimes, however, these factors do not correlate across countries, but are relevant within countries. For example, among U.S. students, the amount of leisure reading and students' attitude toward science were positively related to their science scores, while the amount of TV watching was negatively correlated with science scores. Moreover, U.S. students spent more time watching television than students in most of the other countries participating in a 1991 study. On the other hand, Korean students do not appear to read for fun or have positive attitudes toward science, yet they scored at the top of the 1991 assessment.

Science scores and home activities of 13-year-olds in selected countries: 1991

Percent of 13-year-olds with positive attitudes toward science and who read for fun every day in selected countries: 1991

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