Press: Fall enrollment up, decline potentially on horizon

From Mason City Globe-Gazette: A record total of 106,597 full- and part-time students enrolled in community-college courses this school year, a 4.8 percent increase that marked the 14th consecutive yearly rise in the overall student population. Tom Schenk Jr., educational program consultant with the state Department of Education, said this year’s jump followed a 14 […]

y-axis at Zero

If your graphing for my class, or just in general, start your axis at zero. It seems trivial, but can have a large impact on the graph. This was apparent in a recent presentation by the Iowa Legislative Services Agency on budget revenues for the current year. Below is a graph (blue line) showing state […]

K-12 Expenditures per Student and Performance

Below is a plot showing the relationship between the density of students receiving free and reduced lunch and the percent making progress in mathematics in Iowa school districts. Families with limited income are eligible for free and reduced lunch, so it’s a proxy for poverty. The regression line shows the negative relationship between free and […]

K-12 Expenditures and Enrollment Size

From a working paper by Dan Otto on the economies of scale in Iowa’s K-12 schools: First, expenditures per student generally rise as district sizes fall below about 750 students. Given no additional knowledge about educational processes, it is possible there are economies of scale relative to school district size for these districts. It also […]

Preview: From Major to Targeted Clusters

The state of Iowa has established three targeted industry clusters: advanced manufacturing; bioscience; and information solutions. How have Iowa’s community colleges been supplying the industry? Above is an ideogram showing the path from program major (left) to targeted cluster (right). Obviously bioscience is being well-stocked, mostly from health science majors. I’m a bit surprised though […]