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This month we’re reading new reports exploring the use of aligned instructional materials, demographic changes in U.S. suburban public schools, and new education statistics.

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A new release from EdReports focuses on the availability of curricular materials aligned to college and career-ready standards and how regularly they are used in U.S. classrooms. Among the key findings of State of the Instruction Materials Market: The Use of Aligned Materials: in 2020, teachers were more regularly using instructional materials that are aligned to district and state standards, while spending less time creating their own materials ad hoc. The report reviews relevant research and finds that the adoption of high-quality, standards-aligned materials is associated with more equitable outcomes for Black and low-income students. Teacher-developed materials can inadvertently reinforce biases and perpetuate inequities.

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A study published by EdWeek Research Center and Penn State University education professor Erica Frankenberg provides a new analysis of demographic changes in America’s suburban public schools. Researchers analyzed enrollment trends in approximately 30,000 public schools across America’s 25 largest metropolitan areas between 2006-07 and 2017-18 to track the diversity of student bodies in public schools. The study found that “White students are no longer a majority of suburban public school students, accounting for 48 percent of total enrollment in the suburbs of the nation’s 25 largest metropolitan areas. The number of White students attending these schools fell from nearly 7 million in 2006-07 to 5.5 million in 2017-18, a drop of nearly 20 percent.”

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The Institute of Education Sciences has released the latest edition of its annual Digest of Education Statistics, a compilation of statistical information covering American education from prekindergarten through graduate school. Key findings include: between 2000 and 2018, the secondary dropout rate decreased from 10.9 percent to 5.7 percent; Hispanic and Black student enrollment in postsecondary institutions increased 16 percent and 3 percent, respectively, between 1976 and 2018; and the percentage of 25- to 29-year-olds who completed at least high school increased from 89 percent to 94 percent between 2009 and 2019.