Our lead article analyzes the payoffs for education revealed by the March 1998 current population survey.
While mean earnings have increased for all groups and workers in all groups are much better educated than
twenty years ago, gaps persist and in some cases are increasing. Education does not provide the same return to
minority workers compared with whites or to women workers compared with men.
The information from the 1996-97 survey of the states on limited-English-proficient students made available
by the National Clearinghouse for Bilingual Education includes the criteria and methods states use to identify this
population as well as the numbers counted and the numbers enrolled in bilingual, Title I, and other special
programs. Like the criteria for exempting LEP students from state achievement assessments
reported by the states to the Council of Chief State School Officers and described in the March newsletter, the
criteria for identifying LEP students in need of special services vary considerably from state to state and probably
The information from the states reminds us again that there is no substitute for a single source of national
and state data on LEP children and adults. There is no substitute for a source using one definition and data
collection method and counting all members of the population regardless of enrollment status. Only the decennial
census offers the basis for comparable counts. We strongly urge all of you to stress to your colleagues and,
especially, to language minority people the importance of being counted in the census. Contact Kimberly Crews
at the Census Bureau, (301) 457-3726, for teachers' kits and other materials.
The National Center for Education Statistics' new journal provides quarterly summaries of its studies on
education. One of these in the first issue is on American Indians and Alaska Natives in higher education. See