2021 Condition of Education Report

condition of education report

The National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) has released its 2021 Condition of Education Report . This is the premier go-to resource for K-12 executives to learn about important trends in education, and includes 86 indicators across a range of topics from prekindergarten through postsecondary education. It is worth noting that the 2021 edition reflects data collected through the end of the 2019 school year, so any anomalies due to coronavirus pandemic are not reflected in the report. 

Although this is a complex report, we have highlighted the key sections related to safety and security: 

Safety and Security Practices at Public Schools

condition of education report

The percentage of public schools that had a written plan in place for procedures to be performed in the event of an active shooter increased over time, from 79 percent in 2003–04 to 92 percent in 2017–18. Schools use a variety of practices and procedures to promote the safety of students, faculty, and staff. The School Survey on Crime and Safety (SSOCS) collects data on school safety and security practices by asking public school principals about their school’s use of safety and security measures, as well as whether their school had written procedures for responding to selected scenarios and whether it had emergency drills for students.

SSOCS also asked schools about the presence of security staff and the availability of trainings for classroom teachers or aides on school safety and discipline provided by the school or school district.1 In the 2017–18 school year, 95 percent of public schools reported that they controlled access to school buildings by locking or monitoring doors during school hours. Other safety and security measures reported by public schools included the use of security cameras to monitor the school (83 percent), a requirement that faculty and staff wear badges or picture IDs (70 percent), and the enforcement of a strict dress code (49 percent). In addition, 27 percent of public schools reported the use of random sweeps for contraband, 20 percent required that students wear uniforms, 9 percent required students to wear badges or picture IDs, and 5 percent used random metal detector checks.

Students’ Reports of Safety and Security Measures Observed at School

In 2019, about 86 percent of students ages 12–18 reported observing one or more security cameras to monitor their school, and 75 percent of students reported the presence of security guards or assigned police officers.

Students’ Perceptions of Personal Safety at School and Away From School

In 2019, about 5 percent of students ages 12–18 reported that they had been afraid of attack or harm at school during the school year. A lower percentage of students (3 percent) reported that they had been afraid of attack or harm away from school during the school year.

Students’ Reports of Avoiding School Activities or Classes or Specific Places in School 

condition of education report school safety and security

In 2019, about 6 percent of students reported avoiding school activities or classes or one or more places in school during the previous school year because they thought someone might attack or harm them. Three percent of students reported avoiding school activities or classes, and 5 percent reported avoiding one or more places in school.