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Back to School with GAO

Posted on August 22, 2019

Across the nation, teachers are gearing up for the new school year, with tests at the ready to determine how well kids know their numbers and facts.

Today, the WatchBlog is testing your knowledge of various topics affecting the nation’s public school children. Are you an A+ student? Read on to find out!

What percentage of U.S. public school districts inspected their schools for lead-based paint in 2016-2017?

a) 6%
b) 12%
c) 18%
d) 24%

Answer: (b) 12%

Nationwide, an estimated 12% of school districts inspected for lead-based paint in 2016-2017. In addition, about half of the school districts that inspected found lead-based paint, and all of them took action to reduce or eliminate it or had plans to do so. Learn more in our report.



What percentage of high-poverty public high schools offer the number of science courses colleges say they want incoming freshmen to have taken?

a) 100%
b) 90%
c) 59%
d) none of the above

Answer: (c) 59%

We found that 59% of high-poverty public high schools offered the recommended science courses (at least biology, chemistry, and physics) in school year 2015-16, while 83% offered the recommended math courses. We also found that the percentage of schools offering the recommended number of science and math courses decreased as school poverty level increased.



What percentage of public school districts with high percentages of American Indian and Alaska Native students offered students a choice among public schools?

a) 80%
b) 43%
c) 16%
d) 2%

Answer: (c) 16%

We found that, in school year 2015-16, 16% of public school districts with high percentages of American Indian and Alaska Native students offered at least one choice other than a traditional public school. We also reported that many districts with high percentages of these students were in rural areas, where there may not be enough students in general to support multiple public schools.



How much of a developmental delay must infants and toddlers have to be eligible for services under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA)?

a) At least 50%
b) At least 35%
c) At least 20%
d) It depends on the state

Answer: (d) It depends on the state

IDEA generally allows states to define what constitutes a developmental delay (when a child does not reach developmental milestones for certain skills, such as motor or language skills, at the expected times), including the level or severity of the delay. For example, in Maryland, a child must have at least a 25% delay in one or more developmental areas to be eligible for IDEA services, while in Arizona, the child must demonstrate a 50% delay in one or more developmental areas to be eligible. Check out our report for more information.


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