Nevada Ranks Last for Education in Kids Count Report - 8 News NOW

Nevada Ranks Last for Education in Kids Count Report

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LAS VEGAS -- Nearly 75 percent of Nevada's fourth graders are not reading and more than 70 percent of eighth graders aren't proficient in math. It's those startling numbers that push the Silver State's ranking to dead last when it comes to education, according to a the 2013 Kids Count report.

Link to the Kids Count report

Clark County School District leaders say they're disheartened by these most recent statistics. It's not just the failing numbers on reading and math highlighted in the report, more than 40 percent of high schoolers aren't graduating on time.

CCSD physical education teacher Leo Gugino is continuing to teach kids into the hot months of summer, but he can't get away from issues he faces inside the classroom.

"I see everybody chipping in, but high class numbers is definitely something that is a struggle with any teacher," he said.

The 2013 report cites problems with reading, math, graduation rates and preschool enrollment.

Katie Chappelle is the mom of two Clark County students and a volunteer for the district. She is troubled by the new numbers.

"It's still disappointing and it's scary. You just really want them to get better scores -- just see what we can do as parents and as a community," she said. 

School district trustee Deanna Wright says the school district has a long way to go to improve.

"We have to ask more of our students and they need to understand that it's really for their own growth and enrichment that we're doing that," Wright said.

Wright does say there are plans in place making some of these issues a top priority, including reducing class size.

"We know that when you have fewer students in a room, you can spend more time with them one on one to make sure that they are reading at the level they need to be," she said.

While Gugino is still troubled by Nevada ranking dead last, he says he sees progress in Clark County classrooms.

"As a teacher, I see a lot of hope because I work with amazing people every day," he said.

Guigino says it will take educators and parents to work together to teach kids and make schools a better place to learn.

Nevada Kids Count was unavailable to speak with 8 News NOW Monday. New school superintendent Pat Skorkowsky did send a written statement.

"We are grateful that state legislators and Governor Sandoval placed a strong emphasis on education during the recent legislative session. Additional funding will allow the district to expand our pre-kindergarten and full-day kindergarten programs to more schools so we can ensure students are 'ready by entry."

He added, there is also a focus to implement programs that will help students improve their math scores and improve graduation rates.

The Kids Count evaluates more than just education. There were slight improvements in health, family and the economic well-being of Nevada children.

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