National Report Hands Nevada Poor Education Grades - 8 News NOW

National Report Hands Nevada Poor Education Grades

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CCSD Superintendent Pat Skorkowsky says he is not happy with the report. CCSD Superintendent Pat Skorkowsky says he is not happy with the report.

LAS VEGAS -- Nevada education took a hit with poor grades in an annual report card released Thursday by Education Week.

The education news outlet, which published "Quality Counts 2014," struck Nevada particularly hard in the chance for success category, which measures early childhood foundations, school years and adult outcomes. Nevada, assigned a D grade, ranked dead last among the 50 states and Washington, D.C., with the average grade being a C+.

"I am not happy with the result. Non of us in this state are happy with the result," said CCSD Superintendent Pat Skorkowsky.

This was the fourth year in a row that Nevada was given a D grade in this category after three prior years of receiving a D+. The national average has been a C+ each of those years.

There are numerous reasons Education Week graded Nevada so low in this category:

  • Nevada ranked 51st with only 32.3 percent of its children having at least one parent with a postsecondary degree, versus a national average of 46.2 percent.
  • Nevada also ranked 51st with only 31.7 percent of its 3- and 4-year-olds enrolled in preschool, versus a national average of 47.7 percent.
  • Nevada ranked 50th with only 40.6 percent of its young adults enrolled in postsecondary education or with a degree, versus 55.8 percent nationally.
  • Nevada ranked 49th with only 73 percent of its children whose parents are fluent English-speakers, versus 83.3 percent nationally.
  • Nevada ranked 48th with only 62.7 percent of its public high school students having graduated with a diploma, versus 74.7 percent nationally.
  • Nevada also ranked 48th with only 30.5 percent of its adults having earned a two- or four-year postsecondary degree, versus 39.5 percent nationally.
  • Education Week gave Nevada a D+ in kindergarten through 12th grade achievement, which placed the state 36th. The average state score was a C-.

One of the few bright spots in the report was that Nevada had the third highest improvement in 8th grade reading scores from 2003 to 2013, and the ninth best improvement in 4th grade reading scores over the same period. Nevada also had the 10th best improvement in 8th grade math scores and 19th best improvement in 4th grade math scores.

The bad news is that Nevada ranked 39th in 8th grade reading proficiency, 41st in 8th grade math proficiency and 45th in both 4th grade reading and math proficiency.

"The Quality Counts report highlights the critical need to continue reforming education in Nevada," Nevada Superintendent of Public Instruction Dale Erquiaga said. "I am pleased to see Nevada is making incremental achievement gains over time, but our overall performance continues to lag behind other states. These rankings are one more reminder that Nevada must do more to ensure our students are ready for college and careers."

Nevada also rated a D and a 48th-place ranking in school finance, with C being the average grade. The state was dragged down in this category by placing 49th in adjusted per-pupil expenditures, averaging $8,454 per student versus a national average of $11,864.

The state came out a little better in a measurement of early-childhood education, college readiness and economy/workforce, scoring a C and a 36th-place ranking versus a B- national average.

In a category that measured educational standards, assessments and school accountability, Nevada also earned a C but only a 45th-place ranking with B being the average grade.

Nevada received a C- and 28th-place ranking for its teaching profession, with C being the average national grade.

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