Nevada schools have a reason to smile from the recent public education ranking which saw the state’s schools taking the 50th position from a possible 51 states. This is the first time in four years that the state has not taken the last position.
The report card from Education Week’s Latest Quality Counts ranked Nevada in the 50th position among the 50 states and the District of Columbia. On the 51st position, the report card ranked New Mexico.
Nevada’s Department of Education welcomed the little milestone achieved with the Silver State’s schools Superintendent Jhone Ebert terming the milestone as a ‘step in the right direction’ in the news release done by the department.
In his statement, he said that the state had set a goal of becoming the nation’s fastest-improving state. He continued stating that they were not yet satisfied and that there was still a long journey to cover to achieve the goal.
In the report, Nevada was identified as the largest gainer with its percentage points improving by 1.8 which depicted a score of 66.9. There was a 1.6 improvement by District of Columbia and an increase of 1.5 points at California state.
The nation averaged a C grade of 75.6 points while Silver State’s averaged a D+ grade.
Among the key factors that influenced the state’s improvement were gains in K-12 achievement which is more dependent on scores from the National Assessment of Education Progress. On this category, Nevada had taken the 40th position in the past ranking but for this year, the state had bumped up 5 positions to take the 35th position. The score signified a D+ grade.
Three categories for ranking
According to Las Vegas Review-Journal, the rankings are done based on three main pillars; K-12 achievement, school finance and the chance for success.
Nevada also saw an improvement in the fourth- and eighth-grade proficiency rates where reading and math all took a positive sign, however, the rates are still under 31%
Academic data like kindergarten enrollment, family income, and parents’ education and factors such as local demographics are all considered while taking the chance for success data. On this section, Silver State scored a C- grade.
On the school finance category, Nevada scored D-. The information taken here relied on the 2016 data which saw some state officials claiming it had not taken notice of some funding initiatives stemming from the legislative sessions held in 2017 and recent ones from this year.
On this category, Nevada was ranked at the 48th position out of 49 states. Last year, Silver State was still ranked 48th. For this year’s ranking, there was an adjusted 2016 per-pupil expenditure at $9,185.
In his statement, Jhone Ebert expressed his confidence in further improvement by citing the education policy changes coupled up with additional investments from the 2019 legislative sessions as key pillars that would ensure teachers expand the student’s opportunities and generally improve their results.