Nevada ranks 43rd out of 50 states in preparing students for success in school and future careers, according to an Education Week magazine assessment released Wednesday.
The "Chance-for-Success Index" is part of an effort to begin expanding the magazine's annual report card for the nation's schools beyond its usual kindergarten-through-high school focus.
In a separate state-by-state comparison, the assessment ranked Nevada's public schools 44th in elementary and secondary student
The Chance-for-Success Index is based on 13 indicators taken mainly from U.S. Department of Education and Census Bureau statistics.
A breakdown of the "success" index notes that the state's average of children with at least one parent with a college degree is just 31 percent, compared with a national average of about 43 percent.
The report also notes that three-quarters of children in the state have parents fluent in English, compared with a national average of 84 percent; and about 25 percent of three- and four-year-olds are enrolled in preschool, compared with a national average of about 45 percent.
The report also shows that 56 percent of public high school students graduate in Nevada, compared with a national average of nearly 70 percent.
State schools chief Keith Rheault said Wednesday that factors such as the percentage of parents who aren't fluent in English "actually make the case for why school districts want full-day kindergarten."
"We should do everything we can as early as we can to work with students from non-English-speaking families to get them up to speed a little faster," Rheault added.
Republican Gov. Jim Gibbons has said he wants to continue funding for kindergarten at at-risk schools, but is opposed to funding all-day kindergarten for all Nevada schools.
The 2007 Quality Counts report, subtitled "From Cradle to Career: Connecting American Education from Birth Through Adulthood," was compiled by the magazine's parent, Bethesda, Md.-based Editorial Projects in Education, with support from the Pew Center on the States, a research organization in Washington, D.C.
The elementary and secondary performance comparison was based on
achievement levels and gains on the federal government's National
Assessment of Educational Progress and high school graduation statistics.
I am a Reno native who was educated in the Nevada school system. I left 13 years ago, well into my adulthood. I now live in Pennsylvania, which ranks 3rd in the nation in similar school reports. I have a child in school here and, honestly, think Nevada'e educators are getting the shaft with this report. Nevada has good teachers and schools! I would like to see KOLO do more indepth research into this and offer its audience more information about what is being proposed as solutions to this disappointing score for Nevada's schools. This article leaves me wanting to learn more about the problem and how it can addressed.
Reno native, now living in Collegeville, Pennsylvania
I am a Junior at DHS and don't think its the educations fault, I would like to blame it on the students and dropouts. Another thing is that the only reason NEVADA has low education rating is because of Las Vegas aka "Sin City". They have well over 2 millon people and probably more schools in the city than in the rest of Nevada combined, they give Nevada a bad name...
Perhaps the Clark County School Board is to blame - they spent 15 million dollars on 2 buildings on Sahara (one a pink marble and granite monstrosity formerly owned by a casino) when some school children don't even have text books - or rides on school buses which are guaranteed by law - or equal access to some great programs only available in the wealthier/Caucasian-prominent schools - there is no commitment to children in anything other than words, unless it is the School Board's own children, their friends, or the children who look like them.
Constance from Las Vegas
My son attends all day kindergarten and really enjoys himself. He learns a great deal throughout the day and loves his teacher. If a child attends half day kindergarten, they don't have time to finish projects. All schools should have all day kindergarten.
Brenda from Sparks