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.