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Friday, October 15, 2010

How good is your school? How good is your state?

Nevada is worst in the nation for graduating students

Greatschools, NBC and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation partnered up to give us a gem of a website. The Education Nation Scorecard for Schools creates a national searchable database on school performance. Want to know how your school is doing? Just search. Your school will be compared to others across the state and district. They even allow comparisons between states on things like graduation rates and math and reading scores on the NAEP. Data also includes average income for high school graduates and dropouts.

Nevada has the worst graduation rate and is considered to set low expectations for students. We also alculate one of the most inflated graduation rates in the nation (better estimates put the true graduation rate between 42 and 52 percent).

There is a silver lining. Thanks to Nevada’s gaming and entertainment industry, Nevada has an outlet to provide jobs to low skilled individuals. High school graduates in Nevada average an income of $30,968 a year and high school dropouts manage an average income of a very respectable $24,731. Of course there is only so much gaming and entertainment we can do - so we have to improve the quality of education to move the states economy forward.

Greatschools also has a great website with a searchable database and includes parent comments and rankings about local schools.

Here are some charts I pulled from Scorecard website comparing Nevada's 4th grade reading and math scores with the rest of the nation.

4th Grade Reading

4th Grade Math

Note: While Nevada's 4th grade students beat a few states, including California (which spends about $1,000 more per pupil) the number of states we beat on tests drops as students move into middle school.

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