State graduation rate keeps increasing |

State graduation rate keeps increasing

Christine Kuklica

Graduation rates improved in Nevada last year, but Churchill County came in at 72 percent, down from almost 78 percent in 2011-2012.

State officials say Nevada's graduation rate jumped more than 7 percentage points in a single year.

Nevada Department of Education officials recently announced that nearly 71 percent graduated in 2013, up from 63 percent in 2012.

According to the 2012-2013 four-year adjusted cohort graduation rates, Churchill County came in at nearly 72 percent. That's down from almost 78 percent in 2011-2012.

Gov. Brian Sandoval said that in approximately two years, several Nevada schools have increased their graduation rates by nearly 10 percent; however, that is not enough, Sandoval said, but it is a firm indication that Nevada is moving in the right direction. He said efforts to reduce class sizes, improve English language learners and implementing all-day kindergarten classes will help with improving the graduation rate.

Lisa Bliss educational services assessment coordinator said the average for the graduation rate for the past several years have been in the mid 80s.

"The new grading process, cohort graduation rate, is more complex than the previous system we use to use when calculating the rate," Bliss said. "The new system is more accurate and cleaner to use."

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Bliss said the state decided to change the grading system in 2011 because it wanted a tighter grading system that produces more accurate results. She said the new system requires CCSD to track a students from the moment they enter high school, whether the students start out as a freshmen or transfer in.

"Detailed record keeping and book keeping of the students as freshmen determine the rate," Bliss said. "If the student transfers out or drops out in his junior year that will still play into the graduation rate."

Bliss said once the system is more established the graduation rate should improve.

Superintendent of Public Instruction Dale Erquiaga said he is pleased with the continued graduation rate. Although, Nevada's graduation rate is still low, attention will be directed more to certain student populations. Encouraging more students to stay in school, making high school relevant for students and provide support to students who need it.

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