Graduation time, for some

High school graduation is upon us as the school year comes to a close. Students graduating from high school should feel proud. Unfortunately, the National Center for Education Statistics' recent press release on state-by-state graduation rates gives a somber reminder of the occasion.

According to NCES figures, Nevada's average freshman graduation rate is just 51.3 percent - last in the nation. It is true that this number can be skewed downward because of migrating students, but the school districts haven't exactly opened up their student records for the media and researchers to see how many there actually are.

Additionally, Nevada's dropout rate stands at 5.1 percent - 24 percent higher than the national average.

Nevada can improve graduation rates and lower dropout rates by creating a better school system, attracting and retaining better teachers, and by ensuring kids can read by the end of the fourth grade.

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