Somehow, news about Nevada’s poor graduation rate gets worse

Victor Joecks

At 44.3 percent, Nevada’s graduation rate is a disaster.

Next year’s graduating class in the Clark County School District is headed for similar numbers, with nearly 10,000 of the 20,600 incoming seniors not projected to graduate, because they either don’t have enough credits or haven’t passed the High School Proficiency Exam, which is required.

While potentially having 10,000 high school seniors fail to graduate is horrible, there’s another fact that should scare Nevadans even more.

Of the 20,600 incoming seniors, the School District has identified nearly 10,000 students who don’t have enough class credits and haven’t passed the standardized High School Proficiency Exam needed to graduate. The exam is first administered in 10th grade and tests students on mostly 9th grade material. [Emphasis added]

Umm … what? The High School Proficiency Exam is a test on ninth-grade material? And we have up to 10,000 seniors who can’t pass a test on freshman-level material? So our high school dropouts have only reached the learning level of a junior-high student? Is anyone else outraged?

Why are those seniors – who can’t pass a ninth-grade test – entering the 12th grade? Why weren’t they held back – several times if necessary – and allowed to develop the basic skills necessary to perform at grade level?

This out an outrage and is exactly why substantive school reforms, as opposed to the minor changes passed in the last legislative session, are so necessary. These children are graduating or dropping out of high school with a junior high education!

Liberals and their union allies have run Nevada’s school system for decades, and the results of their policies, focused more on spending money and protecting bad teachers than student achievement, have long been apparent. And for at least 10,000 students next year in CCSD, that means either not graduating, or even if they graduate, only having a ninth-grade education.

That is shameful.

It’s way past time for substantial and proven education reforms.

And no, spending money is not a proven reform. We’ve tried that in Nevada and nationally – it doesn’t work.