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In local and national news stories alike, the watchwords on the topic of education are reform, transparency, and parental choice. These ideas were explored and further explained in a report released last week by the American Legislative Exchange Council entitled Report Card on American Education.
The report served to examine various reform efforts across the country, and to quantify the state of education policy on a state by state basis by offering letter grades on various policy areas including state academic standards, charter schools, homeschooling, private school choice, teacher quality, and digital learning. The report also included statistics on graduation rates and student performance on the NAEP nationally standardized test.
According to the National Center for Education Statistics:
The National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) is the largest nationally representative and continuing assessment of what America’s students know and can do in various subject areas.
How did Nevada rate?
The Silver State scored a “C” overall on education policy, down from a “C+” the two prior years. The areas scored most harshly by ALEC were Private School Choice Programs and Digital Learning which received an F and a D grade, respectively.
Nevada’s best graded category was a B for our low level of “Homeschool Regulation Burden,” which could only be bested if we had no regulation at all. Other areas for improvement were “Delivering Well Prepared Teachers”, “Expanding the Teacher Pool”, and “Retaining Effective Teachers” all of which received poor marks (D-, D, and D+ respectively).
While Nevada did receive a mention in the report for achieving a 10 point or better improvement to our score for charter school laws, we were not among those states who have adopted letter grading of our schools, something ALEC advocates for improving transparency and overall understanding of educational policy within the state as well as nationwide.
In what the report refers to as the “Journey of a Thousand Miles” ALEC summarizes the need for further education reform as follows:
The K-12 reform movement has had more to celebrate in the past three years than in any recent period. It is important to recognize, however, that even these incredibly hard fought victories represent only the first small steps on a long journey of transforming a public education system that fails to serve the needs of far too many. Americans can and should, in part, judge schools by how much they give to children who are starting in life with the least.
Adding to the focus on letter grading as a means for transparency, the report continues:
Most American poor children still go to schools in states with weak transparency systems that use fuzzy labels to obscure academic failure. Most low-income students have little to no meaningful choice over what schools they attend.
About the American Legislative Exchange Council
The American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) is America’s largest nonpartisan, voluntary membership organization of state legislators. ALEC provides a unique opportunity for state lawmakers, business leaders and citizen organizations from around the country to share experiences and develop statebased, pro-growth models based on academic research, existing state policy and proven business practices. The ultimate goal of ALEC is to help state lawmakers make government work more efficiently and move government closer to the communities they serve, thereby creating opportunity for all Americans.
Featured image from Shutterstock
Tags: ALEC, American Legislative Exchange Council, digital learning, National Assessment of Educational Progress, Private School Choice, teaching
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