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Nevada sets graduation record for second straight year

There’s good news regarding graduation rates among Nevada high school students, including in Nye County.

For the second consecutive year, high school seniors graduated at the highest rate ever, at 84.11% for the class of 2019, which equates to an increase of 3.26 percentage points since 2017, according to information obtained on the Nevada Department of Education’s website.

“Our mission is to improve student achievement and educator effectiveness and this continued increase in our graduation rate demonstrates our collective progress as a statewide education system,” said Superintendent of Public Instruction Jhone Ebert in a Dec. 12 press release from the state’s education department. “The rising graduation rate coincides with other positive trends reported this year, including 184 schools that increased their rating by one or more stars and assessment outcomes that indicate more of our students are demonstrating proficiency in college and career readiness.”

Nye County’s graduation rates have increased.

Nye County saw a modest improvement in graduation rates, where in 2019 79.96% of high school seniors graduated, compared to 2017’s rate of 79.31%, which showed a 0.65% improvement rate, according to data from the state’s education department.

More Pahrump area students have been graduating in recent years.

Pahrump Valley High School had its largest graduating class in the 2018-19 school year. According to school officials at the high school in Pahrump at the time, 267 students walked across the stage in 2019.

According to information on the Nevada Report Card’s website, Pahrump Valley had a more than 93% graduation rate in the 2018-19 school year. The school had a similar graduation rate in the 2017-18 school year. In the 2016-17 school year, the high school’s graduation rate sat at just under 81%.

Graduation rates for students across all races and ethnicities are higher than in 2017 in the state.

“We are proud that all of our students are demonstrating progress, but we are committed to addressing achievement gaps for student groups, including for our American Indian/Alaska Native, Black, and Hispanic students, as well as students who are differently abled, English language learners, and students who are eligible for free-or-reduced-price lunch,” Ebert said in the department’s release. “Expanding access to educational opportunities and ensuring equitable access to effective educators will be key to our efforts to provide every student who graduates with the tools they need to build a home, a life, and a future.”

Nevada’s three largest school districts, Clark County Washoe County, and the State Public Charter School Authority, (SPCSA), which is considered a district for accountability purposes, all showed increases in graduation rates according to the State of Nevada Department of Education.

The SPCSA had the most dramatic jump in graduation rates since 2017, with a 12.51 point increase.

Nevada’s Deputy Superintendent of Student Achievement Jonathan Moore provided his thoughts on the rise in graduation rates.

Moore credited the type of work educators and administrators are doing throughout the state, in terms of how they are supporting students, not only with academics, but also with social and emotional support.

“I think another thing that we can attribute the higher graduation rates is the fact that we are seeing achievement in other areas,” he said. “And so we have record participation in advanced placement courses. We’ve also seen increases in our achievement throughout third through eighth grade as well. I think those indicators combined, help demonstrate the reason for our high graduation rates. I think also, Nevada has been very purposeful about removing barriers for students to graduate.”

Graduation rates for Career and Technical Education students have increased 2.96 points over the past two years.

Career and Technical Education students have the highest graduation rate of any student population in the state at 94.19%, according to the education department’s release.

Contact reporter Selwyn Harris at sharris@pvtimes.com, on Twitter: @pvtimes

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