Carson City, NV - January 27, 2014
Today the Nevada Department of Education (NDE) released the statewide cohort graduation rate for the class of 2013. Statewide, the public high school graduation rate rose more than seven percentage points over the previous year - from 63.08 percent in 2012 to 70.65 percent in 2013. With this increase, Nevada schools graduated 1,113 additional students in 2013 than in 2012.
Twelve school districts improved their graduation rates in 2013. Clark, Eureka, Nye, and the Nevada State Public Charter School Authority increased their graduation rates by nearly ten percentage points or more.
"In approximately two years, many Nevada schools have increased their graduation rates by nearly ten percent," Governor Brian Sandoval said. "While this is not enough, it is a firm indication that Nevada is moving in the right direction. As our efforts towards reducing class sizes, improving ELL education and implementing all-day kindergarten across the state begin to mature, I am confident that our state's graduation rate will continue to improve. I applaud each and every student for their hard work and I say thank you to the parents and teachers who worked diligently to help move Nevada forward."
"I am very pleased that our graduation rate continues to increase," said Superintendent of Public Instruction Dale Erquiaga. "While Nevada's graduation rate is still too low and we must direct more attention to certain student populations, we are improving. In order to encourage more students to stay in school, we must make high school relevant for all students and provide targeted support to students who need it most. As we continue to set high expectations, I know that Nevada's students and educators can rise to the challenge when provided an opportunity to succeed."
Nevada's minority populations experienced the greatest improvements in graduation rates. African American students increased their graduation rate from 48.28% to 56.71% and Asian students increased from 74.78% to 82.03%. The largest improvement for the Class of 2013 belongs to Nevada's Hispanic students, improving by 9.53 percentage points. Despite these improvements, Hispanic, American Indian and African American students in Nevada continue to graduate at lower rates than other student subgroups. "The disparity in achievement between different groups of students is unacceptable," said Superintendent Erquiaga. "Even as we celebrate the tremendous gains this year, the Department is renewing its focus on the achievement gap that keeps so many students from being ready for success."
This is the third year Nevada has calculated its graduation rate using a new formula known as the adjusted cohort graduation rate, as required by the U.S. Department of Education. Although all 50 states now report their graduation rates based upon a uniform formula, states award different types of high school diplomas to their students and graduation requirements vary considerably from state to state. Based on the cohort graduation rate first calculated for the class of 2011, the rate of students receiving high school diplomas in Nevada has risen by 8.69 percentage points since 2011.
The Department collects student-level data from districts in the state's longitudinal data system entitled SAIN (System of Accountability Information for Nevada), and works closely with district staff to ensure graduation rate data are valid, accurate and agreed upon. Today's announcement is the earliest in the year the Department has ever announced the graduation rate. Charts showing cohort graduation rates by school district and student subgroup are attached to this release. These and other charts, including school-level data, can be found at the Nevada Report Card website: http://www.nevadareportcard.com/di/.