2001-2002 State of the Schools Report
  A Report on Nebraska Public Schools  
Information for the Web Page:

This is the second report on state learning standards and it shows that nearly three of every four Nebraska 4th, 8th and 11th graders are proficient on our mathematics standards.

 

That is good news for our schools, but most importantly for our students and their future.

 

Last year we reported achievement on our reading standards.  This year we present a picture of how well Nebraska students are learning the mathematics curriculum taught in their classrooms. In the past, we only knew how Nebraska students compared to their peers across the country on standardized tests. Don’t misunderstand me. That information is important, and it is important enough for us to include in this State of the Schools Report. National comparisons, however, don’t tell us how well our students are learning the curriculum taught in their classroom – a curriculum that is aligned to Nebraska standards and that sets high expectations for students.

 

I hope you will take time to study this report. It represents the results of a tremendous amount of hard work going on in our schools as we raise expectations for students and report the results of this hard work.  As you will see, our teachers and administrators – and yes, our students – have been up to the task and exceeded our expectations.

 

In addition to reporting mathematics proficiency of our students, we are also reporting how well school districts performed in designing their systems for assessing student achievement. The quality of these assessments is very important. Students may score well on a test, but, if the test quality is poor, it doesn’t measure what students are taught in their classrooms.  We also want our students to learn a quality curriculum that is based on high standards. If not, what we teach our students has little value as we work toward increasing student learning and improving our already good schools.

 

In this report each district is rated on the quality of their assessment systems. Each district’s assessment system is judged and rated by an independent out-of-state panel of experts. High quality assessments coupled with high quality curriculum are the keys to holding high expectations for teaching and learning.

 

We’re fortunate in Nebraska to have a long tradition of high student achievement, but we can always be better. School improvement is increasingly important if we want our young people to stay competitive with their peers and at the top nationally. What could be more important?

 

The State of the Schools Report contains a wealth of information, which will give you a picture of education at the state, school district and school building levels. Thank you for your interest in one of the most important endeavors of our society – the education of all students.


Doug Christensen
Commissioner of Education


Polly Feis
Deputy Commissioner

State Board of Education
Stephen Scherr, President
Ann Mactier, Vice President
Rachel Bone
Fred Meyer
Beverly Peterson
Kimberly Peterson
Kathryn Piller
Kathy Wilmot
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