2003-2004 State of the Schools Report
  A Report on Nebraska Public Schools  
Information for the Web Page:

Dear Nebraskans:

 

In Nebraska, all of our students are important. Each and every one of them matters.

 

Our teachers and schools work hard for all of our students. We want each and every one of them to achieve at the highest possible levels.

 

Student achievement is the focus of our fifth-annual State Report Card. Specifically, we are reporting how well our students are meeting state mathematics standards.

 

Student scores on mathematics assessments show that 85 percent of our fourth graders have met or exceeded our state standards. Seventy-seven (77) percent of our eighth graders and 75 percent of our 11th graders also have met or exceeded our state standards. Those scores represent a 4 percent to 7 percent improvement over the past two years.

 

This improvement is even more significant when you consider that our schools also have improved the quality of the assessments they use to measure learning. The results show 95 percent of our school districts are using high-quality assessments.

 

This means that our schools are holding the bar higher by using better quality assessments to measure learning and yet our students are scoring higher. Now that’s something to celebrate.

 

This report also includes state and federal school accountability information. Those two accountability systems are different even though student performance on state standards is the basis for both systems.

 

State school accountability includes the performance of all students and provides a broader picture of school performance with a focus on school improvement. Under state accountability, you will learn how many schools received the top ratings — exemplary, very good and good — on both student performance and the quality of their assessments.

 

On the other hand, federal accountability looks at the performance of groups of students and whether those students met target goals in reading, writing and mathematics. Federal accountability also considers graduation rates.

This 2003-2004 State Report Card is being distributed throughout the state in newspapers to give you and your neighbors information about our students and our schools. Detailed information about each school district and individual school buildings is available in the 2003-2004 State of the Schools Report, a Nebraska Department of Education web site. (Homepage: www.nde.state.ne.us.)

 

We encourage you to use both reports to engage your school community in informed conversations about ways to improve the education of all children in your community.


Doug Christensen
Commissioner of Education


Polly Feis
Deputy Commissioner

State Board of Education
Fred Meyer, President
Beverly Peterson, Vice President
Rachel Bone
Joe Higgins
Kandy Imes
Ann Mactier
Kimberly Peterson
Patricia Timm
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