2008-2009 State of the Schools Report
  A Report on Nebraska Public Schools  

October 2009

Welcome to the State of the Schools Report,

Student learning - a laser-like focus on student learning - requires all Nebraska schools and our communities to place student learning at the top of their priority list.

The State of the Schools Report is all about student learning. As you study the report, you will learn how well our students are meeting our goal of excellence in reading, writing, mathematics and science. This report will allow you to look at the performance of students at the state, district and building levels.

The wealth of data here must guide state and local decision making. As you look at the performance of students on state standards, you will see that Nebraska students continued their trend of incremental improvement. I encourage you to look at national test results as well state results.

National tests measure how well our students are performing compared to students across the country. Results on the ACT college entrance exam, standardized tests and the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), also known as the nation's report card, tell their own story. On those tests Nebraska students also consistently score higher than students nationally. While the data picture at first glance is one of success, we all must drill deeper into the data. Nebraska schools and those across the country are facing a significant challenge as they work to close the achievement gaps among groups of students.

Yes, our schools are successful and have incrementally raised the achievement of all students. Yet, gaps persist. We must work to correct that. Students with special needs, students from low-income families and students from some ethnic and racial groups continue to perform lower than white students.

Our goal is to ensure that all our students are career- and college-ready when they graduate from high school. To do that, we must increase the rigor of courses students take and make certain that more students are graduating and not dropping out of school. About 2,500 Nebraska students drop out every year. That lost potential is too high a price for individual students and for the state to pay. All of us - educators, parents, business and community leaders - must provide the support students need to stay in school and to succeed. We can do that. It is a matter of focus.

If we all make that our focus, we can meet our students needs and help them all achieve at high levels.

Thank you for your continued support of Nebraska students and their teachers.

Roger Breed, Nebraska Education Commissioner

Scott Swisher, Nebraska Deputy Education Commissioner

State Board of Education
Kandy Imes, President
Jim Scheer, Vice President
Robert Evnen
Joe Higgins
Fred Meyer
Mark Quandahl
Patricia Timm
Rebecca Valdez
Last Updated 7/5/2012
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