2009-2010 State of the Schools Report
  A Report on Nebraska Public Schools  

Welcome to the 2009-2010 State of the Schools Report,

The State of the Schools Report, an annual report on Nebraska's public schools and student performance, provides more information and data this year than ever before.

The report highlights the performance of students by district and school building in reading, mathematics, writing and science as well as the performance by groups of students, including race and ethnicity, poverty, special education and English language learners.

As you will note as you study this report, some groups of students are struggling despite the efforts of their teachers and schools to meet the challenges students face in the classroom. This report will help you, parents across the state, community leaders and policy makers learn about the state's education system and provide the data needed for sound decision-making by education leaders.

The data now available can and should be an effective tool to improve student learning at all levels.

We encourage educators to study their data, to look for differences or gaps in the performance of groups of students and to identify instructional strategies to help all students perform at higher levels.

The new State of the Schools Report shows:

  • 69 percent of the 147,349 students tested in grades 3-8 and 11 were proficient on the first-ever state reading test, a new test that measures performance on newly revised, more rigorous state reading standards. These new test results should not be compared to results from the previous assessment system.
  • 93 percent of the students tested in grades 3-8 and 11 were proficient in mathematics based on results from an assessment system that is being phased out, a system that allowed teachers to test at the point of instruction and to retest students to ensure that they were proficient. This assessment system is different from the new reading test, a one-time, drop-in measure of content and skills.
  • New writing and science student performance results are also available.

The State of the Schools Report also provides information on the schools and districts designated as needing improvement under federal accountability as well as those considered Persistently Lowest-Achieving Schools, a second federal accountability system that will provide about $6 million to help schools better meet students' needs. To determine the Persistently Lowest-Achieving Schools, schools were ranked by their combined reading and math scores. Here are the results for the two federal accountability systems:

  • 61 schools did not meet the Adequate Yearly Progress goals for two consecutive years and are considered in need of improvement.
  • 42 schools are considered Persistently Lowest-Achieving Schools. The list of schools is available on the State of the Schools Report.

Please take some time to study the report to learn how the schools and students in your community are performing and talk to your local school officials about the results and the needs of students. We encourage parents to talk to their child's teacher, who is most knowledgeable about the performance of individual students.

Thank you,

Roger Breed       Scott Swisher
Commissioner of Education       Deputy Commissioner of Education


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 5/27/2011
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