Welcome to the 2011-2012 State of the Schools Report.
The State of the Schools Report, an annual report, provides information and data about Nebraska public schools and student performance.
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.
This year, the report includes the first-ever Nebraska Performance Accountability System (NePAS) results. NePAS ranks school districts by: Status, Improvement, Growth and Graduation Rates. To further explain, Status ranks districts by average scale scores in reading, mathematics, writing and science; Improvement ranks districts by the differences in the average reading and math scale scores of different students in the same grade; and, Growth ranks districts by the differences in average reading and math scale scores of the same students this year to last year.
The following chart shows the number of school districts demonstrating improvement and growth based on two years of data. When two years of scale score data was compared, the majority of districts demonstrated improvement as well as positive growth as reflected in the counts below. However, some districts had negative growth. Zero (0) is comparable to one year of learning for a student.
||   185 of 248 districts
||   177 of 248 districts
||   198 of 248 districts
||   181 of 248 districts
After Nebraska moved from its previous assessment system to single, statewide tests in reading, writing, mathematics and science, Nebraska had no state accountability system. NePAS became the accountability system.
The state's overarching goal for students is that they will be college and career ready when they graduate so they have a successful work, military and/or college experience.
The state's new accountability system is intended to help inform policy makers, the public and school officials about school district performance. This report also is intended to inform parents, community leaders and policymakers about our education system and to provide data needed for sound decision-making by education policymakers.
As you will note as you review this report, school districts are ranked on a number of factors. Comprehensive information and multiple measures, including rankings, about our schools is critical to sound decision making. We discourage using any one ranking to make a judgment about any district just as we discourage using one test score to make a judgment about any one student. As always, your school district officials can best explain their data and what it means.
Please take 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.
Commissioner of Education
Deputy Commissioner of Education
State Board of Education
Jim Scheer, President
Robert Evnen, Vice President