2012-2013 State of the Schools Report
A Report on Nebraska Public Schools



September 2013

Welcome to the 2012-2013 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. While the Nebraska State Accountability (NeSA) test results were released earlier, this report provides more detailed information, including the performance of groups of students.

This chart displays statewide performance results for groups of students:
Percent Proficient
Student Groups Reading Math Writing Science
All students 77% 69% 68% 70%
Hispanic 63% 52% 55% 47%
American Indian/Alaska Native 49% 37% 45% 41%
Asian 76% 73% 72% 65%
Black or African American 54% 38% 45% 37%
Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander 68% 56% 64% 56%
White 83% 77% 74% 79%
Two or More Races 75% 65% 65% 65%
Students eligible for free and reduced lunch 65% 55% 55% 53%
Special Education Students 47% 40% 32% 40%
English Language Learners 54% 45% 44% 26%


Under the Nebraska Performance Accountability System (NePAS), school districts are ranked by: Status, Improvement, Growth and Graduation Rates. The rankings are based on district NeSA test scores. 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 mathematics scale scores of the same students this year to last year. Rankings based on graduation rates will be released in November.

The following chart shows the number of school districts demonstrating improvement and growth based on two years of data. Overall, most 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.

Rankings READING MATHEMATICS SCIENCE
IMPROVEMENT    205 of 248 districts    169 of 248 districts    172 of 248 districts
GROWTH    204 of 248 districts    141 of 248 districts  


Note: Science tests were given for the first time in 2012-13.

After moving from its previous assessment system to single, statewide tests in reading, writing, mathematics and science, Nebraska had no accountability system. This is the second year the state's accountability system, NePAS, has been in place.

The state's overarching goal for students is that they will be college and career ready when they graduate so they have successful work, military and/or college experiences.

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.

Thank you,

Scott Swisher
Deputy Commissioner of Education

State Board of Education
Patricia Timm, President
Mark Quandahl, Vice President
Lynn Cronk
Lillie Larsen
Molly O'Holleran
John Sieler
Rebecca Valdez
Rachel Wise
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This activity is supported, in part, by funds from Section 6111 (h) of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965.
 
Data as of September 20th, 2013