Nevada Graduation Rate Makes Big Gains in 2013 - KTVN Channel 2 - Reno Tahoe News Weather, Video -

Nevada Graduation Rate Makes Big Gains in 2013

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The Nevada Department of Education released the graduation numbers for the class of 2013 Monday - and they show a huge jump from the year before.

Nevada's overall graduation rate went from 63% which is well below the national average up to just over 70%. Nevada schools graduated more than 1,100 more students in 2013 than in 2012 - up about 7%. Twelve out of Nevada's 17 school districts including Washoe County showed gains with some improving more than 10% year-over-year.

Now Nevada's 70% this year still falls short of the national average which stood at about 75% in 2012, but education experts say, we're moving in the right direction. "When people look at the class of 2013, Nevada will no longer be ranked last. We'll be more towards the middle," says Superintendent Pedro Martinez.

Martinez says smaller classes and better data monitoring contributed to the statewide increase.

But-- he says-- some of that increase can be chalked up to what he calls "data cleanup" - better systems in place to keep track of students.

So he says-- don't expect more huge jumps like this one because every point from here is going to be harder to get.

"What's different now is that every percentage point frankly has to be children, and every percentage point not only has to be children, but closing achievement gaps. Because the low-hanging fruit is gone."

Martinez says the biggest challenges will be shrinking achievement gaps for English Language Learners and Special Education students. Those groups are graduating between 20%-30% statewide.

Written by Arianna Bennett

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