State of Nebraska schools: mixed
October 21st, 2010
Omaha, NE -There is some good news and some bad news about the state of Nebraskaâ€™s schools. Â The good news: 93% of the nearly 150,000 students tested in grades 3-8 and 11 are proficient in mathematics; 69 percent of those same kids are adept in reading.
But the overall health of Nebraska schools gets complicated when the $234 million in stimulus monies Nebraska accepted in 2008 is factored in. As a condition of those dollars, the state agreed to four school reform considerations, one of which requires the identification of low-performing schools known as Persistently Lowest Achieving Schools or PLAS.
Roger Breed, Nebraskaâ€™s Education Commissioner, said Thursday morning, â€œPLAS is an effort by the federal government to designate and direct funds to the lowest-performing, persistently lowest achieving schools.â€ Those, Breed said, are the â€œfive percent of schools that are the drop-out factories across the United States.â€
The bad news is that Nebraska has 42 PLAS schools and theyâ€™re all over the state system, from Crawford Elementary School in the Panhandleâ€™s Dawes County to Omahaâ€™s Benson Magnet High School. Breed said the purpose of PLAS in Nebraska â€œis simply to designate those schools that would be eligible to apply for school-improvement grant funds.â€ There should be about $ 6 million of thus funds available this year, he said.
To see the entire report of the State of Nebraska Schools, click here.
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