Nebraska schools show improvement on many levels

By: Sabrina Ahmed 

As students are scoring higher across the state, the Nebraska Department of Education says a lot of it has to do with the culture of learning in the Cornhusker state.

The Nebraska Department of Education gathered for a big announcement, the annual “State of the Schools.”

They say students are improving statewide in math and reading. Almost three of every four districts graduated 90 percent or more of their high school seniors. 

“Our goal is that all students are gonna achieve and all students are going to be proficient,” Lincoln Public School's Jane Stavem said.

Here in Lincoln, the students are also graduating above the average of the state at more than 83 percent.  LPS says this is because of the culture of learning in the city.

“We're starting out very very early with teachers and community members, parents, talking about graduation—I can walk into a kindergarten classroom and they can tell me what year they graduate,” Stavem said.

The state is using a new system this year to measure where students stand.  It's called Nebraska Performance Accountability System, or NeSA.  It measures schools in two ways. By the school's average scores in reading, math and science.  As well as by measuring differences in math and reading scores among students in the same grade, and growth of the same students year to year.

“On average, schools and school districts are getting more and more students to meet or exceed standards measured by the NeSA test,” Commissioner Roger Breed said.

While the schools as a whole are doing better, officials say there is always room for improvement.  One area for Lincoln is they are below the state average for science scores. 

This was the first year of the NeSA test for science and writing, so the state doesn't have numbers to compare every statistic it measures.