New ranking for school rolls out next year

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

McCOOK, Neb. -- Nebraska will begin a new way to rate schools, according to Mccook School District Superintendent Grant Norgaard.

Previously, the Nebraska State Board of Education ranked the 249 public schools in the state from 1 to 249, he told the McCook School Board Monday night at the regular meeting. It was not entirely effective, he said, as percentage points between school districts could be miniscule, yet schools still had to be ranked numerically, which resulted in some schools ranking lower than necessary,

Norgaard said the new system will develop measures and timelines for each area of focus and rank schools in four areas: excellent, great, good, needs improvement/priority. The three lowest performing schools then be identified, he said. The ranking system is expected to be implemented next year, Norgaard said.

This new ranking system is part of an improvement plan that will be used by the Nebraska State Board of Education as a waiver from the federally mandated No Child Left Behind, instituted in 2002. The improvement plan emphasizes several goals, such as college and career readiness, assessment, educator effectiveness and educational opportunities and access.

According to NCLB standards, every student in the district must be 100 percent proficient in reading and math as measured by mandatory statewide assessments. Because of its unrealistic targets, such as not taking into account English as a second language students, many states have submitted its own plan and obtained a waiver from the NCLB standards, with Nebraska one of several states that has not acquired one.

The Nebraska State Board of Education did submit a plan for a waiver a few years ago, but it was not approved.

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  • The McCook schools have been among the State leaders over the past few years in the old ranking system.

    -- Posted by dennis on Wed, Dec 10, 2014, at 12:01 PM
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