School district inching forward

Changing the culture of underachievement in the Clark County School District remains a work in progress - but the key word here is progress.

On Tuesday, district officials revealed that the latest standardized test results show modest improvement across the board in math, reading and science.

"Our community needs this very much," said Erin Cranor, a member of the Clark County School Board. "Our students need this very much."

Make no mistake, there's a long way to go. While the district increased its share of third- through eighth-graders proficient in reading and math by 2 to 6 percentage points, an unacceptable number remain below par - as many as 52 percent when it comes to eighth-grade reading skills, for example.

And the drop-off from fourth grade to eighth grade highlights a major concern, as many students are entering high school without the skills to succeed, having regressed in their previous two or three years.

But new Superintendent Dwight Jones took office vowing not to make excuses - to raise expectations, shatter the culture of mediocrity and impose reforms that foster and reward achievement while challenging the entrenched education establishment. These new test results - while only a short-term snapshot, for sure - show the district inching forward under Mr. Jones' leadership.

Stay the course. Stay the course.