CCSD’s initial graduation rate claims proven inaccurate

It was cause for celebration when Clark County School District officials claimed that its graduation rate jumped to
66 percent last summer.

Every high school improved, bragged then Deputy Superintendent of Instruction Pedro Martinez.

But the touted rise in students earning diplomas was inaccurate, according to information released this week by the Nevada Department of Education.

The district’s 2011-12 graduation rate stands at 61 percent, a 2 percentage point gain over the previous year, not the 7 percentage point stride repeatedly held up as a sign of progress by district officials, including former Superintendent Dwight Jones, who abruptly resigned in March for personal reasons.

When asked Wednesday about the inaccurate portrayal of the graduation rate, interim Superintendent Pat Skorkowsky said, “Our graduation rate is no longer about a number — it’s about individual students.”

Clark County graduated 652 more students in 2012 than it did in 2011, Skorkowsky continued, and that gives them a “brighter future.”

The claim of across-the-board graduation rate improvements at the district’s 49 high schools — made in June by Martinez who is now superintendent of Washoe County schools — is also wrong, the district conceded Wednesday. Clark County School Board member Lorraine Alderman was stunned by the inaccuracies.

“I know I saw a difference,” she said of last school year, taken aback at finding the gains were only marginal after significant resources were invested in pushing more graduates onto the stage.

In 2011-12, Jones and Martinez ordered high school principals to provide one-on-one attention and individual recovery plans for half of 20,000 failing district seniors. The district then spent $1 million on placing at-risk seniors in intensive summer courses in a last-ditch effort to have them graduate in August, the first time the district held a such a commencement.

“If we hadn’t intervened, the graduation rate would’ve been worse,” Martinez said Wednesday.

The inflated graduation rate wasn’t intentional but the result of a miscalculation that happened because the high number of dropouts for the class of 2012 over a four-year period wasn’t factored in.

Added Skorkowsky: “We are encouraged by the small gains in the overall graduation rate.”

Although the Las Vegas Review-Journal repeatedly has requested graduation rate details of the district since its claims of improvements last year, the information ultimately was made public by the state, which requires districts to report graduation rates for verification by January.

The district won’t be as quick to claim such improvements in the future, said spokeswoman Amanda Fulkerson, noting that the district had ”hoped for” a higher graduation rate.

“The district will now only be providing finalized graduation numbers verified by the Nevada Department of Education,” Fulkerson said Wednesday. That’s being done to ensure “accurate information to the public.”

The graduation rate is calculated under a relatively new system that was federally mandated for all states two school years ago. It individually tracks every student throughout high school and calculates the percentage of freshmen who graduate four years later. So, any student who drops out at any time affects the graduation rate.

The state also calculates the graduation rate for those earning diplomas in five years or less, which in 2012 increased the rate by 10 percentage points or more for some districts, such as Eureka and Nye counties.

But Clark County’s fifth-year graduation rate for 2012 remained stagnant at 61 percent.

“Part of me isn’t surprised,” said Alderman, recalling her days as a district principal waiting for her school’s results. “It always seems to come out disappointing.”

It isn’t the first time information from the state has shown Clark County student or school gains to be more modest than district officials had claimed.

The district in 2010 began the development of a 100-point system for assessing schools and awarded passing grades to three-fourths of its 328 schools. That furrowed the brows of national experts because Nevada ranks last in education largely because of Clark County, the nation’s fifth-largest school system, according to the annual Kids Count report, which looks at progress across the states.

However, the state — which will implement a new system this summer for grading schools — won’t be using the standards approved by the district. State officials have criticized the district’s now-defunct star rating system for underemphasizing proficiency and giving too much weight to student improvement.

That is expected to push Clark County schools’ ratings down. To avoid confusion, the district recently abandoned its fledgling, costly system developed by Jones shortly after rolling it out.

Contact reporter Trevon Milliard at tmilliard@review
journal.com or 702-383-0279.

ad-high_impact_4
News
NSPCA Gets Kittens From LA
Man killed during road-rage incident
Las Vegas police are looking for two men involved in the shooting death of a man outside a 7-Eleven story at Bonanza Road and Maryland Parkway on Nov. 12, 2018. (Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department)
VA Southern Nevada Healthcare System hosts Veterans Day Car Show and BBQ
The 4th Annual Veterans Day Car Show and BBQ is held in celebration of Veterans Day at the VA Southern Nevada Healthcare System Medical Center in North Las Vegas, Saturday, Nov. 10, 2018. (Caroline Brehman/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Wildfires in Southern California
Wildfires hit Ventura County, Calif., on Nov. 9, 2018. (Richard Brian/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Dedication of Nevada's Battle Born memorial
The state of Nevada on Friday dedicated its Battle Born memorial honoring 895 state residents who have died in America’s wars.
Las Vegas police and Sunrise Children's Hospital hope to prevent infant deaths
The Metropolitan Police Department and Sunrise Children's Hospital held a press conference to get the message out on preventable infant deaths attributed to "co-sleeping" and other unsafe sleeping habits. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
No serious injuries after car hits tree in south Las Vegas
One person reported minor injuries but wasn’t hospitalized after a Wednesday morning crash in the south valley.
Nellis Air Force Base keeps airmen fed
Nellis Air Force Bass airmen have delicious and healthy food items, and a variety of dining facilities to choose from. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Suspicious package found at central Las Vegas post office
Las Vegas police determined that a suspicious package found Monday morning at a central valley post office was not a threat.
Suspicious package found at central Las Vegas post office
Police evacuated the area around the Garside Station post office early Monday morning near Oakey and Decatur boulevards.
With husband's passing, family in limbo for workers' comp claim
Meredith Tracy's husand, Russell Tracy, died more than a year ago on his first day working for a new company when he fell 22 feet into a manhole that was not properly safeguarded. His employer was fined $82,000 in penalties for unsafe practices, but the company has denied her workers' compensation claim, leaving her with no compensation since the death. Rachel Aston Las Vegas Review-Journal @rookie__rae
With husband's passing, family in limbo for workers' comp claim
Meredith Tracy's husand, Russell Tracy, died more than a year ago on his first day working for a new company when he fell 22 feet into a manhole that was not properly safeguarded. His employer was fined $82,000 in penalties for unsafe practices, but the company has denied her workers' compensation claim, leaving her with no compensation since the death. Rachel Aston Las Vegas Review-Journal @rookie__rae
Las Vegas family shares flu warning
Carlo and Brenda Occhipinti lost their son, Carlo Jr., or “Junior,” to the flu last year.
Author Randall Cannon shares an anecdote about Stadust Raceway
Author Randall Cannon shares an anecdote about Dan Blocker, who played Hoss Cartwright on the TV show "Bonanza," and the actor's passion for auto racing at Stardust International Raceway in Las Vegas during the 1960s. (Ron Kantowski/Las Vegas Review-Journal.)
Project Neon 85 percent complete
On Wednesday morning Oct. 31, Interstate 15 northbound lane restrictions were removed opening up Exit 41 to Charleston Blvd. On Thursday Nov. 1, Interstate 15 southbound lane restrictions were removed. The new southbound off-ramp to Sahara Ave. and Highland Dr. also opened Thursday, November 1. With Project Neon 85% finished the flow of traffic on Interstate 15 has substantially diminished. (Michael Quine/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Girl killed after jumping from bridge onto 215 Beltway in Henderson
Eastbound lanes of the 215 Beltway are shut down by the Nevada Highway Patrol after a female juvenile jumped from the 215 overpass at Stephanie and was struck by a FedEx tractor trailer. Michael Quine/Las Vegas Review-Journal @Vegas88s
Kristallnacht story
An interview with 94-year-old Holocaust survivor Alexander Kuechel who survived seven concentration camps and didn’t leave Germany until after World War II was over. (Mia Sims/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
1 dead in central Las Vegas crash
An early Wednesday morning crash left at least one person dead and another injured. The crash was reported just around 3 a.m. at the intersection of Flamingo Road and Swenson Street. At least two vehicles were involved in the crash, one of which caught fire. Debris was scattered across the intersection as police combed the area as they investigated the scene. Flamingo is blocked in both directions between Swenson and Cambridge Street. Northbound Swenson is blocked at the intersection.
Richard Knoeppel named the 2018 Nevada Teacher of the Year
Richard Knoeppel, an architecture design instructor at the Advanced technologies Academy, named the 2018 Nevada Teacher of the Year on Monday, Oct. 29, 2018. (Bizuayehu Tesfaye/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @bizutesfaye
Mojave Poppy Bees
(Zach Portman/University of Minnesota Department of Entomology) Male Mojave poppy bees exhibit territorial fighting behavior. The Center for Biological Diversity wants the bee, found only in Clark County, to be added to the endangered species list.
Clark County Schools announce random searches
Clark County School District middle and high school students will be subject to random searches for weapons under a new initiative to combat the wave of guns found on campus. (Amelia Pak-Harvey/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Ron Jeremy and Heidi Fleiss React to Dennis Hof's Death
Ron Jeremy and Heidi Fleiss speak about their friend and prominent brothel owner Dennis Hof's death at Dennis Hof's Love Ranch. (Benjamin Hager/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Nevada brothel owner Dennis Hof has died
Nevada brothel owner and Republican candidate for Nevada State Assembly District 36, Dennis Hof has died. He was 72. Nye County Sherriff's office confirmed. Hof owned Love Ranch brothel, located in Crystal, Nevada.
Las Vegas police investigate suspicious package at shopping center
Las Vegas police evacuated a southeast valley shopping center at Flamingo and Sandhill roads early Tuesday morning while they investigated reports of a suspicious package. (Max Michor/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
The Las Vegas Metro hosts the K-9 Trials
The Las Vegas Metro K-9 Trials returns to the Orleans Arena to benefit the Friends For Las Vegas Police K-9 group.
Kingman residents love their little town
Residents of Kingman, Ariz. talk about how they ended up living in the Route 66 town, and what they love about their quiet community. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Service at Southern Nevada Veterans Memorial Cemetery
Twelve unclaimed veterans are honored at Southern Nevada Veterans Memorial Cemetery in Boulder City in Oct. 9, 2018. (Briana Erickson/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Las Vegas house prices reach highest level in 11 years
Las Vegas house prices are rising But so is the amount of available homes on the market Still, properties priced below $300,000 are selling fast And September was the first time since June 2007 that the median house price reached the $300,000 mark Las Vegas home prices have been rising at one of the fastest rates in the country over the past year Recent data show the market is now less affordable than the national average
National Night Out
About 100 Summerlin residents gathered at Park Centre Dr. in Summerlin on Tuesday for National Night Out. Lt. Joshua Bitsko with Las Vegas Metro, played with 3-year-old David who was dressed as a police officer. Face painting, fire truck tours and more kept kids busy as parents roamed behind them. (Mia Sims/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Rural homeless issue comes to a head in Pahrump
On Sept. 12, Pahrump sheriff deputies told residents of a homeless encampment on private property that they had 15 minutes to vacate and grab their belongings. That decision might face some legal consequences. (Rachel Aston/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
TOP NEWS
News Headlines
Add Event
Home Front Page Footer Listing
Circular
You May Like

You May Like