Nevada’s new super-data system makes school records permanent

For the past decade, education officials in Nevada have eyed with envy the sprawling data systems other states have built to empower teachers, researchers and parents with unprecedented access to information about their students.

Kentucky, for example, offers publicly available reports that track how well high schools prepare students for college and what happens to graduates when they enter the workforce. Parents and educators there can explore which type of students actually make it to college and what wage to expect with a given degree.

In Chicago, researchers use early-warning indicators — such as credit completion and course failures — to identify which ninth-graders may not graduate on time or at all. Teachers and principals then offer individualized interventions to help get them back on track.

Nevada has similar information but keeps it in different silos maintained by each agency that collects specific sets of data.

Educators say the status quo hamstrings efforts to analyze how costly education initiatives impact students from different socioeconomic backgrounds and whether they succeed in college and at work.

That all changes on Wednesday, when the Silver State debuts a new super-data system that connects information from the moment a student starts preschool to high school graduation, acceptance to a university and eventually the first day of work.

“These are still just baby steps,” said Linda Heiss, senior director of institutional research at the Nevada System of Higher Education. “But honestly, now we’re leading the way. We’re one of five (states) that have taken something like this, this far.”


Nevada historically has trailed most states in the collection, linkage and dissemination of useful education data.

In 2011, the Data Quality Campaign, which promotes the use of student data to improve achievement, found Nevada only completed four to five of 10 recommended steps to reach that goal. In 2014, as 32 other states rushed to complete seven to 10 steps, Nevada was deemed to have made no progress.

Last year, only 19 states linked kindergarten through 12th grade to workforce data and even fewer used that information to produce quality research. Nevada this week joins that exclusive club with its so-called Nevada P-20 Workforce Report, or NPWR.

“This has great potential for Nevada,” said Kim Metcalf, dean of the College of Education at UNLV.

“The ability to examine the relationship between educational and demographic and employment and student outcomes, among various factors, is going to be great for everybody,” he added.

The three agencies that will feed data into the system — the Nevada Department of Education, the Nevada System of Higher Education and the Nevada Department of Employment, Training and Rehabilitation — must approve each request before a researcher can view the data, which is stripped of any personally identifiable information to protect student privacy.

Researchers must remain patient — an advisory council created by Gov. Brian Sandoval first must prioritize what questions or topics to study using the new database.

“I’m really interested in understanding the relationship to workforce and trying to appreciate what skills and coursework are the right steps for children along their K-12 career,” said Steve Canavero, deputy superintendent for student achievement at the Nevada Department of Education. “How can we ensure our children are successful when they compete for jobs and when the industry asks for a certain set of skills?”


NPWR’s roots date to 2007, thanks in part to two federal grants totaling nearly $10 million. How much it will cost in the future was unavailable last week.

Student data, from kindergarten through college in particular, has captured the attention of educators across the nation as they attempt to imitate private-sector organizations that use numbers and trends to measure the success of their decisions.

Nevada education officials aim to do just that and will invite the public’s help.

Starting Wednesday, the NPWR website,, will offer several open databases that agencies previously published on reams and reams of paper.

The reports detail which high schools produce the most graduates needing remedial education in college; the rate of employment in each degree field and average salary; college continuation rates based on school district, high school and race; and more.

“This is just the beginning of how we can move more kids to success,” said Heiss, of the Nevada System of Higher Education.

NPWR will produce data that principals and superintendents can use to modify their curriculum based on general student profiles to prevent the need for college remediation. Policymakers also can tap into NPWR to make decisions about high school graduation requirements.

Eventually, though, Heiss hopes NPWR will have enough public information to help parents train themselves to become better advocates for their children.

“All of us want this data to be accessible and in the hands of those who need it, whether that’s parents or the (Nevada) Legislature or teachers or us,” Heiss said.

“People shouldn’t have to ask us for this information,” she added. “We want people to get that data — and use it — to improve graduation rates, improve kids going on to college, improve the chances that a student will stay in Nevada and get a good job.”

Contact Neal Morton at or 702-383-0279. Find @nealtmorton on Twitter.

Defense attorneys wrap up closing arguments in David Copperfield civil trial
Defense attorneys wrapped up their closing arguments in David Copperfield civil trial at the Regional Justice Center in Las Vegas. A British tourist is suing Copperfield, his company and others claiming he suffered a traumatic brain injury after participating in an illusion in which the magician appears to make 13 people vanish. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
President Trump talks about how to pronounce "Nevada"
At the United States Naval Academy Graduation and Commissioning on May 25, 2018, President Donald Trump discusses how to pronounce "Nevada."
Amazon's Alexa Recorded and Shared a Couple’s Conversation
Amazon's Alexa Recorded and Shared a Couple’s Conversation News station KIRO 7 reported a Portland couple’s conversation was recorded and sent to one of their contacts via their Amazon Echo device. They found out when the husband’s employee called him saying, via KIRO 7 The voice-activated assistant is used by more than 60 million U.S. consumers, according to Bloomberg. But what will happen if these devices become digital spies within our homes? Daniel Kahn Gillmor, Daniel Kahn Gillmor, to Bloomberg Daniel Kahn Gillmor, to Bloomberg Amazon Inc. issued a statement that the incident in Portland is an “extremely rare occurrence,” and the company did not state whether it was a bug or due to hacking.
Neighbor talks about 15-year-old alleged shooter
Nolan Turner, 15, who lives across the street from the 15-year-old who allegedly shot and killed his father and shot his mother talks about growing up with the teen. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Las Vegas teen kills dad, wounds mom before she shoots him, police say
A 15-year-old boy shot his father to death and wounded his mother in a west valley home Thursday morning before being wounded when she got a gun and returned fire, according to Las Vegas police. Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department officers were called just after 10:45 a.m. Thursday on the 9900 block of Barrier Reef Drive, near West Sahara Avenue and South Hualapai Way. In a briefing near the scene, police said the teenager shot his dad in the head, killing him, then shot his mom, who got another gun and returned fire. They said the boy jumped a wall and ran away, but was arrested about a quarter-mile away. Both the teen and his mom were hospitalized and are expected to survive, police said. Police did not immediately identify the family members but said the man was in his early 50s and the woman was in her late 40s. K.M. Cannon/ Las Vegas Review-Journal
Las Vegas Native Troy Brown Jr. Preparing for NBA
Former Centennial High School player Troy Brown Jr., now 18 and one of the most accomplished high school basketball players in the history of Las Vegas, is back in his hometown preparing to play in the NBA. (Madelyn Reese/ Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Closing arguments at David Copperfield civil trial
Attorneys for British tourist Gavin Cox and MGM Resorts make their closing arguments in the David Copperfield civil trial at the Regional Justice Center in Las Vegas. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
UNLV Surgeon Performs Successful Rare Pancreas Surgery
Las Vegas resident Mary Duda underwent a pancreatoduodenectomy, or Whipple procedure, for her pancreatic cancer. While the grandmother of 19 recovered, her doctors say she's one of the lucky ones. Pancreatic surgery can be risky and has a high morbidity rate. (Madelyn Reese/ Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Former Las Vegas police explorer sentenced to 25 years to life in prison
Former Las Vegas police explorer Joshua Honea sentenced to 25 years to life in prison for sexual assault of a minor, but was allowed to remain free on bail pending appeal. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Golden Knights Fans Line Up to Grab Their Conference Champions Gear
Golden Knights fans lined up at City National Arena Monday to snap up Conference Champions gear and other memorabilia the day after the Golden Knights won the Stanley Cup Conference Finals. (Madelyn Reese/ Las Vegas-Review Journal)
Las Vegas shooting survivor has surprise reunion
Oct. 1 mass shooting survivors Taylor Stovall and Parker Gabel meet for the first time since Gabel helped the injured Stovall to an ambulance the night of the shooting. Stovall, then 17, was shot in the arm. They met Friday at the Tropicana.
Hawaii volcano presser
Talmadge Magno of Hawaii Civil Defense gives an update on the Kilauea volcano
Same-Sex Weddings on the Rise in Las Vegas
Allie and Tara Shima finally tied the knot. They've been together for five years and have both been married before. This time, they wanted something simple, quick and cheap, but it still had to feel special. The couple chose Las Vegas. (Madelyn Reese/ Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Courtyard Homeless Resource Center begins building in Las Vegas
Las Vegas Mayor Carolyn Goodman and Ward 3 Councilman Bob Coffin kicked off the demolition of buildings where the Courtyard Homeless Resource Center will be built. (Bizuayehu Tesfaye/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @bizutesfaye
Father of fallen Marine to throw out first pitch
Rich Perez, father of Rich Perez Jr. who died while serving in the Marines in Iraq, talks about throwing out the first pitch at the Las Vegas 51s baseball game on Memorial Day. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
"Yanny" or "Laurel" hearing test has gone viral
'Yanny' or 'Laurel?' This Hearing Test Has Gone Viral This hearing test has gone viral on social media with some hearing "Yanny" while others swear hearing "Laurel." The voice is actually saying "Laurel," but the pitch was changed, causing some to hear "Yanny."
LVMPD Briefs on Year's Sixth Officer-Involved Shooting
Las Vegas police have identified the officer who shot a shovel-wielding woman on Saturday as 23-year-old Ondre Wills.
Police release body camera footage of shovel-wielding woman
Las Vegas police identified the woman they said threatened neighbors with a skillet Saturday night. Officer Ondre Wills, 23, shot at Sommer Richards, 34, multiple times on Big Sur Drive, near Nellis Boulevard and Desert Inn Road. Police responded to the area after receiving reports that the woman was armed with a shovel. Police said the woman chased neighbors and a security guard. Wills got between Richards and the others and repeatedly told her to drop the shovel. The woman instead turned and moved toward a person who was standing nearby before the officer fired shots. Police said she bit another officer as he attempted to render aid. Richards remains in serious but stable condition.
College of Southern Nevada Graduates 2017-18 Class
The College of Southern Nevada's graduation ceremony was held at the Thomas & Mack Center Monday. The 2017-18 class was the institution's largest in history. (Madelyn Reese/ Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Metro looking for suspect in bank robbery.
On Jan. 22, a man robbed a bank in the 8700 block of West Sahara Avenue.
Former Gov. Mike Huckabee at opening of U.S. Embassy in Jerusalem
Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, at opening ceremony of U.S. Embassy in Jerusalem, speaks about the violence in Gaza. (Debra J. Saunders/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Supreme Court strikes down law banning sports betting outside Nevada
The Supreme Court has overturned a federal ban on sports gambling. States other than Nevada will be allowed to provide bookmaking and betting at casinos and race tracks. Justice Samuel Alito said Congress can regulate sports gambling directly, but if it elects not to do so, “each State is free to act on its own.” The vote was 6-3. One research firm estimates that 32 states will likely offer sports betting within five years.
Westcare Clinic Crucial to Las Vegan's Addiction Recovery
Christian Hunt, 21, was sent to Westcare in September after he ended up on drugs and in the hospital. If it weren't for the nonprofit's Community Triage Center, Hunt said he would still be using drugs. Instead, he's been sober for six months, and stopped using methamphetamines seven months ago. (Madelyn Reese/ Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Foundation Provides Full Rides for Clark County Students
Somewhere along the banks of the Ohio River in Owensboro, Kentucky, a group of students from Sin City are pursuing a higher education. Feature on the 38 Clark County students that the Rogers Foundation has given full rides to for Kentucky Wesleyan College. (Madelyn Reese/ Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Flames engulf house in Henderson
Clark County firefighters battled a house fire early Friday morning in Henderson. The house, located near Volunteer Boulevard and Executive Airport Drive, was fully engulfed in flames about 2 a.m. Shifting winds sent massive plumes of smoke across the southern Las Vegas Valley sky. As of 3 a.m. , the cause of the fire was not known and no injuries were reported.
Harvey Weinstein’s Estranged Wife Speaks Out for First Time
Harvey Weinstein’s Estranged Wife Speaks Out for First Time Georgina Chapman was profiled for 'Vogue’s' June issue, speaking on her estranged husband for the first time since he was accused of sexual assault in October. Georgina Chapman, to Vogue Georgina Chapman, to Vogue Chapman, who has two children with Weinstein, also said she has been seeing a therapist and that has helped her move forward. Georgina Chapman, to Vogue Georgina Chapman, to Vogue Read the full profile on Chapman in Vogue’s June issue or online at
Bark-Andre Furry the dog is a Vegas Golden Knights hockey fan
The furriest fan of the NHL's Vegas Golden Knights is growing into a social media sensation. Bark-Andre Furry the Jack Russell terrier has thousands of followers on Twitter and Instagram. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Suspect Sought In Robbery Attempt
Attorney Gloria Allred on case against Benjamin Sparks
Attorney Gloria Allred is representing the victim in a "sex slave" case against GOP political consultant Benjamin Sparks.
2018 Las Vegas Review-Journal High School Journalism Awards winners
Some winners of the 2018 Las Vegas Review-Journal High School Journalism Awards receive their awards.
News Headlines
Home Front Page Footer Listing
You May Like

You May Like