Nevada ranked dead last among the 50 states for the educational opportunities that it provides to public school students, according to a new report tracking how children have fared in the post-recession years.
The report, released Tuesday by the Annie E. Casey Foundation, graded the Silver State as worst in the U.S. in the education category, despite the state making progress on indicators such as the percent of children who don’t attend preschool and fourth-graders who aren’t proficient in reading.
The latest Kids Count Data Book also ranked Nevada among the bottom states in the categories of family and community, economic well-being and health.
The state’s overall performance, which reflects data from 2013, improved slightly from last year’s ranking of 48 to 47 among all states this year.
“Although Nevada’s overall child well-being ranking improved from last year, too many children in Nevada are still struggling,” Rennae Daneshvary, director of Nevada Kids Count, said in a statement. “Almost one in four children lived in poverty in 2013.
“Nevada’s economy, however, continues to recover from the Great Recession,” she added. “As such, continued improvement is expected within the economic well-being domain in the coming years.”
In education, Nevada decreased the share of children who don’t attend preschool from 72 percent in 2007-09 to 69 percent in 2011-13. The national average was 54 percent.
Nevada made similarly small gains in other education indicators:
’Fourth-graders not proficient in reading decreased from 76 percent in 2007 to 73 percent in 2013,
’Eighth-graders not proficient in math fell from 77 percent in 2007 to 72 percent in 2013,
’And high school students who didn’t graduate on time ticked down from 44 percent in 2007-08 to 40 percent in 2011-12.