A new study of Henderson schools gives the city better data to attract new business and tailor services to help improve education.
Prepared as part of the city’s ongoing contract with consulting firm Applied Analysis, the six-page report provides a glimpse at the 38 public schools within the city’s borders and how they compare with other schools in the county, the state and the country. It’s the first time Henderson officials have taken this kind of look at its schools, officials said.
For the most part, it’s all good news. Henderson schools outperform the county and state when it comes to math and reading proficiency rates and graduation rates. Henderson outperforms all 15 Nevada counties that administer the Smarter Balanced exams to students, and its graduation rate is above the national average.
Henderson officials say the information — particularly the national comparisons — will help combat the bad reputation Clark County schools get and can help bring new business as the city focuses on development.
“If we are talking to companies that are out of state, that’s what they’re looking at, those national comparisons,” interim city manager Richard Derrick said.
The report says that part of Henderson’s success in education can be attributed to different socioeconomic conditions in the city compared to Clark County. As a whole, Henderson has a higher median income, a lower poverty rate and fewer students who don’t speak English — all factors which research shows affect educational outcomes.
The information will also be used to help struggling schools in Henderson get tailored support from the city, Derrick said. Last fall, the city approved using a business tax on marijuana companies to create a grant-like program for schools.
Having information on how schools perform will help inform that process, he said. For example, the analysis shows a drop in proficiency rates as students move from elementary to middle school, so grant money may be set aside for interventions in that area.
“Our community focus is really creating jobs for our community members, as well as having good schools,” Derrick said. “It’s a holistic issue for us.”