EDITORIAL: Scholars of merit

The National Merit Scholarship Program honors the top 1 percent of the country’s high school seniors, based on their PSAT scores. The Clark County School District’s Class of 2014 had 38 semifinalists, and 14 of them go to Clark High School.

Only the Davidson Academy, a Reno public school for the gifted, matched that figure statewide — including private schools. Clark High has become quite a success story within the school district, blending a traditional neighborhood campus with magnet programs for finance, teacher education, mathematics, science and applied technology.

As reported by the Review-Journal’s Trevon Milliard, the school now offers every science, technology, engineering and math course covered by the College Board, the nonprofit that administers the SAT. The school is in such demand, it received 1,200 applications for 225 open seats this year.

“It really is attributed to great teachers offering rigorous instruction,” Clark Principal Jill Pendleton said last week.

The school district must find a way to expand its magnet programs. There’s no good reason to turn away so many students who every year want a better option than the neighborhood campuses their homes are zoned for. Clearly, magnet programs such as Clark’s are getting the job done. We need more of them. Fast.

Congratulations to Clark High School and all of Clark County’s national merit semifinalists.

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