Editorial: Making the grade

Far too often, reports chronicling student achievement in Nevada feature terms like “subpar” or “mediocre.” But not this week.

On Monday, U.S. News &World Report released its 2016 list of the nation’s best high schools — and 15 Nevada campuses made the cut, including 10 in Clark County. The 2015 rankings included nine Clark County schools.

Two Reno schools, the Academy of Arts, Careers and Technology and Galena High School, topped the state rankings, while respectively finishing 639th and 727th nationally. Earning the bronze in Nevada was Advanced Technologies Academy in Las Vegas, better known as A-Tech, which the magazine slotted 766th in the country.

Other Southern Nevada schools honored were West Career and Technical Academy, Las Vegas Academy, Veterans Tribute Career and Technical Academy, Boulder City High School, Coronado High School, Northwest Career and Technical Academy, West Prep, Southwest Career and Technical Academy and Rancho High School.

The magazine’s methodology included analysis of a school’s graduation rates, state test results and Advanced Placement exam data. In all, the publication singled out 2,673 schools across the country for recognition, including almost 14 percent of eligible Nevada high schools.

These rankings are obviously somewhat subjective and are heavily weighted toward technology and magnet programs rather than traditional high school campuses.

But they are also an important indicator that good things happen every day in our local schools. And for all the challenges facing the Clark County School District, it features a number of campuses with dedicated teachers mentoring and producing high-achieving, college-ready graduates equipped with the skills necessary to succeed at the next level and beyond.

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