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Nevada sinks to dead last in U.S. graduation rates



roryreid-150x150-8659226-4135861In a new report, Education Week shows Nevada has fallen to the absolute rock bottom of national education rankings, sitting in 51st place out of all 50 states and the District of Columbia.

According to the report, Nevada graduates less than 42 percent of its students, compared with 69 percent nationwide.

Nevada’s 41.8 percent graduation rate was so bad that it was more than 12 percentage points worse than second-to-last-ranked New Mexico’s 54.9 percent graduation rate. In short, Nevada isn’t only last in education. It is dead last and by a huge margin.

“This is a educational crisis, an economic crisis, and a moral crisis,” Rory Reid said. “The system, the state and the governors who got us here have utterly failed our children. The time has come to totally transform our system.”

Since 1997–a 10 year period overseen by Republican governors–the graduation rate in Nevada has fallen 36 percent, from 65.7 percent to an all-time low of less than 42 percent.

“We need a complete overhaul of education in our state starting with a commitment from our next governor,” Reid said. “Jim Gibbons stood by as 60,000 students dropped out. That’s shameful. Now candidate Brian Sandoval is proposing we cut even more. That’s just plain wrong, and as governor I won’t stand for it. Investing in education isn’t just the right thing to do. It’s the only way we will build the economy Nevada needs.”

Experts estimate that if all Nevada children simply graduated from high school, their lifetime earnings would increase by $5.4 billion. That’s over $5 billion currently being lost to our state’s economy that Reid’s EDGE plan would help us retain.

“We will never have a first-rate economy if we continue to accept second-rate schools. Businesses will not come to Nevada if we aren’t producing the workforce they need. Executives and workers will not come to Nevada if we don’t provide good schools for their children.”

Students in Nevada have half the chance of graduating from high school as do their peers in top-ranked New Jersey, which graduated 83 percent of its high schoolers. In 2007-2008, according to the study, 17,479 students in Clark County dropped out. Only New York and Los Angeles, the two largest cities in the country, had more students leave school without diplomas.

Education Week estimates that 23,908 students in the class of 2010 will have dropped out, meaning Nevada loses 133 students each day. Adding to the failure, Nevada is one of only 15 states in the nation that have no college readiness program. And no plans to implement one.

“Sad statistics like these from Education Week show why we need real statewide education reform,” Reid said. “I am the one candidate committed to building the bridge between strong schools and a stronger economy. Just like Jim Gibbons, Brian Sandoval is determined to tear it down. That’s the choice in this election and I’m 100 percent committed to the fight.”

For more information about Reid’s campaign or to download his plans, visit Rory2010.com.

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