Washoe County School District this week announced that it was the “third best school district in Nevada.” It neglected to mention which districts were one and two. Those are Douglas and Storey county school districts, respectively.
“Douglas County School District is a highly rated, public school district [with] 5,924 students in grades PK, K-12 with a student-teacher ratio of 19 to 1,” according to NICHE, the organization that ranks districts according to academics, culture, safety and the quality of teachers.
The rankings are based on data from the U.S. Department of Education which is self-reported by the districts, according to WCSD.
Douglas’ school district was noted for having high-quality teachers and being the third of 16 districts as being the “best places to teach in Nevada.”
WCSD, ranked third, was second for the most diverse school district in the state and fourth in having the best teachers in Nevada. It also has a 19-1 student-teacher ratio.
“According to state test scores, 46% of students are at least proficient in math and 52% in reading,” NICHE noted.
The rankings announcement comes on the heels of the Nevada Department of Education’s (NDOE) recently released star ratings.
Twenty-five Washoe County public schools improved their ratings while 14 decreased. The district called this significant progress.
One administrator, commenting anonymously, disputed WCSD’s characterization.
“The students are testing low in reading and math across the district, but there is a lack of addressing the issue,” the employee said. “Teachers are required to test, but the teachers can use none of the data because it is unavailable or not recorded or not disaggregated.”
Two of Reno’s state-sponsored charter schools, though, Doral Academy and Mater Academy, earned the highest possible rating from the NDOE.
“These Five-Star Ratings stand as a tribute to the vision and hard work that the teachers, staff, parents and students of Doral Academy bring to the school every day,” said Indra Winquest, chair of the Board of Directors of Doral Academy of Northern Nevada.
Bob Conrad is publisher, editor and co-founder of This Is Reno. He has served in communications positions for various state agencies and earned a doctorate in educational leadership from the University of Nevada, Reno in 2011. In addition to managing This Is Reno, he holds a part-time appointment for the Mineral County University of Nevada Extension office.