Posts Tagged ‘Bacon’

Candidates For State Education Board Seat Bring Diverse Backgrounds To Race

By Sean Whaley | 9:21 am May 25th, 2012

CARSON CITY – With education reform a top priority of Gov. Brian Sandoval, the new alignment of the state Board of Education – with four seats up for grabs on the November ballot – is taking on more importance than ever before.

One of the four seats, District 2 which mirrors the new Nevada 2nd Congressional District from Reno and Carson City east across rural Nevada, has attracted five candidates, two of whom are serving now on the 10-member elected board. The race is nonpartisan.

Ray Bacon, executive director of the Nevada Manufacturers Association; Scott Carey, a planner for the Pyramid Lake Paiute Tribe; Donna Clontz, a retired teacher and juvenile justice expert; Dave Cook, a member of the board and charter school math teacher; and Adriana Guzman Fralick, a member of the board and attorney with the Nevada Gaming Control Board, are all on the June 12 primary ballot.

The top two vote getters will move on to the general election in November.

Since taking office in 2011, Sandoval has made education reform a priority of his administration. A number of reforms, including reconstituting the state board, were approved in the 2011 legislative session.

Photo courtesy of FEMA via Wikimedia Commons.

He also recently appointed a new superintendent of public instruction, James Guthrie, who formerly served as the senior fellow and director of education policy studies at the George W. Bush Institute in Dallas.

Sandoval plans in 2013 to pursue a number of additional reforms, including ending social promotion and fostering school choice through charter school expansion and some form of voucher program that is still in development.

The new board will play an expanded role in the reform effort. In addition to four elected candidates, Sandoval will appoint three members, one of his choice and one each nominated by the Senate majority leader and Assembly speaker. There will also be four nonvoting members.

Ray Bacon brings an employer perspective to race

Bacon, who has advocated for education reform for more than 25 years, said he entered the race as a candidate coming from the perspective of the business sector.

“There are two primary focuses in the education picture,” he said. “They (are) the students, which should be first and foremost No.1, and then the second constituency is employers, which are routinely ignored by the education system.”

Employers need a voice on the board, Bacon said.

The key is not job oriented education, but providing students with a strong set of basic skills in writing, reading, math and science, he said. The reality is there will be job opportunities in the future that aren’t even on the radar yet, Bacon said.

“If their basic skills are really solid, and really foundational, and they pay attention, they have the skill set to move into those jobs,” Bacon said. “If they’re lacking in those basics, they can’t make the transition.”

The reforms passed in the last session were a major step forward, but more remains to be done, he said.

Bacon said he has concerns with the use of binding arbitration in school district negotiations with teachers and other employees. A recent arbitration decision in Clark County in favor of teachers could lead to hundreds of teacher layoffs. The arbitrators always seem to be from out of state and lack the knowledge of Nevada’s public education funding scheme, he said. Arbitrators should come from Nevada, he said.

There should also be a requirement that teacher contracts comply with state law, Bacon said. The Clark County layoffs will be based on who was last hired, which conflicts with legislation passed in 2011 making seniority not the only basis for such decisions, he said.

As to school choice, Bacon said he would start with students in under-performing schools, giving them an edge to enroll elsewhere, including charter schools.

Scott Carey says an educated workforce is critical to economic diversification

Carey, who grew up in Sparks and took advantage of the Gov. Kenny Guinn Millennium Scholarship, said he wants to focus on improving public education as a way to help with Nevada’s economic diversification efforts

“I see kind of the biggest thing holding back our state to diversifying our economy is education,” he said. “We’re not going to be able to get jobs to relocate here and open up new operations if our schools continue to be in the condition that they are and our graduation rate remains the way it is.”

Nevada needs a skilled workforce to drive innovation and expand the economy, Carey said.

The new board will play a big role in education reform, he said. The state’s last in the nation graduation rate is unacceptable, he said.

“And I’m willing to look at new ideas that can help improve that graduation rate,” Carey said. “I think a lot of the partisan politics that sometimes get played in Carson City do more harm than they do good. If elected to the Board of Education I would take a look at solutions from both sides of the aisle and see what we can do to help improve education.”

Carey said he supports expanded school choice, including the potential use of vouchers, as long as they don’t take financial resources away from what he said are already “vastly underfunded” public schools.

Donna Clontz says she wants to bring her experiences with childhood issues to bear at the state board

“I decided to run for the State Board of Education because I see it in a very important leadership role for policy for all of our 17 school districts and I don’t believe it really has filled that role in the past,” Clontz said.

The board can and should serve in an outspoken leadership role on behalf of all students to make education and quality schools the state’s number one priority, she said.

Clontz started her career as an elementary school teacher, then went to night law school to become an attorney. She then went to work as a prosecutor in the California juvenile justice system. Her next career was on the staff of the National School Safety Center, getting an education on school safety issues, from bullying to weapons, all of which are still issues today.

Those experiences make her well qualified to serve on the board, she said.

“Everybody who plays a role, I think, could be engaged in a strategic planning process where we would all work together to get that change of attitude that I think it’s going to take in Nevada for all of us to say that schools are the most important thing that we can work on to bring our state back, our economy back, to create the jobs we need, to have young people that are trained and ready to go to work in those jobs,” Clontz said. “We’re perched on the edge of some great things.”

She supports ending social promotion for elementary school students and the development of quality charter schools but opposes vouchers. Vouchers have been tried elsewhere without success and Nevada has too many other education issues to address, Clontz said.

Dave Cook says he will pursue Gov. Sandoval’s reforms if returned to the board

Cook said one of the keys to improving education is to use effective testing to measure progress.

“We need to effectively assess students,” he said. “At the same time, we need to do less testing overall. So we need to do testing that is going to be beneficial for making decisions about students.”

Assessing students at the beginning and end of the school year helps prevent a number of problems and can help determine if a student should be promoted, Cook said.

“And most of our problems happen because language and mathematics aren’t being effectively handled in the elementary grades,” he said. “By the time we discover them in middle school, the damage is already done.”

Such testing also provides the opportunity to measure teacher performance because it assesses how far each student has come during the year, Cook said.

Cook, who previously served on the Carson City School Board before being elected to the state Board of Education, said he is a big supporter of quality charter schools. Between 2008 and now, the attitude toward charter schools has improved dramatically and the schools are playing a big role in education reform, he said.

Cook said he supports the concept of vouchers as well, although full implementation might require an incremental approach. Any voucher program would have to carry an accountability element with it to ensure tax dollars are being spent efficiently, he said.

Cook said being a licensed math teacher gives him an added dimension to serve on the board.

Adriana Fralick says her time on the board gives her the background to move forward on reforms  

Fralick said she is on board with the education reforms already achieved by Sandoval and his plans going forward.

“I believe in charter schools and I think now with the new (Charter School) authority I think there is a chance of expanding that and streamlining it so I think that is going to be something very positive,” she said.

She also supports vouchers, saying parents should be able to choose their child’s school.

“Implementing a fair state-based voucher system will give parents and students a vested interest in the child’s education and stimulate parental involvement – an important factor in student success,” she said on her website.

Fralick said she is concerned about the potential for changes to the Nevada Plan, which outlines how public schools are funded in Nevada. A legislative panel is now reviewing the state’s public education funding plan at the request of the Clark County School District.

Fralick was appointed to the board in November 2010 by then-Gov. Jim Gibbons to fill out the term of Ken McKenna, who resigned. During the past 18 months, Fralick said she was on a learning curve. Now that she has the background, it is time to move forward with policies to improve Nevada’s education system.

“I’ve been on the board, not too long, but long enough to where I see what needs changing or what works,” Fralick said. “So I think that is one of my strengths, I can hit the ground running.”

Another strength Fralick said is her work as a public agency attorney for many years. Regulations sometimes have unintended consequences, so a legal background can help to prevent such occurrences, she said.


Audio clips

Ray Bacon says employers have been ignored by the education system:

052512Bacon1 :16 the education system.”

Bacon says students need to master the fundamentals:

052512Bacon2 :18 make the transition.”

Scott Carey says a quality educational system is key to economic diversification:

052512Carey1 :22 way it is.”

Carey says he will work with all policy makers to improve the public education system:

052512Carey2 :25 help improve education.”

Donna Clontz says the board can play a major role in education reform:

052512Clontz1 :15 in the past.”

Clontz says Nevada has to focus on a quality public education system:

052512Clontz2 :33 in those jobs.”

Dave Cook says effective testing is needed to measure education reform efforts:

052512Cook1 :29 not be promoted.”

Cook says students need a strong foundation in the early elementary grades to succeed:

052512Cook2 :17 is already done.”

Adriana Fralick says she supports charter school expansion:

052512Fralick1 :14 something very positive.”

Fralick says she can hit the ground running if elected to the board:

052512Fralick2 :15 the ground running.”


Nevada Ranks 5th Best Among States For Doing Business, Says Survey Of Executives

By Nevada News Bureau Staff | 12:57 pm October 25th, 2010

CARSON CITY – A survey of more than 600 chief executive officers who rated the best and worst states for business in 2010 has scored Nevada highly at fifth place, an improvement of one spot over 2009.

In Chief Executive magazine’s latest annual survey of CEOs for their opinions of the best and worst states for business, Texas placed first and California ranked last.

Business leaders were asked to draw upon their direct experience to rate each state in three general categories: taxation and regulation, quality of workforce and living environment. Within each category respondents graded states in five subcategories, as well as ranking each in terms of its importance to the respondent and how individual states measure up in the magazine’s sixth annual special report.

Nevada received an A- for its taxation and regulation policies and laws, and a B- for its workforce quality and living environment.

Texas fares competitively with Nevada and Delaware in terms of taxation and regulatory environment, but scored best overall, in no small measure because of the perception that its government’s attitude to business is ideal, the magazine reported.

In an interview on the Fox Business channel, Chief Executive magazine Editor-in-Chief, J.P. Donlon said California has ranked last for the past five years. The attitude towards business is worst in California, he said. Many CEOs would pick up and relocate if they could, Donlon said.

Ray Bacon, executive director of the Nevada Manufacturers Association, said the fact that Nevada is maintaining its pro-business image is good news for the state.

“We now have workers available, we have housing available, we have commercial and industrial space available, we have reasonable taxes (although that could change) and we have speedy permitting processes and approvals in most areas,” he said.

The rankings for Texas and California come as no surprise, Bacon said. Texas has created about half of all the new jobs in the nation during this recession, while the attitude of California’s government toward business is legendary, he said.

Election day will be critical to see if Californians wake up or not, Bacon said.

“If they don’t, they will go further into the ditch and keep Nevada in the depths of our recession in the process,” he said.

“We have an education challenge, but the Race to the Top application provides a path to correct our problems in that area if the next governor, Legislature and school districts take serious action to move forward on the implementation even without the federal money,” Bacon said.

Nevada Business Leaders Say Legislation Pending In Congress Will Kill Jobs

By Sean Whaley | 6:45 pm September 2nd, 2010

RENO – Several Nevada business leaders took the opportunity of the upcoming Labor Day holiday to speak out today against federal legislation they say will kill jobs in Nevada at a time when the unemployed total more than 20 percent.

The Alliance to Protect Nevada Jobs held a “reverse” job fair to convey concerns that if Congress passes the Employee Free Choice Act now pending in the Senate, the country could lose 600,000 jobs within a year of its passage.

Opponents of the measure, which has passed the House of Representatives, say it would eliminate an existing federal requirement that workers be allowed to vote in secret on any unionization proposal. It would also require disputes between unions and employers to be subjected to binding arbitration.

“With 200,000 people looking for work here in Nevada today, the notion of this legislation even being considered is just ridiculous,” said McKay Daniels, speaking on behalf of the alliance.

He said the measure should be called the Employee “Forced Choice” Act and will result in forced unionization of workers in Nevada and across the country.

A Nevada labor leader said in response that the legislation will not eliminate jobs, but would give workers the right to decide how to form a union.

Daniels was joined by Clara Andriola, president of the Nevada Chapter of the Associated Builders and Contractors, Ray Bacon, executive director of the Nevada Manufacturers Association, Randi Thompson, state director of the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) and Tray Abney, director of government relations with the Reno-Sparks Chamber of Commerce, in speaking out against the legislation and other potentially job-killing proposals now being considered in Washington and in Nevada.

Andriola said: “Forced unionization isn’t going to help turn our economy around. Adding burdens, expenses and red tape onto Nevada’s job producers is the fastest way to destroy jobs, not create them.”

McKay Daniels speaks for the Alliance to Protect Nevada Jobs with a giant "pink slip".

Abney said the reason employers are not investing in jobs in Nevada is because of the high level of uncertainty about the potential for new taxes.

“There is a reason people aren’t investing in Nevada and that’s because of the words of our elected officials, both in Washington and in Carson City,” he said.

Bacon said Nevada employers are already facing the likelihood of big increases in unemployment tax rates next year.

“These increased costs by themselves could force many companies out of business or overseas,” he said. “To even talk about adding additional expenses or regulations onto struggling businesses during a time like this is just insanity.”

But Danny Thompson, executive secretary-treasurer of the Nevada State AFL-CIO, said the act will not eliminate jobs. It would give workers some rights, he said.

“All it does is give the employees the right to chose how they want to form a union,” Thompson said. “The system right now that we have in place with the National Labor Relations Act does not work. It is fraught with delay.”

The act does not eliminate the secret ballot, but would allow employees to use alternatives such as sign-up cards if that is their preference, he said.

U.S. Sen. John Ensign, R-Nev., opposes the legislation while Sen. Harry Reid, D-Nev., supports the measure.

In a statement Ensign said: “The right for workers to vote by secret ballot in union elections is a fundamental part of our democratic tradition. The big union push for card check not only leaves employees open to union intimidation but also harms the ability of American businesses to create jobs. The unfortunate reality behind card check is that it actually has little to do with protecting workers. Instead, this disastrous policy would only lead to more job losses and greater burdens on small businesses and would do little to help jump start Nevada’s struggling economy.”


Audio clips:

McKay Daniels representing the Alliance to Protect Nevada Jobs says pending federal legislation regarding unionization efforts will kill jobs:

090210Daniels :22 is just ridiculous.”

Tray Abney of the Reno-Sparks Chamber of Commerce says uncertainty over taxes stifling job growth:

090210Abney :18 and Carson City.”

Union leader Danny Thompson says the Employee Free Choice Act will not eliminate jobs:

090210Thompson :11 form a union.”

Nevada Loses Out In Race To Top Funds for Education

By Sean Whaley | 1:40 pm July 27th, 2010

CARSON CITY – Nevada failed to make the cut today in its quest to win as much as $175 million in competitive federal funds to improve student achievement, but the details of why won’t be known until next month.

The failure to make the cut occurred even though Gov. Jim Gibbons created a blue ribbon panel to oversee the application process and the state hired a consultant to help finalize Nevada’s grant application.

Nineteen of 36 states made the cut in this, the second round of a competition for a share of the Race to the Top funds. Nevada did not compete in the first round earlier this year.

There was some political bickering over whether Nevada should have applied in the first round, with Democrats pushing for the submission of an application and Gibbons calling such a move premature. Only two states were awarded funds in the first round.

Ray Bacon, a member of the Blue Ribbon Education Reform Task Force and executive director of the Nevada Manufacturers Association, said those working on the Nevada application were aware that the state would score poorly for efforts already under way to improve student achievement.

Members of the panel were hoping the honesty of Nevada’s grant application, which acknowledged serious problems with the state’s educational system, would have helped the state make the cut, he said.

“We haven’t done anything in years,” Bacon said. “We thought the other parts were strong enough that they would pull it up and we might get the benefit of the doubt.”

The expenditure of $40,000 to hire a consultant to help finalize Nevada’s application was worthwhile because it radically improved the final document, he said.

Bacon said he is surprised at some of the states that were successful, including California, New Jersey, Hawaii and South Carolina.

“A lot of them I was expecting,” he said. “I would be surprised if there isn’t grant money given to Florida, Georgia, Massachusetts. Those were clearly pretty damn good applications the first time around.”

Bacon said the state could still benefit from the funding effort if there is a third round of the competition. Another option is to take the application to private foundations to see if there is interest in funding some elements of the plan, he said.

The application will also be a focus of the upcoming Nevada Legislature, where education reform and student achievement will be a top concern, he said.

“I’m disappointed but I think it is going to make this next legislative session considerably more interesting,” Bacon said. “There is nobody in the state who doesn’t recognize we need to make some changes and they have to be pretty damn drastic.”

One issue that became clear in the application process is that no one is in charge of public education in Nevada, he said.

“We’re going to come out of this with someone being in charge,” Bacon said.

Gibbons said the task force will continue in its efforts to improve student achievement even without Nevada making it into the Race to the Top finalists.

“We appreciate the opportunity the Race to the Top competition gave us to take a long, hard and much overdue look at educating Nevada’s children,” he said. “The time is now to modernize the way we deliver education in our schools, both to secure the future of our children and grandchildren and to develop an educated and skilled workforce necessary to diversify our economy and generate economic recovery and prosperity. Education is the intellectual infrastructure for Nevada’s future.”

Among the recommendations set forth in Nevada’s Promise are five specifically-targeted objectives to be accomplished by 2014:

  • increasing the graduation rate to 85 percent;
  • reducing the achievement gap for African American and Hispanic students;
  • increasing the number of graduates enrolling in post-secondary institutions both in-state or out-of-state by 50 percent;
  • increasing student achievement percentages of students proficient or advanced on the NAEP fourth-grade mathematics (from 32 percent to 50 percent) and eighth-grade mathematics (from 25 percent to 50 percent); and
  • increasing student achievement percentages of students proficient or advanced on the NAEP fourth-grade reading (from 24 percent to 50 percent) and eighth-grade reading (from 22 percent to 50 percent).

U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan announced the finalists at an event today in Washington, DC.

“As you know, we have $3.4 billion to distribute under Race to the Top – which should be enough to fund up to about 12 states,” he said. “But as I have said many times before, this isn’t just about the money. This is about working together and putting the needs of children ahead of everyone else.

“This entire process has moved the nation and advanced education reform,” Duncan said. “Children are the big winners here because we have all learned so much more about how to find common ground around the things that we know will make a difference in the classroom.”

In a letter to governors, Duncan congratulated the winners, and applauded others for applying for a share of the grant funds and encouraged the states to continue to work on education reform.

A total of 46 states and the District of Columbia applied for either the first or second rounds or both.

The 19 finalists in this second round are: Arizona, California, Colorado, the District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Illinois, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, and South Carolina.

The award winners, as well as the complete scorecards for all applicants, will be made public later this year.


audio clips:

Ray Bacon says Nevada’s application was weak on existing reform efforts:

072710Bacon1 :21 of the doubt.”

Bacon says Nevada won’t know details of why the application did not make the cut until next month:

072710Bacon2 :15 that in detail.”

Bacon says the application can be used to pursue private foundation funding:

072710Bacon3 :23 on specific parts.”

Chilean School Voucher Program Increased High School Graduation Rates, New Study Concludes

By Nevada News Bureau Staff | 3:19 pm June 28th, 2010

CARSON CITY – A major study of a school voucher program operating in the country of Chile for the past 29 years has found both an increase in high school graduation rates and an increase in the number of students going on to college.

A preliminary draft of the lengthy study, performed by researchers from the University of Nevada, Reno, the University of Pennsylvania and the University of Chile, was released today.

Along with other school decentralization efforts, education reforms implemented in 1981 included making Chile the only country in the world to have a nationwide school voucher program.

The study looked at students who began school in the early 1970s all the way up through students who began school in the early ‘90s. It shows that the reforms increased high school graduation rates by 3.6 percent and increased college-going rates by 3.1 percent.

The reforms also increased the rate of those completing at least two years of college by 2.6 percent and the rate of those completing at least four years of college by 1.8 percent.

Sankar Mukhopadhyay, assistant professor of economics at UNR and a co-author of the study, said that while there have been quite a few studies on the possible effects of school vouchers on grades and test scores, there has been very little research conducted on the possible effects of school vouchers on the level of education attained by students, or on employment and earnings.

“I think this study provides very interesting, new information for those considering school vouchers,” Mukhopadhyay said. “I think these results will surprise some people; the results actually surprised us.”

Mukhopadhyay and the research team drew their information from nearly 4,000 people, ranging in ages from 6 to 45.

The study also found that the voucher program significantly increased the demand for private subsidized schools and decreased the demand for both public and nonsubsidized private schools.

In addition, although opponents of school voucher programs have long theorized that vouchers would mostly benefit the rich, this study showed that individuals from poor and non-poor backgrounds in Chile, on average, experienced similar educational attainment gains under the voucher program. There was also a modest reduction in earnings inequity once the voucher reforms were enacted. Overall however, the reforms did not lead to increased overall average earnings.

The reforms reduced the number of people ages 16 to 25 in the workforce by about 2 percent because more people were staying in school longer, Mukhopadhyay said.

“So the earnings benefits of having greater educational attainment were at least partly offset by the delay in entering the workforce.”

Ray Bacon, executive director of the Nevada Manufacturers Association and member of an education reform task force created by Gov. Jim Gibbons, said he is glad to see the analysis but questions whether the results can be attributed solely to the voucher school program. The country implemented a number of reforms at the same time, he said.

“It is interesting that someone has actually taken a look at it,” Bacon said. “In a controlled environment you want to change one thing at a time to see if it had any effect or not.”

But the study contains good data and will no doubt provoke a lot of discussion on the value of a voucher school program, he said. One encouraging finding is that the education reforms in Chile “leveled the playing field” among the different socioeconomic classes, Bacon said.

The study will be published in its entirety in the inaugural issue of a new journal published by the Econometric Society, Quantitative Economics, in August. The co-authors of the study are Mukhopadhyay; David Bravo, economics professor at the University of Chile; and Petra Todd, economics professor at the University of Pennsylvania.

audio clip:

Ray Bacon comment on the voucher study:

062830Bacon :25 people don’t expect.”

Las Vegas Chamber Study Concludes Nevada Students Are Below National Averages on Achievement Tests

By Sean Whaley | 4:24 pm March 29th, 2010

CARSON CITY – A study showing how well Nevada’s students perform on achievement tests, released today by the Las Vegas Chamber of Commerce, concludes they fare no better than mid-range, and often well below, students in other states.

The report consolidates the results of several K-12 achievement tests and compares the target and actual percentages of standards as measured by the federal No Child Left Behind (NCLB) Act.

In addition, the report shows how Nevada students rank nationally in the National Assessment of Educational Progress, which measures 4th and 8th grade math and reading scores, as well as state-by-state comparisons of SAT and ACT scores taken by students planning to attend college.

Some of the findings include:

-          Nevada’s 4th and 8th graders placed no higher than 43rd in math or reading on any of the most recent National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) exams.

-          Only 26 percent of high school seniors and 11 percent of high school juniors took the SAT.  Of that group, Nevada placed 35th nationally in critical reading, 39th in math and 40th in writing.

-          Of the Nevada students who took the ACT, they ranked 28th nationally in composite score, 27th in English, 28th in math, 28th in reading and 31st in science.

“Nevada continues to rank well below national averages on standardized student proficiency exams administered to elementary school, middle school, and college-bound high-school students,” the report says.

“It doesn’t surprise me,” said Ray Bacon, executive director of the Nevada Manufacturers Association and a member of Governor Gibbons’ new education task force. The NEAP scores in particular show how Nevada students perform compared to students in other states, and the news isn’t good, he said.

“It’s pretty ugly,” Bacon said.

As for how to improve student achievement, Nevada ought to look to Florida, where several reforms have been made that are helping improve performance, he said. The Nevada Policy Research Institute recently issued a report on Florida’s reforms, Bacon said.

Florida has stopped the so-called “social promotion” of students beyond the third grade, meaning they can’t move on to a higher grade if they have not learned to read, and the state also now rates schools using an “A” to “F” grade so parents can get easily accessible performance information, Bacon said. Florida also created a virtual school where students can take courses online.

“None of the changes do much in the short term,” he said. “But we’re so far in the ditch, there is nothing we can do short term that will make any difference.”

The Las Vegas chamber report contained some good news, however.

The report found there was “meaningful improvement” by Clark County students in meeting or exceeding standards.  “…while the (Clark County School District) did not make AYP (Adequate Yearly Progress) in 2009, elementary school students meeting or exceeding standards have increased from 45.5 percent to 57.2 percent in English/language arts and 49.5 percent to 63.0 percent in math between 2003 and 2009.”

If one of the 37 possible subgroups (including certain minority groups, English language learners, economically disadvantaged students, and students with disabilities) fails to make progress under the guidelines, then the entire school is designated as failing. The No Child Left Behind Act requires 100 percent student proficiency by the 2013-2014 school year.

The report also notes that often cited national tests are given to only a select number of students in each state and in fact “no comprehensive, national comparison of the proficiency of all students has ever been undertaken, let alone published.”

The report was done by the Las Vegas firm Applied Analysis, and is the first in a series of reports focusing on Nevada’s quality of education, education fiscal policy, and factors impacting educational attainment. The reports are designed to assess the current state of education and to lay a foundation from which the chamber and other interested parties can assess public policy issues regarding K-12 education.

“While we are encouraged by the improved performance of Nevada’s students in some areas in recent years, our education achievement needs to be significantly better,” said Hugh Anderson, chairman of the Chamber’s Government Affairs Committee. “We look forward to working with elected officials, educators, and the community to improve our education results.”