Douglas County down, Nevada up in student dropout rates |

Douglas County down, Nevada up in student dropout rates

Cory Fisher

A ninth annual report to examine the student dropout rate in Nevada was released Friday by state Superintendent of Public Instruction Mary L. Peterson and the State Board of Education.

“The state dropout rate for the 1996-97 school year is 9.9 percent,” said Peterson in a written statement. “Eight of the sixteen school districts offering instruction in grades nine through 12 showed a drop in their rate from the previous year, while three additional districts showed no change. Five districts, including the two largest, Washoe and Clark County school districts, reported increases.”

Major findings in the 1996-97 school year dropout report include:

— A total of 7,600 students dropped out of the public school system in Nevada, resulting in a statewide increase of 0.5 percent from the previous year.

— Nearly one in five students in the 12th grade (19.4 percent), dropped out of school during the 1996-97 school year, compared with 3.5 percent for ninth grade students.

— More males dropped out than females. Statewide, 10.5 percent of males and 9.3 percent of females dropped out.

— Hispanic students dropped out of school at a higher rate (15.7 percent) than other ethnic groups. American Indian/Alaskan natives were next at 12.6 percent followed by blacks at 12.3 percent. White and Asian/Pacific Islander students dropped out at rates of 8.3 percent each.

— Dropout rates decreased in Carson City, Churchill, Douglas, Elko, Humboldt, Lincoln, Lyon and Storey counties.

— The districts of Eureka, Lander and Pershing showed no change, and districts with dropout rates of less than 5 percent are Douglas, Elko, Eureka, Lincoln and Pershing.

“The increase in the dropout rate, as well as the high state average is certainly disappointing,” said State Board of Education President David C. Sheffield. “While I commend the school districts which have reduced their dropout rates, we must continue to work through our dropout coalition to develop effective methods of dropout prevention. If parents take an active role in their children’s education by demonstrating the importance of a high school diploma in today’s society, then we can be more effective in helping children be successful in school.”

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