Midlands Voices: Improving opportunity in Nebraska education

By: Anita Peek-Brinson

Jackson is president and CEO of Voice Advocacy Center and co-founder of the LEARN Coalition. Portz works with School Choice Lincoln.
Aesop’s fable about the tortoise and the hare provides young children with an important lesson about the dangers of becoming complacent. It’s a lesson we adults should remember, as well, particularly when it comes to our children’s education. This National School Choice Week reminds us that greater school choice can provide just the spark needed to revitalize our education system.
At first glance, our student outcomes here in Nebraska might seem appealing. Standardized test scores exceed the national average, with greater percentages of students scoring at or above the proficient level. But a closer look reveals that nearly half — 49 percent — of Nebraska’s third- through eighth-grade students failed to meet proficiency standards in reading. And if we separate Nebraska private-school scores out of the most recent statewide ACT results, we find that fewer than 40 percent of high school juniors are “college ready” in science, math and English. We also find that Nebraska public schools’ standardized test scores are only average nationally, and they fall below national averages for minority student populations.
Read more at: http://www.omaha.com/opinion/midlands-voices-improving-opportunity-in-nebraska-education/article_84625669-11e9-585d-8c6b-b515d14d9c72.html