Published Online: January 3, 2006

Nebraska's State Highlights

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Vital Statistics
Public schools 1,228
Public school teachers 20,921
Pre-K-12 students 285,542
Annual pre-K-12 expenditures $2.3 billion
Minority students 20.5%
Children in poverty13%
Students with disabilities 16%
English-language learners 5.5%

Summary of Grades

Nebraska scores below the average state on two out of four graded policy categories in Quality Counts.

The state lags farthest behind in standards and accountability, where it ranks among the last states in the nation. This poor showing can be attributed, in part, to its lack of assessments aligned to state standards in mathematics, science, and social studies at any grade span. In addition, Nebraska does not have sanctions in place that hold all low-performing schools accountable for their performance.

Nebraska fares somewhat better in efforts to improve teacher quality, but still falls short of the average state. Nebraska does not require subject-knowledge tests for prospective middle or high school teachers to earn initial licenses. In addition, the state does not have written professional-development standards, nor does it require and finance mentoring for new teachers.

Nebraska earns an average grade in school climate. But its grade dips because it is one of the few states that do not allow charter schools. Nebraska fares well on indicators of class and school size and earns points for its policies on bullying or harassment in schools.

In resource equity, Nebraska ranks higher than the average state. Its score on the wealth-neutrality measure indicates that poorer districts in the state tend to have higher per-pupil funding levels than do wealthier districts. Nebraska is one of only 10 states in which this pattern is found.

State Policy Report Card
NebraskaAvg. State Score
Standards and accountability D B-
Efforts to improve teacher quality C C+
School climate C+ C+
Resource equity C+ C
Overall Grade C C+
Quality Counts Grading Breakdown
Standards and accountability Points awardedPoints possible
Standards 33.75 40
Assessment 7.84 30
School accountability 24 30
66 100
Efforts to improve teacher quality Points awardedPoints possible
Teacher education and qualifications 31.15 35
Teacher assessment 17.7 30
Professional support and training 14.25 20
Accountability for teacher quality 10.05 15
73 100
School climate Points awardedPoints possible
Engagement 12 15
School safety 16.67 20
Parent involvement 13.05 15
Choice and autonomy 15 20
Class size 8.33 10
School size 9 10
School facilities 5 10
79 100
Resource equity Points awardedPoints possible
Wealth-neutrality score 33.33 33.3
McLoone Index 21.67 33.3
Coefficient of variation 21.67 33.3
77 100
Note: Details may not sum to totals due to rounding.

Vol. 25, Issue 17

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