ACT scores reveal Nevada students worst in nation — again or still

The Nevada Department of Education is reporting that only 10 percent of state high school juniors are college ready, according to the most recent results of ACT testing, largely unchanged from the previous year.

Though nationwide ACT results will not be available for a month, it appears Nevada’s public school students rank worst in the nation with a composite score of 17.4 out of a possible 36. In recent years the national average has hovered around 21 points. A year ago, 28 percent of those who took the ACT nationally were deemed college ready.

The ACT sets benchmark scores in four educational categories — English, math, reading and science — above which students are deemed prepared for college work. Fully 60 percent of Nevada students failed to achieve benchmark scores in any category.

Nevada has required all students to take the ACT in the past two years. In 2014 when only 36 percent of state students took the test the composite score was slightly above the national average — presumably those were largely college bound students.

Only 14 states require all students to take the exam, but even among those Nevada comes up last when compared to the previous year’s percentage of students ready for college, according to data compiled by the Reno Gazette-Journal — ranging from 13 percent in Mississippi to 26 percent in Illinois.

ACT benchmarks

This chart shows the percent in 2016 achieving benchmark scores as 9 percent, though the next chart reverses the numbers.

Davidson Academy is Reno public school that accepts only the profoundly gifted.

Davidson Academy is a Reno public school that accepts only the profoundly gifted. SPCSA are charter schools.






16 comments on “ACT scores reveal Nevada students worst in nation — again or still

  1. Bruce Feher says:

    All the more reason for ESAs! It is apparent the public schools do not have what it takes to educate. Could that have anything to do with the NEA?

  2. Again a large percentage of the teachers, the administrators, the teachers associations and the Democrat politicians who perpetuate this incompetence have failed our students again. But hey…transgenders can use any bathroom or locker room they feel like using that day…so the groups listed above are still smiling.

  3. Patrick says:

    Republicans sabotage public schools by underfunding them then blame schools for not doing what republicans demand they do.

    Then republicans cheer.

  4. Steve says:

    Republicans are the only ones who actually increased funding for Nevada public schools. Democrats wished and washed themselves out of power over taxes…..

    Of course this means nothing to the rose colored glasses crowd.

  5. Rincon says:

    I guess this explains why Nevadans sometimes have trouble understanding the science behind global warming. You poor guys. It isn’t your fault 🙂

  6. Steve says:

    The science isn’t the problem, Rincon. It’s the POLITICS behind it that causes all the troubles!

  7. Patrick says:


    Yet another benefit of the republican plan; ensure that schools are underfunded, attack the underfunded schools for not meeting their demands, result a dumbed down population that republicans take advantage of.

  8. Steve says:

    Ahh, yet another excuse for Democrat failures to raise revenues and taxes for schools in Nevada.


  9. Patrick says:


    See above.

  10. Steve says:

    Well then Patrick, since you knowitall, show everyone. Prove Nevada Democrats raised taxes and revenues for Nevada schools….if you are able.

    It is clear and public…even Steve Sebelius has mentioned it, Nevada Republicans raised taxes and revenues for Nevada schools and more, in fact. While Nevada Democrats couldn’t pass gas for two sessions in a row.

    But you can….

  11. Bill says:

    Thomas, it is not an encouraging statistic that you have cited. I note from some of the commentaries already posted that the usual suspects are playing the divisive and non-productive partisan political blame game.

    There are no simple answers and throwing money at problems does nothing to solve them but does make people feel better and not think about the problem anymore. Just as the usual response to crime is to pass more and more stringent laws.

    If low ACT scores were just a question of money, then the District of Columbia students should be No. 1 in the U. S. and the students in Utah should be near the bottom. The reasons are much more complex and troubling and I fear that much of this has to do with the culture that exists within society and the educational establishment itself which is bureaucratically top heavy and enamored of brick and mortar edifices within which to grind out paper and sadly, a rather mediocre product..

  12. Patrick says:

    I’m frankly always surprised to hear people, in a country where many people tout the advantages of a “free market”, suggest that “throwing money at a problem” isn’t even some of the answer. Surprising because although this is an answer given in response to arguments made to increase spending in schools, it’s NEVER the answer given by these same people, when it comes to spending much, much, much more money, on this country’s defense.

    And let’s be frank here, if the country decided to, and it were willing to pay the absolute cream of the crop in all fields, in all schools, instead of scientists working for DARPA inventing invisibility cloaks, and others at Monsanto figuring out ways to feed mayonnaise to tuna fish so we could buy tuna fish spread, these brilliant folks could be teaching our kids about science. Instead of broken down schools where, in the middle of summer, the air conditioners don’t work because they are old and I’ll maintained, we could built a second Bellagio as a leaning environment for the kiddies.

    All these things, and more, COULD be done, IF we ACTUALLY, “threw money at the problem” in the same way we throw money at our defense “problems”.

    But no, the partisans, on the right, really don’t care if the kids are educated. What they DO care about, is that their tax dollars aren’t used to do it. Hey, that’s honest. I’d have some respect for that, but they’ve learned all too well that telling the world that they want their money more than they want other peoples kids educated, isn’t very popular, so they speak in republican code about “throwing money at problems doesn’t work” or “our schools are failing” or “Little Johnny can’t read”.

    Nixon used similar tactics in conjunction with his “southern strategy” so he wouldn’t actually have to tell southern whites that he was on their side against “you know who”.

    I like the approach of guys like Winston better. The guys that just say “what’s mine is mine” and keep your hands off it. Stop trying to tell the big lie about money not being a solution, it’s so absurd.

  13. Patrick says:

    I mean clearly, the “solution” to this “failure touted as a success” is to decrease all defense spending because as we know, “throwing money at the problem doesn’t work”.

    And while we’re at it, because private industry has once again demonstrated it’s total incompetence to do what we expect them to do, (and at a cost where failure cannot be excused) we ought to nationalize all military industry.

  14. Steve says:

    Republicans raised taxes and added revenues to schools but the Democrats couldn’t do anything to raise any taxes twice in a row.
    So Patrick triples down on a lie….
    Still can’t come to terms with facts, eh Patrick?

  15. Patrick says:

    Would that republican lawmakers reacted to problems at schools with the same reaction they react to multi billion dollar failures in the defense department.

    “He described how Rep. Howard “Buck” McKeon (R-Santa Clarita) reacted when he outlined his reservations about the Airborne Laser project, envisioned as a fleet of Boeing 747s that would be modified to fire laser beams at enemy missiles.

    O’Reilly, who led the agency from 2008 to 2012, said he told McKeon in private Capitol Hill briefings that the planes would have to fly so close to their targets that they would be defenseless against antiaircraft fire.

    “Buck McKeon just ripped me apart,” said O’Reilly, a physicist and retired Army lieutenant general. “He’d immediately start talking about, ‘OK, we’ve got a problem. So how much money are you putting towards the problem? How much money do you need?’ I was trying to say, ‘On the technical merits, it doesn’t make sense.’”

    Instead,for every failure of the defense department we get a “let’s throw more money at it, that’ll do ‘er!” from those on the right.

  16. Steve says:

    And there you have it. Discussion with a liberal who cannot support his original contention results in change of topic, rather than rational acknowledgement.

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