November 5, 2019
05 Nov 2019

Political Update – November 5, 2019


Nation’s Report Card shows more money didn’t improve Nevada education

Victor Joecks
Las Vegas Review-Journal

October 31, 2019

Let’s start with something you don’t hear very often: There’s good news about student achievement in Nevada. There’s bad news, too, but let’s start with the positive.

Fourth graders in Nevada had the second-highest reading score gains in the nation over the past two years. That comes from the National Assessment of Education Progress, which measures student achievement in every state. Also called the Nation’s Report Card, it’s the best way to see how student outcomes have changed over time and make comparisons between states. Since it’s run by the federal government, states can’t tinker with it to artificially improve their results. The Nation’s Report Card uses a 500-point scale.

It wasn’t a great year nationally for fourth-grade reading, as the country’s average declined. Just three states, Mississippi, South Carolina and Nevada, had increases of more than 1 point. Mississippi had a significant increase of 4 points. South Carolina and Nevada each had an increase of 3 points, which isn’t deemed significant. But this increase wasn’t a one-time occurrence in Nevada.

In 1998, Nevada’s fourth-grade reading score was 206. For context, a score of 208 denotes a student performing at a basic level. A score of 238 means a student is proficient. In 2019, Nevada’s fourth-grade reading had increased to 218. That’s 1 point below the national average and 32nd highest in the country. That’s not great, but it is an improvement worth celebrating.

Most of the other results are bad. Nevada’s eighth-grade reading score in 1998 was 258. In 2019, it’s 258. That’s down from a peak of 262 in 2013, which tracks with the national trend. A score of 243 means an eighth-grader has a “basic” understanding of reading. Scores of at least 281 denote proficiency. Nevada tied for ninth-lowest in the nation.

Nevada’s math results are disappointing. On the bright side, both fourth and eighth graders scored significantly better than in 2000. But fourth- and eighth-grade math scores have declined since peaks in 2011 and 2013 respectively. Nevada ranks in the bottom 10 in both categories.


Quote of
the week



“[People moving to Nevada] care about the kitchen table issues: school safety and quality. Is the copay for my sick kid $500? Are my taxes going to go up?”

Billy Vassiliadis in an interview with the
Las Vegas Review-Journal

Nonpartisans may hold the key to Nevada 2020

Rory Appleton
Las Vegas Review-Journal

November 4, 2019

Republicans and Democrats get all the headlines. They bring in the money, and they control all partisan elected offices in Nevada.

But the true power to decide future state elections, as well as whether Nevada again breaks for a Democratic presidential candidate or sides with President Donald Trump in 2020, may rest with a growing amorphous blob vaguely resembling a voter bloc: nonpartisans.

The nonpartisan voter designation has grown in Nevada by 89 percent in the last decade, while Republican and Democratic registrations grew by 24 and 15 percent, respectively. Nonpartisans now make up more than 22 percent of the active electorate, compared with Republicans at 33 percent and Democrats at 38 percent.

Keystone’s Mission:

To recruit, support and advocate for candidates for public office who support private sector job creation, low taxation, a responsible regulatory environment, and effective delivery of essential state services.

Keystone’s Mission:

• To focus on candidate support on state legislative races and the governor’s office.
• To oppose any form of corporate income taxes or other business taxes that discourage capital investment and therefore job creation.
• Support limiting Nevada state government spending to the rate of population growth.

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