Academic Achievement

Despite improvement since our last report, student performance in Nevada is very weak. Fourth graders stand 7 and 8 percentage points below the national average for students at or above the proficient level on the NAEP reading and math exams, respectively. The national average is 34% for reading and 42% for math.

Academic Achievement for Low-Income and Minority Students

Nevada earns a failing grade on academic achievement for low-income and minority students. Only 14% of African-American 4th graders score at or above the proficient level on the NAEP reading exam, compared with a national average of 18%. 

Return on Investment

Student achievement in Nevada is average relative to state spending after controlling for cost of living. 

Truth in Advertising: Student Proficiency

Nevada posts middling marks on the credibility of its student proficiency scores. The grade is based on the difference between the percentage of students identified as proficient in reading and math on the 2011 state exams and the percentage identified as proficient on the 2011 NAEP reading and math tests.

Postsecondary and Workforce Readiness

Nevada earns a failing grade preparing its students for college and careers. Only 17 students out of 100 pass an AP exam, and students’ chances for college attendance by age 19 are among the lowest in the nation.

21st Century Teacher Force

Nevada does an average job of creating a strong teacher workforce. It does well at identifying effective teachers and removing ineffective ones, but it struggles with delivering well-prepared teachers.

Parental Options

Nevada does a mediocre job providing parents with strong school choice options. The Silver State has limited school choice options for students. However, digital learning options are slowly expanding.

Data Quality

Nevada earns an average grade collecting and reporting high-quality education data. It provided funding for a longitudinal data system, but it does not link student performance with teacher data or provide parents with sufficient data on their children’s academic progress. 


Nevada receives a high grade employing technology to provide excellent instruction and personalized learning. Students have increasing access to high-quality digital learning options. 

International Competitiveness

Nevada earns a very low grade preparing its students to compete in a global economy, with just 22% of students proficient in reading and math compared with an international standard.

Fiscal Responsibility

Nevada receives high marks on fiscal responsibility. Seventy-one percent of the state’s pension is funded, and its most recent contribution was 96%.