Southeast Nebraska area school districts received a "good" ranking or above for the 2018-2019 school year, according to the latest Nebraska Education Profile released Wednesday by the state department of education.
The profile includes demographic and financial information for Nebraska’s 244 school districts and 1,004 schools, and classifies each district and school as excellent, great, good or needing improvement.
Those classifications are based largely on how students perform on state tests, but schools can move up or down a classification depending on high school graduation rates, how much test scores improve, how much proficiency of English Language Learner proficiency increases and how much chronic absenteeism drops.
Of the area schools, Beatrice, Crete, Johnson County, Meridian, Southern, Tri County and Wilber-Clatonia school districts were ranked "good." Lewiston and Sterling were ranked "great" and Diller-Odell, Freeman and Norris were ranked "excellent." No area districts were ranked "needs improvement."
Diller-Odell Superintendent Mike Meyerle said overall, the district sees good relationships between the students, staff, school board and community, and they continue to set high expectations.
"While we are pleased with a rating of excellent for our district, we understand how we need to constantly look on ways to improve and address weaknesses," Meyerle said. "Our patrons should be very proud of Diller-Odell Public Schools, and we will strive for continued success."
The proficiency rates for the districts ranged from 30-72 percent average in English Language Arts, 35-69 percent in math and 58-81 percent in science. To compare, the overall state performance saw a 52 percent proficiency in English Language Arts, 52 percent proficiency in math and 66 percent proficiency in science.
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Diller-Odell had the highest area proficiency rates in ELA and math, and Freeman had the highest area proficiency rates in science.
"I think district's differ from rural to metro, and varying districts are unique, but one thing I try to live by is to hire the best people we can, support them, but leave them alone as much as possible and let them work," Meyerle said.
Lewiston Consolidated Schools and Sterling Public Schools' ACT results were not listed on the Nebraska Department of Education's website.
However, statewide ACT scores for 11th grade students are 51 percent proficiency in ELA, 52 percent proficiency in math and 53 percent proficiency in science. State cumulative scores were 19.3, a slight decrease from last year's 19.4.
Nearly two-thirds of area schools met or exceeded the state's average college-going rate, which is 75.67 percent. The districts below average were Fairbury at 59.32 percent, Lewiston at 61.11 percent, Southern at 62.16 percent, Crete at 73.5 percent and Sterling at 75 percent. The rate is determined by the ratio of the number of students who enroll at a postsecondary education institution the fall following their high school graduation, divided by the number of students that graduated with a diploma.
Nebraska schools' rankings and statistics can be found at nep.education.ne.gov.