Las Vegas Sun

December 15, 2017

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Poll finds most Sun Youth Forum participants rate their education above average


Steve Marcus

Jalen Jones, right, of Desert Pines High School, listens to a student discussion on international issues during the annual Las Vegas Sun Youth Forum at the Las Vegas Convention Center Wednesday, Nov. 13, 2013.


  • Here are the results of the Sun Youth Forum Poll on the quality of education, from 1 to 5, with 5 being the best:

Public School (187 students)

  • 1: 5 students; 3 percent
  • 2: 14 students; 7 percent
  • 3: 72 students; 39 percent
  • 4: 71 students; 38 percent
  • 5: 25 students; 13 percent

Private School (13 students)

  • 1: 0 students
  • 2: 0 students
  • 3: 0 students
  • 4: 6 students
  • 5: 7 students

57th Annual Las Vegas Sun Youth Forum

Student Giovanny Vasquez of Western High School dances on stage during a lunch break at the annual Las Vegas Sun Youth Forum in the Las Vegas Convention Center Wednesday, Nov. 13, 2013. Launch slideshow »

The vast majority of Las Vegas’ top high school students have a positive view of their education but said the Clark County School District needs much improvement, according to a Las Vegas Sun survey.

The Sun conducted an unscientific survey of 200 students attending the Sun Youth Forum this month. For nearly 60 years, the forum has brought together Las Vegas’ top students to discuss public policies with community leaders.

The survey respondents — juniors and seniors from 51 public and private schools across the valley — were asked to rate the quality of their education on a scale of 1 to 5, with 5 being the best. The scale is similar to the star rating system used by the Nevada Department of Education to rank public schools across the state.

The Sun found that 90 percent of 187 public school students polled viewed their education as a 3, 4 or 5.

Of the 13 private-school students polled, all rated their education a 4 or 5.

Despite the favorable ratings, the majority of high school student respondents argued that Nevada schools need improving. Here’s a sampling of what students had to say about their education:

• From a Rancho High School senior, age 17: 2 rating. “In Nevada, education has been very low on our list of priorities. While Rancho is a great school, the best part of it is the magnet program, something not all schools have. Many programs are underfunded and understaffed.”

• Las Vegas High School senior, 17: 3. “I really love my school. It’s amazing for all its extracurricular activities, but the quality of education is pretty low. The teachers are amazing, but I think we lack financing. Teachers don’t have the funds necessary to better our education.”

• Silverado High School senior, 17: 4. “There are times where the teachers cannot be one-on-one with you, because of the amount of kids in the class.”

• Bishop Gorman High School senior, 18: 3. “I believe that I have received a quality education and have challenged myself, but there have been many shortcomings, especially in the areas of science and math.”

• Mojave High School senior, 17: 4. “The quality of my education is in the middle, because it is not the best, but not the worst. Classroom size is a factor in why it isn’t the best it could be. I love my teachers. They make learning a great experience.“

• Arbor View High School junior, 16: 3. “It’s OK, as long as you get lucky with teachers and take the most challenging courses.”

• Del Sol High School senior, 17: 3. “It’s adequate enough, but a lot of it is mediocre. Money is allotted to random stuff, instead of other beneficial things.”

• Coronado High School junior, 16: 3. “Teachers assign certain assignments, but students lack their guidance throughout. It would be more beneficial if the teachers were more involved and helpful.”

• Foothill High School senior, 16: 3. “The Clark County School District, and my school in particular, truly is good, but sometimes it is boring, or not rigorous enough in my areas of interest.”

• Durango High School senior, 17: 3. “While education here is not terrible, I do believe that Nevada is looked down upon and has so much potential to become more nationally and globally competitive.”

• Las Vegas Academy junior, 16: 3. “Classes are exceptionally general and slow-paced. Even (Advanced Placement)-level courses move much more slowly than students in these courses can handle!”

• Northwest Career and Technology Academy senior, 17: 5. “The fact I get to study and receive college credit for my courses is amazing.”

• Cimarron-Memorial High School senior, 18: 3. “Nevada is 50th in the nation for education. Education is not an important priority in Nevada, as the casinos are in my opinion, and that needs to change.”

• East Career and Technology Academy junior, 17: 4. “I go to a technical school so I feel as though I am getting a lot of hands-on experience in future occupations.”

• Valley High School senior, 18: 2. “In the grand scheme of things, our education is pretty sub-par. However, there are certain programs and teachers that do prepare students effectively. The problem is the rarity of such things.”

• Valley High School senior, 17: 4. “My school is a good school with great teachers. I feel if I wanted for my education to be a 5, I should apply myself more. The resources are there.”

• Desert Oasis High School senior, 17: 4. “The teachers at my school are great and have provided me with a great education. The only downside is the lack of challenging and fun classes outside of the core curriculum.”

• Southeast Career and Technical Academy junior, 16: 3. “Some teachers try to teach, but sometimes teachers don’t. They are not passionate enough about the subject, and that affects the way I learn.”

• Shadow Ridge High School junior, 16: 3. “Information taught is sufficient, but teachers tend to teach to the test.”

• Palo Verde High School junior, 16: 3. “There are some very good teachers in Nevada, but some need to be held to a higher standard and I think tenure is hurting that.”

• Northwest Career and Technology Academy senior, 17: 3. “It’s average. Not the best, not the worst.”

• Canyon Springs High School senior, 17: 3. “I am grateful for the education I currently have. Yet I don’t feel it is fully preparing me. In other states, even countries, they begin teaching you certain material at a younger age.”

• Moapa Valley High School senior, 17: 3. “Not enough options in my rural setting. The only foreign language offered is Spanish, which was my first language.”

• Desert Oasis High School senior, 16: 3. “I feel like I’m given a lot of pointless assignments and busy work.”

• Sierra Vista High School senior, 17: 3. “The quality of my education is average. I live in a state which struggles with education. The School District also has a habit of pandering to the lowest denomination, which has affected my education.”

• Silverado High School senior, 17: 4. “I am currently enrolled in numerous honors and AP courses and I feel that I learn a lot, but I worry about the lower-level students because they are not getting the same skills and are not challenged.”

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