Las Vegas Sun

December 12, 2018

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Website helps track the progress of Las Vegas-area schools

Monica Love’s daughters attend the second grade and preschool in the Las Vegas area. When Love wants to keep track of how her daughters' schools are performing, she turns to the evaluation tool of local nonprofit Opportunity 180 for help.

The free tool compares schools in categories such as math and English proficiency, average ACT scores, chronic absenteeism and more for Las Vegas public schools, including charter and magnet schools. Private schools and tuition-based preschools aren’t included.

“We get report cards for how our kids are doing, but we don’t get report cards for how our schools are doing,” Love said.

The rankings are put together using state and Clark County School District data including the annual statewide report from the 2016-17 Nevada School Performance Framework data. They are available in English and Spanish.

“It’s a school search site to give parents that screenshot of school performance, and the compare feature is just one way to dive deeper,” said Lisa Coruzzi, manager of communications and development at Opportunity 180.

Coruzzi said the group’s relationship with school district is positive, noting that even a few teachers use the tool to help improve academic performance in their classrooms.

“It’s just a reflection of the state’s data that’s already publicly available — the difference is that we wanted it to be a bit more accessible and little more usable for families,” Coruzzi said.

During its launch, the site received an average of 580 visits per week, with a duration time that was three times the average site’s, according to Coruzzi.

“Ultimately, we made it for all families,” Coruzzi said. “We do see families that are actively, fully engaged advocates in their child’s education, we also see families that work three jobs and don’t have the capacity to really be engaged at the school level, but they’re interested.”