Good schools with balance | RecordCourier.com

Good schools with balance

News that Douglas High School cracked the top 10 schools in the Silver State, and that Whittell came in at No. 12, confirms our long-held opinion that people could do far worse educationally than our little corner of Nevada.

This is not the first time Douglas schools have appeared on the ranking by U.S. News and World Report

Douglas High School was ranked No. 10 in 2015, and Whittell was ranked No. 2 in the state in 2014, and No. 3 in 2015.

But in matters of educational statistics, it's always good to open that gift horse's mouth and take a little look inside.

Of the top 10 on the list, seven are charter schools. Comparing similar schools, Reno and McQueen high schools in Washoe Valley came in seventh and eighth on the list.

Of the three, Douglas has the highest listed graduation rate of 93 percent, while the Washoe schools were in the upper 80s.

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We know that rates vary and our current rate is running closer to 89 percent from last year.

We suspect that the 37.1 college preparation score, lower than either Reno schools', might be responsible for Douglas dropping a few rungs.

We're pleased that both of the county's large public high schools are educating the next generation of leaders.

But we know that most of the graduates who will be staying in Douglas County, and continuing to contribute to this community, also will be the next generation of paramedics and law enforcement officers. We know that our economy requires engineers and electricians, mathematicians and mechanics, physicists and plumbers.

Douglas and Whittell high schools are the top rural Nevada representatives on the list. That's a hefty responsibility that we believe both schools shoulder admirably, whatever path graduates choose to pursue.