State Education Board Approves Penalty Policy for Schools

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A new penalty policy adopted Wednesday by the Nebraska Board of Education will take effect this fall.

The policy applies to schools whose students perform below average on reading and math tests, and districts whose locally developed tests are not up to par.

Schools will have one year to improve their tests and three years to raise students’ scores to the next highest rank.

If the schools do not improve, they could lose all state funding.

Education Commissioner Doug Christensen says the state will work with schools with low scores to help them improve.

Board member Bev Peterson of Oakland says the policy is NOT a punishment and will only improve education for students in the state.

Representatives of the Nebraska State Education Association and Nebraska Association of School Boards spoke in favor of the policy at the meeting.

It was adopted unanimously.