Where We Go From Here: Exploring NAEP Results

The latest state and district level results from the National Assessment of Education Progress (NAEP) – sometimes referred to as the Nation’s Report Card – were released on October 24. We already heard the painful reality that we, as a nation, lost 20 years of academic growth in just two short years. The local results, while not unexpected, are alarming. 

There were significant drops nationwide, and Nevada saw a similar decline. But it also shows that while kids’ academic progress suffered during the pandemic, Nevada students have been struggling far longer. So what do we do with this information? We use it to understand our baseline, and we look to it to guide us and to focus our next steps to ensure that as a state, we improve outcomes for every single kid. 

​​Why do NAEP results matter? 

  1. It is the most extensive assessment of how American students perform over time on critical skills necessary to compete in the global economy.
  2. For this most recent test, it is the first comparable national measure of how their performance was impacted during the pandemic. 
  3. It’s a strong indicator of how kids did; now it’s up to us to decide what to do now. It is our responsibility as a community to ensure kids have a fighting chance to make up ground they lost and ensure they graduate ready for college and career – whatever path they choose.

What does this data tell us? More students than before do not have general literacy or numeracy skills. When a kid can’t read at grade level by the end of third grade, they fall further behind because after that point, other subjects rely on reading to learn. This snowball effect is also experienced with eighth grade math; after this point, students are expected to use what they’ve learned for higher level math classes. The impact of these results are long term systemic issues where kids fall further and further behind, with potentially catastrophic results for students, schools, communities, and our future economy. 

Our future workforce will depend on kids being able to think critically, perform math and science functions demanded of the 21st century economy, and be able to learn new concepts and applications as quickly as our world is shifting. And with more of our students falling further behind, our state will lag in competitiveness, workforce readiness, and economic livelihood. As an example, a recent estimate from Harvard University placed the US learning loss in math at $900 billion in potential lost earnings.

In fourth grade math, only 28% of Nevada participants were at or above proficient levels, with peers like Texas performing a full 10 points – or about one grade level – higher, and Florida, performing 12 points higher. Clark County School District (the fifth largest school district in the US) fourth graders scored an average of 225 in math, compared with Miami-Dade, FL students (the fourth largest school district in the US) averaging a 241; about 1.5 grade levels above CCSD students.

In fourth grade reading, only 27% of participants in Nevada were at or above proficient levels, with Texas performing two points higher, and Florida a full 13 points ahead of Nevada.
 
Eighth grade scores provide a similar picture. The average Nevada student is just barely above basic proficiency in math, at numbers reflecting a nearly 20-year slide in achievement, but also reminding us that in the history of NAEP, Nevada students have never persistently performed as well as the national average. These are the students who will be transitioning into college and the workforce in just four (4) short years.

Eighth grade reading scores are about the same as the national average, reflecting a slight increase from 2019, with 29% of students at or above the proficient level. In eighth grade reading, Nevada outperformed Texas by four points, or nearly half a grade level, with Florida just a point ahead of us.

When we explore different student groups, achievement gaps that have long existed have widened. In the most recent administration of the NAEP, Black and Hispanic students performed worse than their White counterparts, and students eligible for free and reduced lunch fared similarly. Clark County School District is one of the most diverse student bodies in the U.S. Efforts locally to prioritize reducing these gaps, however, have not historically had a lasting impact. As we think about interventions to raise student performance, we must include measures that address these gaps on an intentional, widespread basis.

So where do we go from here? We can look to states that improved their NAEP results over time, such as Mississippi, which realized significant gains over the last decade due to a statewide strategy on literacy, higher academic standards, and aligned assessments, among other policies enacted.

We can collectively recognize that this is a pivotal moment for education in our state, and advance a common vision to ensure kids graduate from high school college and career ready, prepared to participate in the workforce and our economy. We can celebrate our wins – like the increase in eighth grade reading scores – and where we are seeing progress, but keep in mind that we have a long way to go.

And we can put every intervention on the table – from tutoring to college and career readiness, to technological infrastructure and more – to make up ground, push forward, and make sure every kid in Nevada has a chance to succeed.

This is not the time for a one size fits all, single strategy approach. This is the time for sweeping change.

Explore the Data

Note: All charts and graphs courtesy of the National Center for Education Statistics and the National Assessment of Educational Progress.

Nevada Ed-Watch 9/25/20

The Ed-Watch series is designed to increase access to information on what decisions are being made regarding public education in Clark County and Nevada.


Clark County School District Board of Trustees 

What is the Board of Trustees & what are they responsible for? The CCSD Trustees are publicly elected decision-makers for the school district. They are responsible for providing oversight to the Superintendent and establishing District-wide policy. Trustees are accountable to work with their communities to improve student achievement.

Click here to learn more and see a list of current Trustees

Click here to find your Trustee District

How often does the Board of Trustees meet? Trustees meet twice per month (second and fourth Thursdays) at 5pm at the Edward A. Greer Education Center (Board Room): 2832 E. Flamingo Road, Las Vegas, NV 89121.

Click here for a full list of Trustees meetings and agendas

Click here to visit Hope For Nevada’s #NVEd Calendar

Can community members engage at Trustee Meetings? Decision-making bodies benefit greatly from hearing public input and multiple perspectives. Community members can sign up to speak after the agenda has been posted– by calling the Board Office at (702) 799-1072 at least 3 hours before the scheduled meeting, or signing up in-person at the beginning of the meeting. Prior to each agenda item being voted on, speakers can share their perspective after the Board’s discussion and prior to the vote.


Thursday, September 24, 2020

Clark County School District Board of Trustees Meeting

Click here to see the meeting agenda

What happened at this meeting?

Public Comment

Members of the public submitted comments online. Public comment was not read directly into the record, and rather an oral summary of each comment was provided to Trustees.

  • Click here & here to view public comment submitted on agenda items.
  • Click here & here  to view public comment submitted on non-agenda items.

Trustees Approved Consent Agenda 

Highlights: 

Trustees Approved Contract for Professional Learning and Coaching Services 

The contract with the National Center on Education and the Economy Center on System Leadership provides for the purchase of National Institute of School Leadership programming, which provides professional learning and coaching services for schools. Trustees discussed the critical need to ensure that teachers and administrators are representative of the diverse student population, including the need to prioritize educators of color for leadership opportunities. 

Click here to view the contract reference material. 

Trustees Heard Presentation on 2020 SPCSA Charter School Applications 

In accordance with Assembly Bill 462 of the 2019 Legislative Session, the State Public Charter School Authority notified the Clark County School District of charter school applications under consideration in the Clark County geographic footprint. The potential schools reviewed by CCSD staff included Eagle Charter School of Nevada, Las Vegas Montessori Charter School, Pioneer Technology and Arts Academy, Sage Collegiate Academy, and Wallace Stegner Academy. CCSD staff contended that none of the potential schools meet standards for approval. 

Click here to view the presentation. 

Trustees Approved Notice of Intent For Changes to District Zoning Policy 

Changes to Regulation 7111, District Attendance Zoning will come before the board for approval at the meeting on October 22. 

Trustees Approved Employment Agreement 

Trustees approved an employment agreement with Fikisha Miller as Chief Negotiator and Assistant General Counsel for the district. Trustees welcomed Fikisha Miller and expressed that they would like the needs of Trustees to be prioritized by Counsel. 

Click here to view the agreement. 

Trustees Heard Update on the CCSD’s COVID-19 Response

Health Information: The COVID-19 response update included a presentation from Dr. Fermin Leguen, Acting Director of the Southern Nevada Health District (SNHD). Dr. Leguen outlined the factors SNHD is tracking with regards to opening schools, based on CDC recommendations and guidance. Factors include both the COVID-19 positivity rate for CCSD students and staff and the 14-day community infection rate. A memo provided by Superintendent Jara stated that though positivity rates continue to decline, there is still high risk present with regards to reopening school buildings for face to face instruction. Trustees requested ongoing updates of positivity rates and other health-related factors that contribute to the decision to reopen school buildings. At this time, there is no recommendation for schools to reopen. 

COVID-19 Testing: Educators will have access to free COVID-19 testing through the Task Force for Educator’s Safety & Screening (TIES). Trustees discussed concerns about requiring employees to participate in testing and the implications related to confidentiality. CCSD General Counsel is finalizing program details, but does not anticipate that participation in testing will be required. Student testing was not discussed. 

Connectivity & Participation:  According to CCSD, 226,093 devices have been distributed to students and 13,443 families have been connected to the internet via the Family Support Center. With regards to enrollment, CCSD is at 97% of expected enrollment, approximately -9,300 students. 

Student Online Safety & Mental Health: CCSD has launched increased controls on GoGuardian, the IT security program connected to all CCSD distance learning accounts and devices. The program includes content firewalls and the ability for educators to monitor web pages students are accessing while logged in to their CCSD account. Additionally, Beacon, a suicide prevention tool, has been incorporated to GoGuardian to support student mental health. Trustees requested additional detailed information on student and employee mental health be presented at an upcoming board meeting. 

Student Instruction: For the first three weeks of school, between 300,100 and 305,000 students have accessed Canvas, the district’s Learning Management System (LMS). CCSD staff outlined challenges related to Canvas implementation, including information continuity for families  and training for teachers on uploading grades. With regards to special populations, students with disabilities are being provided with assistive technology and learning supports on a case by case basis. English Language Learners (ELLs) are receiving additional support with interactive Google Classrooms, and educators are being provided with coaching and resources to support students learning English. Trustees requested additional information on ELLs and the accommodations being provided to students. 

Assessments: Students in grades 3-10 are participating in the Measure of Academic Progress (MAP) formative assessment from home. CCSD staff encouraged teachers to utilize MAP results as one of multiple data points for tailoring instruction for students. Gifted and Talented Education (GATE) assessments are being conducted for qualifying third graders in person, and Child Find (special education assessments) are occurring in person on an appointment basis. ELL assessments are also being conducted by appointment at school sites — approximately 3,000 students are left to be tested. 

Trustees directed the Superintendent to ensure that the update at the next board meeting includes information on how the central office is being responsive to concerns of employees, students, and parents. Additionally, Trustees would like to review information on other districts’ school building reopenings and to revisit the details of the hybrid plan for the return to school buildings. 

This was not an action item. 

Click here to see the presentation. 
Click here to read about this in the Las Vegas Review-Journal. 


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Nevada Ed-Watch 10/10/19

The Ed-Watch series is designed to increase access to information on decisions being made regarding public education in Clark County and Nevada.


Nevada State Board of Education

What is the State Board of Education & what are they responsible for? The Nevada State Board of Education adopts regulations based on Nevada laws, which are passed down to individual school districts in Nevada to implement. The Board has 11 total (7 appointed and 4 publicly elected) members.

How often does the State Board meet? The Nevada State Board of Education meets once per month on Thursdays at 9:00AM. Click here to see the 2019 Board Meeting Schedule. Click here to visit Hope For Nevada’s #NVEd Calendar.

Can community members engage at State Board Meetings? A time for public comment is provided at the beginning (for agenda items) and at the conclusion (on any matter) of each Board meeting. There is a time limit of three minutes per speaker. Members of the community providing testimony must fill out a visitor card, available on-site the day of the meeting.

Click here for a list of all State Board Members.


Thursday, October 10, 2019
Nevada State Board of Education Meeting

Click here to see the meeting agenda

What happened at this meeting?

Public Comment

Members of the public provided testimony regarding:

  • Concerns that AB462 does not limit the growth of public charter schools in Nevada
  • Commending public schools that were recognized in Opportunity 180’s 2018-19 Top Schools Report 
  • Congratulating the 2020 Nevada Teacher of the Year, Gail Hudson 

Board Approved the Consent Agenda

Consent Agenda Highlights:

President’s Report

The President’s Report included:

  • Welcoming Kevin Melcher to the State Board of Education. Kevin Melcher is filling the remainder of David Carter’s term, who resigned this summer. 
  • Commending Advanced Technologies Academy High School, Frias Elementary, and Hunter Lake Elementary for being recognized as National Blue Ribbon schools.
  • Expressing gratitude to everyone involved in an education stakeholder meeting with Bobby Scott, Chairman of the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Education and the Workforce. 

Superintendent’s Report

Superintendent Ebert provided the following updates:

  • Appreciation for the superintendents of each county school district as Superintendent Ebert continues a state-wide listening tour. 
  • Superintendent Ebert and Scott Stump, Assistant Secretary of the U.S. Department of Education Commission on School Funding, visited East Career and Technical Academy and Morris East High School.
  • The Nevada Department of Education is seeking input on the State Plan to Strengthen Career and Technical Education (CTE) for the 21st Century Act (also known as Perkins V). Members of the community can submit public comment from October 1- November 1, 2019 on the draft State Plan. The deadline was extended to December 1, 2019– specifically for public comments on the state-determined levels of performance. A draft plan will be presented to the state board during the November meeting, and will be brought back for approval during the December meeting. 
  • Regulation workshops and public hearings are being conducted to implement bills that were passed during the 2019 legislative session regarding Safe and Respectful Learning Environments. 
  • The Commission on School Funding held its first meeting, elected a vice-chair (Guy Hobbs), and developed two (2) workgroups– which will meet on October 10, 2019 at 8:30 AM. Members of the Commission will present updates to the board during the November meeting.

Board Honored Nevada Teacher of the Year and Finalists 

The purpose of the Nevada Teacher of the Year process is to celebrate excellence and strengthen the teaching force. This year, 28 educators were nominated, 11 completed applications, and 5 were sent to the superintendent for final selection. 

2020 Finalists: 

  • Jeanine Roser
  • Kathy Durham 
  • Patricia Martin
  • Nicolas Jacques

2020 Nevada Teacher of the Year: Gail Hudson 

Click here to see the presentation.

The Board Heard an Overview of MAP Assessment Data

The NWEA MAP assessment is administered in kindergarten through 2nd grade. It is a computerized, adaptive assessment that measures how quickly students are growing in English Language Arts and Math. 

Below is a summary of state-wide average NWEA MAP results for the 2018-19 school year.

  • Kindergarten 
    • At or below the 40th percentile: 41.3%
    • Above the 40th percentile: 58.7%
  • First Grade
    • At or below the 40th percentile: 41.8%
    • Above the 40th percentile: 58.2%
  • Second Grade
    • At or below the 40th percentile: 40.7%
    • Above the 40th percentile: 59.3%

It was also noted that the Read by Grade 3 program provides resources, such as professional learning workshops, opportunities for peer-to-peer networking.

Click here to see the presentation. 

Board Heard a Presentation on Statewide Assessment Results 

The Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium (SBAC) is administered in 3rd through 8th grade. The SBAC measures whether students are performing on grade level (or proficient) in English Language Arts (ELA) and Math.

Below is a summary of state-wide average SBAC results for the 2018-19 school year.

  • English Language Arts
    • Elementary Schools: 49.25%
    • Middle Schools: 47.62% 
  • Math
    • Elementary Schools: 42.6%
    • Middle Schools: 32.1% 

The Nevada Science Exam is administered in 5th, 8th, and 10th grade. The exam measures whether students are performing on grade level in science. Below is a summary of state-wide average Science Exam results for the 2018-19 school year.

  • 5th Grade: 24.6% proficient
  • 8th Grade: 36.8% proficient
  • 10th Grade: 26.8% proficient

The ACT is administered in 11th grade to assess high school student proficiency based on cut scores established by the Nevada Department of Education. Below is a summary of state-wide average ACT results from the 2018-19 school year. 

  • English: 46.7% proficient
  • Math: 25.5% proficient

The WIDA is an annual assessment for K-12 students who are English Language Learners. In the 2018-19 school year, 11.7% of these students were proficient. 

Click here to see the presentation, which includes disaggregated data by student subgroups.

Board Heard an Overview of the Comprehensive Support Intervention (CSI) and Targeted Support Intervention (TSI) Processes

This is the third of a three-part presentation series on school improvement.

Summary of the Comprehensive Support Intervention (CSI) process:

  • During the year that a school is designated as CSI, schools create a School Performance Plan in partnership with stakeholders (principals, teachers, parents, and other school leaders).
  • CSI School Performance Plans must be reviewed and approved by the school’s district first, then by the Nevada Department of Education. School Performance Plans must include:
    • Goals for student performance against long-term goals determined by the state
    • Evidence-based interventions
    • A school-level needs assessment
    • Resource inequities, which may include a review of district- and school-level budgets
  • The 3-year period following a school’s designation as CSI is spent implementing its plan. At the end of the 3-year period, the school will be evaluated for exit from CSI designation.

Summary of the Targeted Support Intervention (TSI) process:

  • During the year that a school is designated as TSI, schools create a School Performance Plan in partnership with stakeholders (principals, teachers, parents, and other school leaders). 
  • TSI School Performance Plans must be reviewed and approved by the school’s district or Local Education Agency (LEA). Plans must include:
    • A description of how the district or school will improve student outcomes for each group of students that prompted TSI status
    • Indicators for student performance against long-term goals
    • Evidence-based interventions
    • A continuous improvement plan to ensure the success of interventions
  • The 3-year period following a school’s designation as TSI is spent implementing its plan. At the end of the 3-year period, the school will be evaluated for exit from TSI designation. 

Click here to see the presentation.

Click here to see the Nevada Ed-watch summary of the July 17th meeting, when the first part of this discussion took place (an overview of the state’s accountability system and school designations)

Click here to see the Nevada Ed-watch summary of the August 29th meeting, when the second part of this discussion took place (an overview of the criteria for CSI and TSI designation).

Board Heard an Update on the SPCSA Academic Needs Assessment and Growth Management Plan 

In compliance with Assembly Bill 462 (AB462), the SPCSA completed an Academic and Demographic Needs Assessment to identify geographic areas of the state that are most in need of high quality school options. 

Following the approval of the Academic and Demographic Needs Assessment, the SPCSA is developing a plan to manage the growth of charter schools. The plan must include new charter schools as well as additional campuses, grade level expansion or other increased enrollment, and any likely charter renewals that the Authority will approve. 

The SPCSA must submit an initial Growth Management Plan by January 1, 2020.

Click here to see the presentation.

Click here to see a press release about the Academic and Demographic Needs Assessment. 

Board Approved the Business Process for Teacher Incentive Programs

According to Senate Bill 555 (SB555), districts may apply to receive funding for incentivizing teachers to teach in Title 1 schools. The State Board of Education will distribute funds to districts based on the number of teachers that incentives are being provided to. The board adopted the following business process to address this:

  1. The Nevada Department of Education will release a teacher incentive application available to districts on or before August 31.
  2. School districts will be able to apply for teacher incentive funds on or before October 31, 2019.
  3. Upon receiving district applications, the Department will calculate the distribution of funds available and makes a recommendation of awards
  4. The State Board of Education will approve recommendations
  5. The Department will issue formal award letters
  6. The Department will reserve the right to make technical adjustments 

Click here to see the presentation.


Potential Future Agenda Items:

  • Chronic Absenteeism Data
  • Updates on the Perkins V State Plan 
  • Updates on the Early Learning Development Grant  
  • Board Member Training 
  • Census 2020 Complete Count and its impact on the education system

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