Nevada Ed-Watch 9/30/21

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 9:00 AM or 2:00 PM. Click here to see the 2021 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. Members of the public may provide public comment in writing via email; public comment will be accepted via email for the duration of the meeting and shared with the State Board of Education during the public comment periods. Public comment may be emailed to NVBoardED@doe.nv.gov.

Click here for a list of all State Board Members.


Thursday, September 30, 2021
Nevada State Board of Education Meeting & Joint Meeting with the Clark County School District Board of Trustees

Click here to see the regular SBOE meeting agenda
Click here to see the joint SBOE & CCSD meeting agenda

What happened at the regular meeting?

Public Comment

Members of the public provided comment regarding:

  • A request to reexamine the per-pupil funding formula for rural schools, specifically around extra funding, due to concerns that funds will be shortened and, as a result, programs will be cut, for rural schools
  • Concerns around how assessment result narratives are presented

President’s Report

President Ebert expressed appreciation for and congratulations to the following Nevada educators recognized as Teachers of the Year in various categories:

  • 2021 History Teacher of the Year
  • 2021 Early Educators of the Year
    • Kaitlin Farley Cortes, a Pre-Kindergarten teacher, and Avis Moore, an infant-toddler teacher, both Washoe County educators, received Nevada’s first-ever award for Early Educator of the Year.
  • 2022 Teacher of the Year
    • Deanne Moyle-Hicks, an educator at Natchez Elementary School in Washoe County School District, was named the 2022 State Teacher of the Year. The mission of the Nevada Teacher of the Year program is to celebrate excellence and strengthen the teaching force by honoring and recognizing exceptional teachers on a school, district, state, and national level. 

Superintendent’s Report

  • COVID-19 Update
    • On September 13, the U.S. Department of Education approved Nevada’s plan for ESEA 2 funds and has released the final one-third of the ARP ESSER dollars to the state.
    • Nevada has been working to maximize and expand existing funding and initiatives. The Nevada Department of Education (NDE) will be allocating $8 million in Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ESSER) funds to help K-12 public school educators. The funds will be distributed through DonorsChoose and used for classroom resources for teachers and students. This makes Nevada the first state to directly invest in educator projects on DonorsChoose.
  • Pupil-Centered Funding Plan Update
    • Guy Hobbs has been named the new Chair of the Commission on School Funding. Hobbs worked for many years directly in Clark County. The next meeting of the Commission on School Funding is October 8, 2021, at 9:00 am. NDE President Ebert requested that the community bring or submit public comment to the meeting.
  • The U.S. Department of Education has recognized three Nevada schools as National Blue Ribbon Schools for 2021:
    • Frank Lamping ES and Charlotte Hill ES in Clark County for closing the gap.
    • Charlotte Hill Elementary School, Clark County School District, for the “Exemplary Achievement Gap Closing” category
    • Frank Lamping Elementary School, Clark County School District for the “Exemplary Achievement Gap Closing” category
    • Pinecrest Academy of Nevada Inspirada, State Public Charter School Authority, for the  “Exemplary High Performing Schools” category.

Board Heard Presentation on State Assessment Results for the 2020-21 School Year

The Board heard a presentation regarding data from the statewide summative assessments that were administered during the 2020-21 school year, including Smart Balance Assessment (SBAC) and ACT results including:

  • Grade 3-8 students in English Languish Arts & Mathematics
  • ACT, 11th grade
  • English Language Arts & Mathematics for all high school students

The  2018-19 school year was the last school year for a normal assessment cycle. In accordance with the U.S. Department of Education ESEA waiver, assessments were not administered for the 2019-2020 school year and certain accountability requirements were also waived for the 2021-2022 school year in response to the COVID 19 pandemic. Specifically for the 20202-2021 school year, federal accountability and the 95% assessment participation mandates were waived, but states were asked to administer federal assessments. NDE reported the largest drop in assessment participation by Pacific Islander, Hispanic, and Black students. Assessment participation and percentages are impacted, in part, by a decrease in population size.

Note: The most recent year of complete and normal assessment testing cyicle is the 2018-2019 school year. In the updates below, “when compared to the most recent year of testing” refers to the 2018-2019 school year. The following SBAC proficiency rate trends compare results from the 2018-2019 reporting year and the 2020-2021 reporting year.

SBAC English Language Arts (ELA) Proficiency Rate Trends, Grades Grades 3-8

  • Average: ELA showed consistent average growth of 1.3 percentage points. The current rate represents just over 68% of students during the pandemic year.
  • Proficiency: Proficiency rates for the 2020-2021 school year are much lower compared to SY 2018-2019. The largest decreases are among Pacific Islander, Hispanic, and White students. 
  • Student groups: Student groups performed lower when compared to the most recent year of complete testing. Students with disabilities are relatively low, with only a 0.5% drop during the pandemic year.
  • Grade level comparison: There is a greater decrease among elementary grades with less impact on students in grades 6-8.

SBAC Mathematics Proficiency Rate Trends

  • Average: Assessment results reveal an 11.2%  percentage point decrease, with just over 68% of students tested during the pandemic year.
  • Proficiency: Proficiency is much lower when compared to the most recent year of testing. The largest decreases in proficiency are among Pac Islander, Asian, and White students.
  • Student Groups: Students with disabilities have a smaller impact between the two reporting years.
  • Grade level comparison: Results for elementary school students showed a greater decrease, with lower impact in middle school grades 7 & 8.

ACT Results

ACT is Nevada’s federally reported high school English Language Arts (ELA) and Math assessment. Participation in the ACT is a graduation requirement per Nevada Revised Statutes. The ACT was administered to all grade 11 students in the 2019-2020 school year prior to pandemic-related school building closures. NDE was thus able to compare results between the 2019-2020 school year and the 2020-2021 school year. 

High School English Language Arts (HS ELA)

  • Average: ACT data for 2020-2021 represents HS ELA proficiency only rather than proficiency and participation. HS ELA proficiency showed a 2.1% increase during the 2020-2021 pandemic school year. HS ELA proficiency dropped 2.1% in 2020-2021, compared to 2019-2020.
  • Race/Ethnicity: The proficiency rate for Asian students increased. The greatest decreases in HS ELA proficiency results among Pacific Islander, Hispanic, and Black students as well as students identifying as Two or More Races. Black students had to smallest decrease in HS ELA proficiency.
  • Student Groups:  English Learners showed the greatest decrease in HS ELA proficiency.

HS School Mathematics (HS Math)

  • Average: HS Math showed consistent average growth from 2017-2018 to 2019-2020. For the 2020-2021 school year, proficiency decreased by 3.4%.
  • Race/Ethnicity: The greatest decrease in math proficiency was among Asian students who dropped 5.2% points, followed by Two or More Races and White students. Pacific Islander, Black, and American Indian students show the smallest decrease in HS Math proficiency.
  • Student Groups: There is an overall decrease in HS Math proficiency. Students identified as economically disadvantaged showed the greatest decrease.

Presenters noted that participation assessment rates in Clark County, the largest school district in Nevada, were low due to remote learning since tests must be administered in person.

Board members expressed concern about how to interpret the results as many students were not in school buildings and therefore were not available to take tests in person. The board also expressed concerns regarding gaps in the data due to students that were not assessed; requests for more disaggregated data around proficiency, such as a comparison of students proficient before the pandemic year compared to the current school year; concerns about inequity related to the lower test participation rates for Black and other student groups; and concerns about low test scores in some of the assessment criteria. 

Click here to view the SBAC Assessment Results presentation.

Board Approved Teach Nevada Scholarship Awards

The Teach Nevada Scholarship (TNVS) was created in the State General Fund during the 78th Legislative Session (2015) via Senate Bill 511 and is codified in NRS 391A.550 – NRS 391A.590. The scholarship program was continued and slightly modified in the 80th Legislative Session (2019) through appropriations in Senate Bill 555 and Assembly Bill 219. The purpose of TNVS is to provide scholarships to new students pursuing initial teacher licensure programs through state-approved universities, colleges, or alternative routes to licensure (ARL) providers. Awards are granted by the State Board of Education to the extent that money is available within the Fund. 

The Board approved 250 Teach Nevada Scholarship Awards per the Cohort 2022 Table:

Click here to view the TEACH Nevada Scholarship presentation.

Future Agenda Items

Board members requested training for new board members to understand their roles as well as orientations for new board members to meet with key members of departments within the NDE to build relationships.


What happened at the Joint meeting?

Public Comment #1

Members of the public shared public comment on this agenda item regarding:

  • Concerns about staff outsourcing.
  • The need for thoughtful consideration around how unused funds are reallocated as carryover dollars and concerns around how those dollars will be used.
  • The need to clarify ambiguous terms in the reorganization plan, such as “to the greatest extent.”
  • Concerns that the school district is not upholding its requirement to select effective licensed staff policies as outlined in AB469.
  • Concerns about the morale of CCSD staff
  • Concerns about the lack of focus on the needs of students, impacts, and improving outcomes for students.
  • Lack of care or concern by teachers toward students, classes with a lot of subs, lack of communication by teachers to families unless there is a challenge in the classroom.
  • Support and appreciation for SOTs
  • Concerns about whether new principals are sufficiently well-trained to lead schools with high ELL student populations.

Board Discussed the Implementation of Assembly Bill 459 (2017) in First-ever State Board of Education & CCSD Joint Board Meeting

Assembly Bill 469 (2017) required the implementation of a plan to reorganize Clark County School District following the passage of Assembly Bill 394 (2015) which provides principals with increased autonomy over schools and budgets. 

The State Superintendent of Public Instruction was given specific authority over monitoring the implementation of the reorganization. 

At the State Board of Education meeting held on April 15, 2021, the Board discussed components of the implementation plan to be addressed by CCSD as well as problems to be solved by CCSD related to specific criteria. Initial concerns related to the implementation of the bill included how CCSD was facilitating the placement of licensed and qualified teachers in vacant classrooms; purchasing of equipment, services, and supplies; and school carry forward of year‐end balances, in alignment with AB 469. 

In a first-ever joint board meeting between the State Board of Education (SBOE) and Clark County School District (CCSD), SBOE board members and CCSD trustees met to discuss the history of the bill, implementation concerns, implementation items to be resolved, and how to ensure the bill’s successful implementation. 

SBOE is currently reviewing the following items:

  • Principals are reporting they are not being provided with authority as outlined in NAC 388G.110-140 related to Service Level Agreements or the option/ability to carry out transferred responsibilities.
  • Clarification of the definition of “to the greatest extent possible.”
  • Clarification of the definition of “in good standing.”

SBOE is currently monitoring the following items to be resolved by CCSD:

  • Pla​​cement of Licensed and Qualified Teachers and authority to select staff.
  • Negotiating collective bargaining agreements with Clark County Education Association and Education Support Employees Association that are consistent with the law.
  • Addressing the Service Level Agreement (SLA) process in order to provide principals and SOTs with true authority to carry out responsibilities as outlined in NAC 388G.110-140.
  • Authority for purchasing of equipment, services, and supplies.
  • Defining “to the greatest extent possible” and “in good standing.”

CCSD Update on the Current State of the Reorganization

CCSD staff shared an update on the Report on the Organization of the Clark County School District.

Under NRS 388G.810, on or before October 1 of each year, superintendents of large school districts are required to prepare a report with information from the school year before the immediately preceding school year which includes:

  • A summary of the responsibilities for which authority to carry out was transferred to the local school precincts pursuant to NRS 388G.610
  • A summary of the results of the surveys administered pursuant to NRS 388G.800
  • An assessment of the performance of the local school precincts based upon specific measures of achievement which are established by the superintendent on or before January 1 of the immediately preceding school year
  • An assessment of the effectiveness of operating local school precincts and the large school district in the manner set forth in NRS 388G.500 to 388G.810
  • Any recommendations for regulations or legislation to improve the operation of the local school precincts and the large school district in the manner set forth in NRS 388G.500 to 388G.810, inclusive.

During the response to the COVID-19 pandemic and the implementation of full-time distance education and the subsequent return to face-to-face instruction, the District did not produce a report by October 1, 2020. Therefore, CCSD’s report also includes information from the 2018-2019 school year.

CCSD has analyzed AB 469 and shared their findings related to each section, provided in the Report on the Organization of the Clark County School District.

The State Board President shared that the State Board’s goal is to help CCSD achieve the full implementation of the bill; support with clarity, ambiguity, and language; mend the relationship between CCSD Trustees & SBOE; and prevent failure of the implementation.

CCSD Trustees and board members discussed the need to understand what is and isn’t working regarding SOTs. Trustees welcomed thorough training and oversight by the SBOE.

Click here to view the AB469 presentation. 

Click here to view the Report on the Organization of the Clark County School District.


Sign up to receive a notification when a new Ed-Watch post is published: