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Important Information From Nevada Department of Education

The Nevada Department of Education Releases AYP Designations, Nevada Report Card and New Growth Model Reports Adequate Yearly Progress Results

Over the past decade, Nevada districts and schools have worked hard to improve student achievement. They have had to meet increasingly rigorous requirements forachievement and participation on state assessments in English language Arts and mathematics, Secretary Duncan had predicted that increasing NCLB targets would result in up to 82% of schools nationwide failing AYP in 2011. Despite this forecast, only 55% of Nevada's 680 schools failed to meet AYP for 2011. Although this is an increase of four percentage points from 2010, there are signs of improvement.

Over 27% of Nevada's schools that did not reach the AYP targets are designated as "Watch". If they are able to reach the AYP expectations in 2012, they will be designated as "Adequate". Additionally, many schools are keeping pace with the demands of NCLB, and some are demonstrating extraordinary success, Among the 308 schools that made AYP, 32 will be recognized for performance exceeding the expected AYP levels of achievement or for significant reduction in the percentage of non-proficient students. These schools are honored as High Achieving or Exemplary Schools. A list of the Nevada school designations follows this press release and can also be accessed on the Nevada Department of Education website at

The Nevada Report Card

The Department of Education also released in August the eighth annual Nevada Report Card. The Nevada Report Card displays educational data via the internet on all of Nevada's public schools. Parents and other interested parties can access school,district, and state-level information at The site reports information regarding demographic profiles, fiscal allocations, student dropout and graduation rates, teacher attendance, parental participation, assessments, and Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP).

In addition to its online functionality, the website provides the legislatively mandated Annual Reports of Accountability in print-ready format. Summaries of the web-based reports are available in Portable Document Format (PDF) at the Report Card website and will be distributed by school districts to parents and guardians of Nevada public school students during the first week of September. Parents without Internet access in their homes can visit their child's school or their local library to access this information via an Internet terminal.

Nevada's Growth Model Reporting

The Nevada Growth Model was designed in response to the Nevada Legislature's 2009 call for improving the measurement of student achievement through Assembly Bill 14. The Growth Model is the product of a collaborative effort of Nevada district and state education leaders and Dr. Damian Betebenner of the Center for Assessment, and modeled after similar efforts in Colorado and other states. The Clark and Washoe County School Districts have joined forces with the Nevada Department of Education in providing fiscal and personnel resources to further the reporting and training components of the Growth Model.

The Nevada Growth Model measures how much a student improves in academic performance over time, rather than simply whether he or she passed a test. It answers the question, "How much progress on statewide assessments did a student or group of students make in one year, as compared to academic peers across the state? "Superintendent Rheault states, "This is an exciting time for public education in Nevada as we explore the use of an additional measure of student learning. The Growth Model data can support a better understanding of how to promote the academic progress of all students."

Public reports providing school and district-level growth data are available at Results are currently based on the Criterion-Referenced Tests(CRTs) in Reading and Mathematics for students in grades 4-8. Student reports will be available to parents and teachers within the next several months.

Department to Pursue Waiver to NCLB

Dr. Keith Rheault, State Superintendent of Schools, has announced that Nevada will prepare to apply for a waiver from the current No Child Left Behind (NCLB) system of accountability. With Congress stalled in reauthorizing the Elementary and Secondary Act that put NCLB in place, Secretary of Education Arne Duncan has urged states to apply for such exemptions. Citing the inherent unfairness of measuring school successon whether a prescribed percentage of students passes standardized tests, Duncan has encouraged states to redesign accountability systems so that student academic progress, or growth, serves as a key measure of student and school success. By only giving credit for students who pass assessments, NCLB fails to recognize schools for the progress of students who are moving towards proficiency.

As part of the request for a waiver, Secretary Duncan has encouraged states to present their redesigned accountability systems this fall, with a promise of prompt review by the United States Department of Education. Additional guidelines for the requirements of applying for these waivers will be available in September. As soon as the requirements are available, Nevada will begin work to propose a plan that will include the Nevada Growth Model along with other measures of student achievement using Nevada's existing statewide tests. This plan would apply to the system of school and district accountability in the 2011-2012 school year.


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