Feds exempt Nevada from education requirements

The federal Department of Education has approved Nevada's waiver from the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, allowing the state to prepare a plan that prepares all students for college or a career.

By submitting the waiver, Nevada can shape its own path for students instead of following the federal plan.

The state plan will have to create a Nevada School Performance Framework that can "substantially raise the achievement of the lowest achieving students and support effective teaching and administration." It will include a new system for supporting school performance and enable analysis of student growth data to evaluate success both in individual schools and the state's 17 school districts.

"This next generation accountability system is a central lever in statewide efforts to substantially elevate student performance," said Superintendent James Guthrie.

He said the goal is to re-engineer Nevada's K-12 education system to produce college and career readiness for all students.

Gov. Brian Sandoval said the waiver creates accountability to improve student achievement.

To get the waiver, states were required to meet conditions including adoption of the Common Core State Standards. Nevada did so in June 2010. In addition, states had to create a statewide system for evaluating teacher and administrator performance relying in part on student achievement data. Nevada lawmakers passed that legislation in June 2011.


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