Feds: Nevada can delay high-stakes teacher eval plan

LAS VEGAS — Nevada will get an extra year before it must start using the results of teacher and principal evaluations to make personnel decisions, the U.S. Department of Education said Wednesday.

The evaluations, which are based significantly on student improvement, must be implemented by the 2014-15 school year, federal officials wrote. But the flexibility means that only evaluations done in the 2016-17 school year and thereafter can be factored into hiring, firing and promotion decisions.

Nevada initially planned to have such evaluations in place by this year, but developing the assessments took longer than expected. The start date was pushed back amid concerns that the evaluations wouldn’t give teachers a fair shake.

Federal Department of Education officials announced in June 2013 that they were open to pushing back implementation timelines. Out of the 34 states that were eligible for an extension, 12 applied, and Nevada and Mississippi were the first to be approved.

“For many states, it did not make sense to request this flexibility because they were already well ahead in successfully implementing these changes or have requirements in state law,” Department of Education spokesman Cameron French said.

Requests for an extension are still pending for Arkansas, Kansas, Kentucky, Maryland, Missouri, North Carolina, South Carolina, South Dakota, Utah and Washington, French said.


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