Carson schools pass a major test with an A+
The Carson City School District achieved something remarkable when eight of its 10 schools met federal requirements set forth in the No Child Left Behind Act.
Those results demonstrated two things: They showed that our district’s teachers and staff can teach effectively in the most challenging of circumstances; and they showed that the deck is stacked against some schools and districts.
Last year, the district’s 10 schools failed to achieve what is called “adequate yearly progress,” and faced sanctions if they didn’t show improvement.
That’s when the hard work began, which included after-school programs to bring students up to grade level.
And, for the most part, it paid off. All of the district’s 10 schools showed improvement. That’s impressive for all the schools, but even more so for those with significant “subgroups” of students, which can include low-income, non-English speakers and learning-disabled students. Those students must achieve the same standards as the rest of the students.
In the case of Empire Elementary, which has a high number of those students, the difference between passing and failing was just two students who were in one of those subgroups. Now, instead of celebrating a victory, the school is braced for another fight to get off the “in need of improvement” list, even though its achievement is as remarkable as schools that did pass.
This is the fourth year the school has not made adequate yearly progress, and one more year of failure could mean the school would have to replace staff members and could fall under the administration of the State Department of Education.
There’s plenty of work ahead for all of the schools, which face an expanded barrage of NCLB tests next year. But, based on what they accomplished this year, we’d be surprised if they don’t succeed.