Losing sports teams are wont to declare: Wait next season.
Losing education systems are not much different.
After Education Week’s 2018 Quality Counts report ranked Nevada dead last in education quality, behind all 50 states and the District of Columbia, Nevada Superintendent of Public Instruction Steve Canavero proffered in a press release: “Nevada’s poor rating in School Finance doesn’t take into account the new programs that were created in the 2015 session that received $343 million in funding. The 2017 Legislature added an additional $152 million to programs that were created in 2015. The new education initiatives funded by the legislature that the Quality Counts report doesn’t take into account include Zoom schools for English learners; Victory Schools for high poverty, Read by Grade 3, Nevada Ready 21 for technology education, Great Teaching and Leading Fund; Underperforming Turnaround Program, Career and Technical Education, and the College and Career Ready Grant.”
In 2017, when Nevada also ranked dead last, Canavero said, “I don’t dispute the findings, but the investments and reforms that were put forward by Governor Sandoval and passed by the Legislature in 2015 have only begun to take root and are not fully measured by this report. If carried out with fidelity and with a focus on student outcomes we believe Nevada can be the fastest improving state in the nation.”
In fact, the so-called Zoom Schools for English learners that the governor then planned to spend $100 million on had not succeeded in Clark County, which spent nearly $40 million on 14 Zoom Schools and not one of them improved in the statewide academic five-star ranking. Four actually lost a star.
The Read by Grade 3 program is not yet being enforced. The Las Vegas newspaper reported in October that data compiled by the state Department of Education indicated only 43 percent of the schools that received grants to help struggling students improve their reading actually bettered their test scores in third grade, while the majority showed a decline.
If the law were in place, the paper reported, about 55 percent of third-grade students would be in danger of being held back.
But wait till next season.