Education Commission of the States • 700 Broadway, Suite 810 • Denver, CO 80203-3442 • 303.299.3600 • Fax: 303.296.8332 • www.ecs.org
Nevada's Revised State Plan

On August 16, 2006 the U.S. Department of Education released initial peer review feedback and related information on revised comprehensive state plans for ensuring that all public elementary and secondary school students are taught by highly qualified teachers. The 50 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico submitted plans as required under the No Child Left Behind Act. Scored against protocols containing six requirements provided to states in March, the plans outline the bold new steps that states will take to reach the 100 percent highly qualified teacher goal by the end of the 2006-07 school year.

Nine states developed plans that were recognized by a 31 member team of experts as satisfying all six criteria. These are New Jersey, Ohio, South Carolina, South Dakota, Louisiana, New Mexico, Kansas, Maryland and Nevada. Thirty-nine states submitted plans that partially satisfy the six components and will be required to improve these plans and address the peer concerns by Sept. 29, 2006. However, four states did not address any of the six requirements. For these four states—Hawaii, Missouri, Utah and Wisconsin—revised plans are due November 1, 2006.

ECS collected state plan information and reviewer comments directly from revised state plans and from the peer review response forms. The purpose of this tool is to organize and streamline this extensive content in order to allow states to search, review and reference successful examples of state plans. Although no information has been paraphrased, the order of some plans has been rearranged and some data and specific information has been abbreviated. All abbreviations or informational reorganizations have been given a note with an explanation and a link to the full state plan. This resource will be most useful if used in conjunction with original state plans.

Please feel free to contact Angela Baber, ababer@ecs.org, with questions, comments, or changes to this information.

To access the plans and peer review responses, visit the U.S. Department of Education site at http://www.ed.gov/news/pressreleases/2006/08/08162006a.html and click on state plans.

Nevada
State Plans to Meet the HQT Goal Mandated by NCLB
State Plan Introduction and/or Background No introduction or background information was given in this report. 
Revised Plan Status
  • Accepted
  •  
    Comments to Support Determination The solutions provided in the plan to address the HQ needs of the state and the equitable distribution of HQ teachers were data driven and creative.

    The data identified the needs of the state, the LEAs, and the schools that have not met AYP and that do not have 100% of their classes taught by highly qualified teachers.

    The readers commend the SEA for the thorough explanation of the steps they will take to assist the LEAs that are high need and for discussing the possibility of redirecting funds to the schools with greatest needs with the high need school districts.

    In the equity plan, element 4.1, providing 1/5 retirement credit for teachers who serve "in need of improvement" or "at risk" schools, and element 4.8, allowing high need schools first pick of teachers are noteworthy. 

    Link to Full Revised State Plan for Meeting the HQT Goal in NCLB on the U.S. Department of Education Site The State Department of Education has made the NCLB revised plans, as well as reviewer comments, available online for each state.

    Nevada's Revised Plan

    Nevada's Plan—Reviewer Comments 

    Revised State Plans-Requirement 1
    Requirement 1 The revised plan must provide a detailed analysis of the core academic subject classes in the State that are currently not being taught by highly qualified teachers. The analysis must, in particular, address schools that are not making adequate yearly progress and whether or not these schools have more acute needs than do other schools in attracting highly qualified teachers. The analysis must also identify the districts and schools around the State where significant numbers of teachers do not meet HQT standards, and examine whether or not there are particular hard-to-staff courses frequently taught by non-highly qualified teachers.  
    Peer Review Finding
  • Requirement 1 has been met.
  •  
    Peer Review Supporting Narrative The readers found data and an analysis of data to support Requirement 1. The data identified the needs of the state, the LEAs, and the schools that have not met AYP and that do not have 100% of their classes taught by highly qualified teachers. The chart on page 3 was very helpful to the readers. The SEA defined "high percentage" of LEAs as those districts with 20 percent or greater classes taught by not HQ teachers. Two LEAs met the defined threshold. 
    Requirement 1-a Does the revised plan include an analysis of classes taught by teachers who are not highly qualified? Is the analysis based on accurate classroom level data?  
    Does the revised state plan meet requirement 1-a?
  • Yes
  •  
    Revised State Plan Addressing Requirement 1-a The HQT data is collected at the individual schools which is uploaded to the LEA's personnel officers who verify it against their system, and then it is transmitted to the SEA to be uploaded into the SEA computer system. Validation reports are run against each data element supplied by the district against the licensing data in our system. The SEA does periodic audits each school year to verify the data against the individual giving the instruction. As we became more knowledgeable, adjustments/changes were made to the system to trap data. We have periodic meetings with all the school district personnel officers to review data collection - who and how to report. The latest meeting took place April 4, 2006 to get specific input from school districts regarding concerns on meeting the HQT requirements. During the meeting the Department provided a list of all core academic teachers who had not met the HQT requirements as of October 1, 2005 and asked that each school district update the list of teachers by April 22, 2006. This revealed a significant increase from 68.1% of teachers meeting the HQT requirements as of the October 1, 2005 District "Contracted Educators Report", which was the HQT submitted in the March 6, 2006 Consolidated State Performance Report, to 80.38%. 
     
    Peer Review Response to Requirement 1-a See overall peer review response for Requirement 1. 
    Requirement 1-b Does the analysis focus on the staffing needs of school that are not making AYP? Do these schools have high percentages of classes taught by teachers who are not highly qualified? 
    Does the revised state plan meet requirement 1-b?
  • Yes
  •  
    Revised State Plan Addressing Requirement 1-b See Appendix C: HQT Data*
    This spreadsheet shows percentages of classes in each core subject not being taught by highly qualified teachers, by district and school, and schools in need of improvement.

    Note: schools not making AYP for the first year will be added to this list when CRT results are released in August 2006.

    • "High percentage" was calculated based on 20% or greater of classes not taught by highly qualified teachers.
    • In Clark County there are 73 schools that have 20% or greater of classes not taught by highly qualified teachers that are in need of improvement.
    See APPENDIX C-1: Clark NHQT/INOI *

    There are no other schools in Nevada that meet this criteria.  

    Peer Review Response to Requirement 1-b See overall peer review response for Requirement 1. 
    Requirement 1-c Does the analysis identify particular groups of teachers to which the State's plan must pay particular attention, such as special education teachers, mathematics or science teachers, or multi-subject teachers in rural schools? 
    Does the revised state plan meet requirement 1-c?
  • Yes
  •  
    Revised State Plan Addressing Requirement 1-c The analysis identifies special education teachers as the main group of non-highly qualified teachers on which Nevada's plan must pay particular attention.
    1. Elementary school classes taught by certified special education teachers who did not pass a subject-knowledge test or have not demonstrated subject-matter competency through HOUSSE = 42.8% of these teachers.
    2. Secondary school classes taught by certified special education teachers who have not demonstrated subject-matter competency in those subjects = 40.5% of these middle school 7-8 teachers and 40.33% of these secondary 9-12 teachers.
     
    Peer Review Response to Requirement 1-c See overall peer review response for Requirement 1. 
    Requirement 1-d Does the analysis identify districts and schools around the State where significant numbers of teachers do not meet HQT standards? 
    Does the revised state plan meet requirement 1-d?
  • Yes
  •  
    Revised State Plan Addressing Requirement 1-d Following are the districts that have significant numbers of non-highly qualified teachers as of 5/1/06.

    Non HQ Elem/Ts. Non HQ Secondary SP ED ESL ALT ED
    Clark

    23% classes
    16,761/74,303

    teachers:
    26% 3,882/14,821

    14%
    965/7136
    16% classes
    10,267/63,879

    teachers:
    1954/12,012

    73% classes
    6021/8280

    teachers:
    554/2341

    23% classes
    387/1694

    teachers
    104/401

    21%
    classes
    124/602

    teachers:
    50/182
    Washoe

    4% classes
    681/16,247

    teachers:
    6%
    242/3830

    1%
    21/1787
    3% classes
    405/14898

    teachers:
    104/3043

    16% classes
    262/1633

    teachers:
    131/723

    46%
    classes
    38/106

    teachers:
    16/41

    9%
    classes
    17/181

    teachers:
    17/165

    Schools that have significant numbers (20% or higher) of non-HQT are identified in bold.

    See APPENDIX C-2 (electronic attachment): Clark Data *
    See APPENDIX C-3 (electronic attachment): Washoe Data *

    Schools that have significant numbers of non-HQT are available for all 17 districts. 

    Peer Review Response to Requirement 1-d See overall peer review response for Requirement 1. 
    Requirement 1-e Does the analysis identify particular courses that are often taught by non-highly qualified teachers?  
    Does the revised state plan meet requirement 1-e?
  • Yes
  •  
    Revised State Plan Addressing Requirement 1-e Analysis by identification of particular courses that have a large percentage of classes taught by non-highly qualified teachers again reveals the need for focus on the following courses taught by special education teachers.

    Subject/Grade Level Periods NHQ/Total % NHQ Periods
    SP ED SCIENCE MS 7-8 114/190 60%
    SP ED MATH MS 7-8 317/532 59.58%
    SP ED ENGLISH MS 7-8 612/966 63.35%
    SP ED SOC STUDIES MS 7-8 109/173 63%
    SP ED SCIENCE SEC 9-12 192.5/327 58.86%
    SP ED MATH SEC 9-12 402.5/670 60.07%
    SP ED ENGLISH SEC 9-12 495.5/836 59.27%
    SP ED SOC STUDIES SEC 9-12 241.5/371 65.09%

     
    Peer Review Response to Requirement 1-e See overall peer review response for Requirement 1. 
    Revised State Plans-Requirement 2
    Requirement 2 The revised plan must provide information on HQT status in each LEA and the steps the SEA will take to ensure that each LEA has plans in place to assist teachers who are not highly qualified to attain HQT status as quickly as possible.  
    Peer Review Finding
  • Requirement 2 has been met.
  •  
    Peer Review Supporting Narrative Refer to sub-requirement responses. 
    Requirement 2-a Does the plan identify LEAs that have not met annual measurable objectives for HQT?  
    Does the revised state plan meet requirement 2-a?
  • Yes
  •  
    Revised State Plan Addressing Requirement 2-a

    Highly Qualified Teacher Data—5/1/06
    Teachers Meeting HQ

    T=Teachers, C=Classes
    Italics=designation for not meeting AMOs

    % & Hrs HQElem/Ts. HQSecondarySP EDESLALT ED
    Carson City99.56%
    225/226
    99% C
    386/393 T
    1870/1892 C
    67% C
    23/46 T
    107/159 C
    89%
    C11/12 T
    50/56 C
    86% C
    26/28 T
    63/73 C
    Churchill (rural)95%
    106/112
    94% C
    179/192 T
    988/1048 C
    57% C
    19/41 T
    102/178 C
    50% C
    3/10 T
    15/30 C
    NA
    Clark86%
    6171/7136
    84% C
    10058/12012T
    53612/63879C
    27% C
    554/2341 T
    2259/8280C
    77% C
    297/401T
    1307/1694C
    79% C
    132/182 T
    478/602C
    Douglas100%
    189/189
    99% C
    403/411 T
    1724/1749 C
    90% C
    35/43 T
    116/129 C
    100% C
    13/13 T
    45/45 C
    NA
    Elko (rural)98%
    275/280
    95% C
    493/528 T
    2466/2588 C
    91% C
    70/81 T
    179/197 C
    NA67% C
    6/9 T
    6/9 C
    Esmeralda (rural)90%
    9/10
    NANANANA
    Eureka (rural)100%
    15/15

    98% C
    40/42 T
    100/102 C

    NANANA
    Humboldt (rural)97%
    94/97
    97% C
    172/178 T
    837/863 C
    47% C
    8/16 T
    26/55 C
    100%
    2/2 T
    1/1 C
    100%
    4/4 T
    4/4 C
    Lander (rural)97%
    28/29
    95% C
    73/79 T
    295/310 C
    NANANA
    Lincoln (rural)100%
    29/29
    98% C
    66/67 T
    320/326 C
    NANANA
    Lyon97%
    248/256
    96% C
    458/474 T
    2080/2160 C
    82% C
    16/19 T
    61/74 C
    100%
    3/3 T
    15/15 C
    NA
    Mineral (rural)100%
    22/22
    97% C
    41/43 T
    202/208 C
    NANANA
    Nye (rural)100%
    151/151
    99% C
    333/335 T
    1526/1530C
    100%
    78/78 T
    206/206 C
    100%
    2/2 T
    5/5 C
    NA
    Pershing (rural)100%
    25/25
    100%
    67/67 T
    229/229 C
    100%
    2/2 T
    7/7 C
    NANA
    Storey (rural)100%
    17/17
    98%
    47/48 T
    119/120 C
    NANANA
    Washoe 99%
    1766/1787
    97%
    2939/3043T
    14493/14898 C
    84%
    592/723 T
    1371/1633C
    64%
    25/41 T
    68/106 C
    91%
    148/165 T
    164/181 C
    White Pine (rural)81%
    29/36
    82%
    58/77 T
    274/334 C
    NANANA
    Total
    80.38% classes
    17914/22287

     

    Peer Review Response to Requirement 2-a A comprehensive list of LEAs that have not met their annual measurable objectives is included in the revised plan. The list includes a description of the subject areas where there are shortages. 
    Requirement 2-b Does the plan include specific steps that will be taken by LEAs that have not met annual measurable objectives?  
    Does the revised state plan meet requirement 2-b?
  • Yes
  •  
    Revised State Plan Addressing Requirement 2-b The SEA has required LEAs to provide plans for getting teachers to meet the highly qualified teacher requirements for the past 3 years as part of the application for Title II-A funds. This year the SEA required the LEAs to include a self-assessment using the rubric provided for the SEA as adapted to LEA needs. Each LEA has a plan outlining specific steps for getting all teachers to meet the HQT requirements. These revised LEA plans were submitted June 15, 2006. These include steps such as:
    • Only hiring teachers who have met the HQT requirements; retaining documentation related to announcing the position, efforts to recruit highly qualified candidates for the position, applications and resumes received, and notes from interviewing and selecting the teacher for employment; including in the contractual agreement, a commitment by the teacher to fulfill requirements of a mutually agreed upon plan to achieve highly qualified status, using the most expedient option and no later than the end of the upcoming or current school year; assurance that the teacher receives support and assistance related to content knowledge and teaching skills needed for the teaching assignment, including teacher mentoring and high-quality professional development as defined in NCLB
    • Conducting a meeting with each teacher who has not yet met the HQT requirements and developing an individual action plan with each teacher
    • School site administrator scheduling and conducting periodic checks for completion of agreed upon actions in individual plans
    • Providing Praxis tapes, study guides and classes to study for the Praxis test

      A major project of the Nevada National Governors Association task force funded by the Title II-A state activities fund was the creation of PRAXIS II examination preparation tapes for teachers. The following tapes are available: Overview, Principles of Learning and Teaching, English, Science, Social Studies, Math, Art, Music, PE/Health, Elementary Education, and Special Education.

      Clark County gave a copy of every appropriate tape to all their schools and made these tapes available at no charge to all Nevada school districts and to the university system. They also broadcast each of the tapes numerous times over their instructional television channel.

    • Use of district Title II-A funds for taking the Praxis test or coursework, providing coursework through the district or regional professional development program, and paying for licensing fees associated with attaining HQ status in the core assignment
    • Reminding teachers they can take USDE eLearning courses to fulfill professional development requirements
    • Clark County has also stated that those teachers who do not meet the deadline will be placed in a subject area for which they are HQ or if they do not meet the criteria in any subject area will be suspended pending termination
    See APPENDIX D: Clark County School District—Revised HQT Plan, and *
    APPENDIX E: Washoe County School District— Revised HQT Plan*  
    Peer Review Response to Requirement 2-b The specific steps that the LEAs will implement to achieve their annual measurable objectives, including the plans from the identified high need LEAs, are included in the information submitted by the State. The readers commend the SEA for the thorough explanation of these steps. 
    Requirement 2-c Does the plan delineate specific steps the SEA will take to ensure that all LEAs have plans in place to assist all non-HQ teachers to become HQ as quickly as possible?  
    Does the revised state plan meet requirement 2-c?
  • Yes
  •  
    Revised State Plan Addressing Requirement 2-c The SEA has required LEAs to provide plans for getting teachers to meet the highly qualified teacher requirements for the past 3 years as part of the application for Title II-A funds. This year the SEA required the LEAs to include a self-assessment using the rubric provided for the SEA as adapted to LEA needs. Each LEA has a plan outlining specific steps for getting all teachers to meet the HQT requirements. These revised LEA plans were submitted June 15, 2006. These include steps such as:
    • Only hiring teachers who have met the HQT requirements; retaining documentation related to announcing the position, efforts to recruit highly qualified candidates for the position, applications and resumes received, and notes from interviewing and selecting the teacher for employment; including in the contractual agreement, a commitment by the teacher to fulfill requirements of a mutually agreed upon plan to achieve highly qualified status, using the most expedient option and no later than the end of the upcoming or current school year; assurance that the teacher receives support and assistance related to content knowledge and teaching skills needed for the teaching assignment, including teacher mentoring and high-quality professional development as defined in NCLB
    • Conducting a meeting with each teacher who has not yet met the HQT requirements and developing an individual action plan with each teacher
    • School site administrator scheduling and conducting periodic checks for completion of agreed upon actions in individual plans
    • Providing Praxis tapes, study guides and classes to study for the Praxis test

      A major project of the Nevada National Governors Association task force funded by the Title II-A state activities fund was the creation of PRAXIS II examination preparation tapes for teachers. The following tapes are available: Overview, Principles of Learning and Teaching, English, Science, Social Studies, Math, Art, Music, PE/Health, Elementary Education, and Special Education.

      Clark County gave a copy of every appropriate tape to all their schools and made these tapes available at no charge to all Nevada school districts and to the university system. They also broadcast each of the tapes numerous times over their instructional television channel.

    • Use of district Title II-A funds for taking the Praxis test or coursework, providing coursework through the district or regional professional development program, and paying for licensing fees associated with attaining HQ status in the core assignment
    • Reminding teachers they can take USDE eLearning courses to fulfill professional development requirements
    • Clark County has also stated that those teachers who do not meet the deadline will be placed in a subject area for which they are HQ or if they do not meet the criteria in any subject area will be suspended pending termination
    See APPENDIX D: Clark County School District—Revised HQT Plan, and *
    APPENDIX E: Washoe County School District— Revised HQT Plan*

    (This information overlaps with Requirement 2-b.) 

    Peer Review Response to Requirement 2-c The SEAs strategies for assisting LEAs in reaching their annual measurable goals are described in detail. 
    Revised State Plans-Requirement 3
    Requirement 3 The revised plan must include information on the technical assistance, programs, and services that the SEA will offer to assist LEAs in successfully completing their HQT plans, particularly where large groups of teachers are not highly qualified, and the resources the LEAs will use to meet their HQT goals.  
    Peer Review Finding
  • Requirement 3 has been partially met.
  •  
    Peer Review Comments to Support Determination Refer to sub-requirement responses. 
    Requirement 3-a Does the plan include a description of the technical assistance the SEA will provide to assist LEAs in successfully carrying out their HQT plans?  
    Does the revised state plan meet requirement 3-a?
  • Yes
  •  
    Revised State Plan Addressing Requirement 3-a April 4, 2006 Meeting With District Human Resources Personnel
    Periodically the Department has met with district human resources personnel to discuss the HQT requirements. On April 4, 2006 the following people met with district human resources personnel for the day to get specific input from school districts regarding concerns on meeting the HQT requirements—Keith Rheault, Superintendent; Jerry Barbee, Director of Teacher Licensure; Donna Brothers, Licensing Administrator; Leslie James, Title II-A Consultant; and Rorie Fitzpatrick, Assistant Director of Special Education, ESEA and School Improvement Programs. There were many questions about coding teachers for the data entry and questions about special education teachers meeting the HQT requirements. See APPENDIX F (electronic attachment)—Special Education HQT Powerpoint on highly qualified special education teachers which was discussed at the meeting.* During the meeting the Department provided a list of all core academic teachers who had not met the HQT requirements as of October 1, 2005 and asked that each school district update the list of teachers by April 22, 2006. This revealed a significant increase from 68.1% of teachers meeting the HQT requirements as of the October 1, 2005 District "Contracted Educators Report", which was the HQT data submitted in the March 6, 2006 Consolidated State Performance Report, to 80.38% of teachers. As a result of this meeting and technical assistance provided by the SEA Licensing Office, Clark County identified 1600 more teachers as meeting the HQT requirements.

    Clarification—Highly Qualified Special Education Teachers
    July 2005 the SEA provided a Technical Assistance Document for special education teachers to clarify the HQT requirements articulated in the Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act (IDEA-04) which was signed into law December 2004, and to provide additional information on Nevada's regulations and policies and procedures regarding teacher licensure and the highly qualified requirements. SEA Special Education consultants met with district personnel to discuss the Nevada guidance. See APPENDIX G: Special Education Technical Assistance Document.*

    In addition to reviewing guidance on the HQT requirements for special education teachers at the April 4, 2006 meeting, the following clarification was recently provided:

    • In co-teaching models of service delivery the assignation of grades and/or credit is not the determining factor for whether the special education teacher must be highly qualified in the core subject area, but whether the teacher is providing instruction, i.e. delivering new information to the student.
    • Additional guidance on how to code "Options" (alternate route to certification) teachers in updated reports as highly qualified if they have met the criteria outlined including demonstration of subject-matter competency.
    Title II-A Monitoring and Accountability Requirements
    The Title II-A consultant has required HQT plans for the past three years and has provided technical assistance to districts in carrying out their plans. It was discovered this past year for example that Clark County needed to monitor site level monitoring of individual teacher plans for becoming HQ. Ideas on how to have site level administration monitor individual teacher plans were brainstormed and this monitoring information is in the revised HQT plan submitted June 15, 2006 (p. 41). As part of the revised HQT plan districts were asked how the SEA can provide further technical assistance to help them carry out their HQT plans.

    Teacher-to-Teacher eLearning Course Credit for HOUSSE Credit
    Teachers have not taken advantage of the Teacher-to-Teacher eLearning courses for HOUSSE credit, so districts were reminded about this opportunity during monitoring. Teachers can use the NCLB Teacher-to-Teacher eLearning course credit for HOUSSE credit, Department continuing education units (CEU) for recertification and at district option, district credit. Teachers can submit their eLearning Certificate of Completion of the "Video and Assessment" module (approximately 2 contact hours) to their supervising administrator who will also monitor fulfillment of the work to complete the "Implementation" module as decided on with the teacher (13 contact hours). The supervising administrator will complete and submit an attendance sheet to the Nevada Department of Education in order to receive the certificates of credit.

    Source: Teacher-to-Teacher Initiative

    The Title II-A consultant has recently monitored the districts that have significant numbers of non-highly qualified teachers and discussed the districts' "improvement plan" to get teachers to meet the HQT requirements ensuring issues that prevented the district from meeting the annual measurable objectives are addressed (Section 2141 "Improvement Plan"). The SEA is analyzing the revised HQT plans submitted June 15, 2006 and will contact districts by August 31, 2006 with any questions about the plan or further suggestions for improving the plan.

    During monitoring the accountability requirement of entering into an agreement on use of II-A funds to provide PD activities through funding directly to schools served by the district to meet the objective of 100% of HQT by 6/30/06 has been discussed with the three districts that are in jeopardy of not meeting AYP when the AYP results are released in August 2006 (Clark and Washoe). 

    Peer Review Response to Requirement 3-a
  • Not addressed. 
  • Requirement 3-b Does the plan indicate that the staffing and professional development needs of schools that are not making AYP will be given high priority?  
    Does the revised state plan meet requirement 3-b?
  • Yes
  •  
    Revised State Plan Addressing Requirement 3-b Title II-A Application
    The Title II-A section of the consolidated application for federal funds requires:
    The district must target II-A funds to schools that [Guidance E-14]:
    1. have the lowest proportion of highly qualified teachers
    2. have the largest average class size, or
    3. are identified for school improvement under Section 1116(b) of Title I-A [Section 2122 (b)(3)].
    Districts must explain how the district targeted II-A funds for 1, 2, and 3 above and LIST SCHOOLS targeted.

    See APPENDIX H: II-A FY07 Supplement to the consolidated grant application which contains further information required on staffing and professional development needs.*

    State Level Professional Development Targeted To Schools Not Making AYP
    See Section 6—Equitable Distribution of Teachers—Professional Development, pp. 29-33. 

    Peer Review Response to Requirement 3-b The SEA has discussed with the high need school districts the possibility of redirecting funds to the schools with greatest needs. 
    Requirement 3-c Does the plan include a description of programs and services the SEA will provide to assist teachers and LEAs in successfully meeting HQT goals?  
    Does the revised state plan meet requirement 3-c?
  • Yes
  •  
    Revised State Plan Addressing Requirement 3-c SEA Web Guidance
    The SEA provides web guidance on HQT requirements.

    Middle School License
    In response to the unique circumstances at the middle school level, the Commission on Professional Standards adopted a new endorsement and qualifications. The recognized field of teaching of the license is based on an applicant's field of specialization or concentration, usually designated as a major or minor or area of concentration. This endorsement authorizes the teacher to teach in grades 7, 8, and 9 in the following subject areas: art, English/language arts, foreign language, mathematics, music, science, or social studies.

    Regional Professional Development Programs
    The regional professional development programs support teachers and LEAs in meeting the HQT goals through a variety of objectives and action steps including providing credits for many PD courses. A priority is to provide services to schools in need of improvement.

    The Northwest Nevada Regional Professional Development Program serving Pershing, Storey and Washoe Counties—
    Collaborates with the University of Nevada-Reno, Truckee Meadows Community College, Sierra Nevada College, and other institutes of higher education for providing expertise in content specific trainings to deepen teachers' content knowledge supported with scholarships for teachers to attend content specific institutes. In addition NWRPDP collaborates in offering PRAXIS study groups and individual tutorials for teachers in the region to help them meet the NCLB highly qualified teacher requirements.

    The Northeast Nevada Regional Professional Development Program serving Elko, Eureka, Humboldt, Lander, and White Pine Counties—
    Collaborates with Great Basin College and provides professional development in the areas of literacy, mathematics, science, instructional strategies, and assessment.

    The Southern Nevada Regional Professional Development Program serving Clark, Esmeralda, Lincoln and Nye Counties—
    Collaborates with the University of Nevada - Las Vegas and Southern Utah University and provides credit offering in mathematics, science, reading, technology and social studies. The SNRPDP created and implemented certificate programs in middle school and high school mathematics and science to address the teacher shortage and need for teachers to meet NCLB highly qualified teacher requirements. These are 16 credit programs of study that focus on content that teachers teach at their particular grade cluster while addressing instructional and assessment practices, the needs of special populations, and embedding standards based lessons and teacher expectations into each course. The SNRPDP in partnership with the Southern Nevada Writing Project has developed programs to incorporate writing strategies into classroom instruction. The Governor's Reading Improvement Program has provided a program of study and a support system for K-3 teachers with a special emphasis on Kindergarten to have students reading at the earliest possible levels.

    The Western Nevada Regional Professional Development Program serving Carson City, Churchill, Douglas, Lyon, and Mineral Counties—
    Collaborates with the University of Nevada-Reno and Sierra Nevada College and provides a professional development training series with the priority of supporting teachers in need of becoming highly qualified. The training series includes: classroom management, instructional strategies, questioning skills, content standards, assessments, coaching and data analysis.

    Title II-A—Improving Teacher Quality State Grant—State Agency for Higher Education "Nevada Collaborative Teaching Improvement Program" (NeCoTIP)

    For 2005-2006 subgrants in the amount of $374,624 were provided to the following partners to support teachers in the following areas for which credit was available as noted:

    • Expanding the Focus on Mathematical Understanding Through Assessment
      Clark County School District/University of Nevada, Las Vegas
      25 K-6 teachers/5 administrators
    • Distance Education for Special Education Rural Teachers
      Clark, Douglas, Esmeralda, Nye, Pershing and Washoe Districts/University of Nevada, Reno
      29 participants—received graduate credit
    • Transforming Middle School Science Achievement using Instructional Technology
      Clark County School District/University of Nevada, Las Vegas
      18 participants—received inservice credit
    • The Nebula Teaching and Learning Community
      Focus on under-prepared teachers assigned to science in pre K-12
      University of Nevada, Reno
      32 teachers

    Title II-B - Math/Science Partnerships

    For 2005-2006 subgrants in the amount of $963,436 were provided to the following partners to support teachers in the following areas for which credit was available as noted:

    • CCSD Middle School Math Project—Developing Mathematical Thinking
      Clark County School District/University of Nevada, Las Vegas
      150 teachers—credit available
    • Integrated Science Content Enhancement Project
      to increase science content knowledge and instructional sills, use of technology in teaching, understanding of state and local science standards, and forming learning communities)
      Washoe County School District and other northern Nevada school districts/ University of Nevada, Reno
      30 teachers—credit available
    • Northeastern Nevada Math Project
      3 rural school districts—White Pine, Elko, Humboldt/University Nevada, Reno/Northeastern RPDP
      37 teachers K-8 - credit available
    • Nevada Educators Really Doing Science
      Science content aligned with Nevada state standards and scientific inquiry
      6 Nevada school districts/University of Nevada, Reno
      22 teachers K-8—credit available
    • Clark County School District/University of Nevada, Las Vegas
      Proficiency and Success in Science—to improve quality of instruction for high school science students
      No data currently available on year 1 participation levels (2005)
    • Great Explorations in Math & Science (GEMS) materials aligned with Nevada and National science standards
      Carson City School District & other districts/Western Nevada Community College
      60 K-6 teachers
    Title I LEA 5% Set Aside
    Title I ensures through monitoring that LEAs use not less than 5% of funds for professional development activities to ensure that teachers who are not highly qualified (as well as existing paraprofessionals) become highly qualified. 
    Peer Review Response to Requirement 3-c Programs that are tailored to particular school districts are described in the plan. 
    Requirement 3-d Does the plan specifically address the needs of any subgroups of teachers identified in Requirement 1?  
    Does the revised state plan meet requirement 3-d?
  • Yes
  •  
    Revised State Plan Addressing Requirement 3-d On pp. 2, 3 elementary and secondary special education teachers are identified as the groups of non-highly qualified teachers on which Nevada's plan must focus.

    Alternate Route to Licensure
    Obviously teachers enrolled in ARL programs will not have met the HQ requirements if they have not yet met all provisional requirements for Nevada licensure such as passing the Principles of Learning and Teaching Examination required of all teachers. However they are working towards becoming HQ through these ARL programs.

    Options Program
    The state provides for teachers with a teaching license to work in an alternate route to certification program to obtain their special education license.

    Nevada faces an acute shortage of special education teachers. As Nevada has grown, so too has the problem. During the 2005-2006 school year Nevada had 421 special education teachers teaching under the "Options Program".

    Conditional Endorsement
    This alternate route to certification program is for those participants who do not have an existing license. During the 2005-2006 school year Nevada had 251 teachers enrolled in this program all of whom are teaching in Clark County.

    Project DESERT (Distance Education for Special Education)
    The Title II-A Improving Teacher Quality State Grant—State Agency for Higher Education (NeCoTIP) provided funding in the amount of $79,367 for 2005-2006 and 2006-2007 to the project "Distance Education for Special Education Rural Teachers" (Project DESERT) University of Nevada, Reno.

    Project DESERT is designed to target licensed elementary and secondary teachers across Nevada in rural areas who are currently Options teachers since there is a lack of available teacher education courses for rural teachers. It provides additional training in content areas specific to state standards for currently licensed special education teachers in order to meet the need for highly qualified teachers. Courses are provided for teachers working with high-incidence disabilities, such as learning disabilities, as well as continuing education for special education teachers to address the content areas of English, Science, and Math to ensure that special education teachers can be considered highly qualified.

    The goal for Project DESERT is to decrease the number of special education teachers without appropriate teaching licenses, as well as increase the number of highly qualified special education teachers providing research-based services to children with disabilities in rural Nevada. It will also ensure they are effective co-teachers and collaborators with specialists in content-area instruction.

    The goals of DESERT are:

    • Ensure Options teachers, especially in rural areas, become fully licensed with the Generalist endorsement
    • Provide training in content areas to increase the number of highly qualified special education teachers
    • Provide tuition support
    • Offer continuing professional development opportunities.
    The 18 credit sequence of licensure courses is offered online. For 2005-2006 there were 29 participants across grade levels—11 elementary school teachers, 6 middle school teachers, 10 high school teachers and 2 teachers teaching all grades in one school.

    Other Support
    Special education teachers have the opportunity to receive the same kind of district support as other teachers:

    • attend Praxis classes, use Praxis study guides, use tapes for studying for the Praxis test
    • have fees paid by district Title II-A funds - Praxis examination fees, coursework fees, and licensing fees associated with attaining HQ status in the core assignment
    • participation in USDE eLearning courses to fulfill professional development requirements.
     
    Peer Review Response to Requirement 3-d Programs that are tailored to particular school districts are described in the plan. 
    Requirement 3-e Does the plan include a description of how the State will use its available funds (e.g., Title I, Part A; Title II, Part A, including the portion that goes to the State agency for higher education; other Federal and State funds, as appropriate) to address the needs of teachers who are not highly qualified?  
    Does the revised state plan meet requirement 3-e?
  • No
  •  
    Revised State Plan Addressing Requirement 3-e Praxis Tapes
    A major project of the Nevada National Governors Association task force funded by the Title II-A state activities fund was the creation of PRAXIS II examination preparation tapes for teachers. The following tapes are available: Overview, Principles of Learning and Teaching, English, Science, Social Studies, Math, Art, Music, PE/Health, Elementary Education, and Special Education. A copy of every appropriate tape was provided to all Clark County schools and these tapes were made available at no charge to all Nevada school districts and to the university system.

    Title II
    Title II-A Improving Teacher Quality State Grant—State Agency for Higher Education and Title II-B Math/Science Partnership funding was described on pp. 12-13.

    Regional Professional Development Program
    See pp. 11-12.

    Mentoring Funds
    The Legislature appropriated $5 million per year of the biennium for grants to school districts to adopt a program which, in addition to using for a program of performance pay and enhanced compensation for recruitment and retention, can be used for mentoring of licensed personnel at at-risk schools—which would include use for those teachers who have not yet met the HQ requirements.

     

    Peer Review Response to Requirement 3-e It was not clear to the readers how the SEA is using available resources to address the needs of teachers who are not HQT. 
    Requirement 3-f Does the plan for the use of available funds indicate that priority will be given to the staffing and professional development needs of schools that are not making AYP? 
    Does the revised state plan meet requirement 3-f?
  • No
  •  
    Revised State Plan Addressing Requirement 3-f Title II-A Improving Teacher Quality State Grant - State Agency for Higher Education and Title II-B Math/Science Partnership funding prioritizes funding for schools that are not making AYP.

    The SEA ensures that districts are giving high priority to staffing and professional development needs of schools that are not making AYP by asking districts to list schools in the Title II-A section of the consolidated application for federal funds that have the lowest proportion of highly qualified teachers and are identified for school improvement. 

    Peer Review Response to Requirement 3-f There is not enough detail in the revised plan to assure the readers that the SEA is prioritizing its resources on the most important needs. 
    Revised State Plans-Requirement 4
    Requirement 4 The revised plan must describe how the SEA will work with LEAs that fail to reach the 100% HQT goal by the end of the 2006-07 school year. 
    Peer Review Finding
  • Requirement 4 has been partially met.
  •  
    Peer Review Supporting Narrative Refer to sub-requirement responses. 
    Requirement 4-a Does the plan indicate how the SEA will monitor LEA compliance with the LEAs' HQT plans described in Requirement 2 and hold LEAs accountable for fulfilling their plans?  
    Does the revised state plan meet requirement 4-a?
  • Yes
  •  
    Revised State Plan Addressing Requirement 4-a Title II-A Monitoring and Accountability Requirements
    The Title II-A consultant has required HQT plans for the past three years and has provided technical assistance to districts in carrying out their plans. It was discovered this past year for example that Clark County needed to monitor site level monitoring of individual teacher plans for becoming HQ. Ideas on how to have site level administration monitor individual teacher plans were brainstormed and this is in the revised plan submitted June 15, 2006 (p. 41).

    The Title II-A consultant has recently monitored the districts that have significant numbers of non-highly qualified teachers and discussed the districts' "improvement plan" to get teachers to meet the HQT requirements ensuring issues that prevented the district from meeting the annual measurable objectives are addressed (Section 2141 "Improvement Plan"). The SEA is analyzing the revised HQT plans submitted June 15, 2006 and will contact districts by August 31, 2006 with any questions about the plan or further suggestions for improving the plan.

    During monitoring the accountability requirement of entering into an agreement on use of II-A funds to provide PD activities through funding directly to schools served by the district to meet the objective of 100% of HQT by 6/30/06 has been discussed with the three districts that are in jeopardy of not meeting AYP when the AYP results are released in August 2006 (Clark, Washoe, Carson City). Ways to target schools with a large number of non-HQ teachers as well as schools not making AYP have been discussed.

    How districts are accomplishing this will be shared with all districts. 

    Peer Review Response to Requirement 4-a Sampling teachers to determine if they are receiving high quality professional development is an efficient way of monitoring professional development. 
    Requirement 4-b Does the plan show how technical assistance from the SEA to help LEAs meet the 100 percent HQT goal will be targeted toward LEAs and schools that are not making AYP? 
    Does the revised state plan meet requirement 4-b?
  • Yes
  •  
    Revised State Plan Addressing Requirement 4-b Title II-A Monitoring and Accountability Requirements
    The Title II-A consultant has required HQT plans for the past three years and has provided technical assistance to districts in carrying out their plans. It was discovered this past year for example that Clark County needed to monitor site level monitoring of individual teacher plans for becoming HQ. Ideas on how to have site level administration monitor individual teacher plans were brainstormed and this is in the revised plan submitted June 15, 2006 (p. 41).

    The Title II-A consultant has recently monitored the districts that have significant numbers of non-highly qualified teachers and discussed the districts' "improvement plan" to get teachers to meet the HQT requirements ensuring issues that prevented the district from meeting the annual measurable objectives are addressed (Section 2141 "Improvement Plan"). The SEA is analyzing the revised HQT plans submitted June 15, 2006 and will contact districts by August 31, 2006 with any questions about the plan or further suggestions for improving the plan.

    During monitoring the accountability requirement of entering into an agreement on use of II-A funds to provide PD activities through funding directly to schools served by the district to meet the objective of 100% of HQT by 6/30/06 has been discussed with the three districts that are in jeopardy of not meeting AYP when the AYP results are released in August 2006 (Clark, Washoe, Carson City). Ways to target schools with a large number of non-HQ teachers as well as schools not making AYP have been discussed.

    How districts are accomplishing this will be shared with all districts.

    (This information overlaps with Requirement 4-a.) 

    Peer Review Response to Requirement 4-b The revised plan cites the section of ESEA that requires corrective action, but it does not describe the specific technical assistance or corrective action the SEA will provide if the LEA fails to meet HQT and AYP.  
    Requirement 4-c Does the plan describe how the SEA will monitor whether LEAs attain 100 percent HQT in each LEA and school:
    • in the percentage of highly qualified teachers at each LEA and school; and
    • in the percentage of teachers who are receiving high-quality professional development to enable such teachers to become highly qualified and successful classroom teachers? 
    Does the revised state plan meet requirement 4-c?
  • Yes
  •  
    Revised State Plan Addressing Requirement 4-c The HQT data is collected at the individual schools as of October 1 Report on Personnel which is uploaded to the LEA's personnel officers who verify it against their system, and then it is transmitted to the SEA to be uploaded into the SEA computer system. Validation reports are run against each data element supplied by the district against the licensing data in our system. The SEA does periodic audits each school year to verify the data against the individual giving the instruction.

    The Title II-A consultant will do periodic sampling of teachers to check on whether they are receiving high qualify professional development to meet HQT requirements and be effective. This performance indicator is addressed by LEAs in the Title II-A section of the consolidated application. 

    Peer Review Response to Requirement 4-c
  • Not addressed.  
  • Requirement 4-d Consistent with ESEA §2141, does the plan include technical assistance or corrective actions that the SEA will apply if LEAs fail to meet HQT and AYP goals?  
    Does the revised state plan meet requirement 4-d?
  • No
  •  
    Revised State Plan Addressing Requirement 4-d As per ESEA section 2141 Nevada will follow the corrective action as outlined:

    1. ACCOUNTABILITY—After the third year of the plan described in section 1119(a)(2), if the State educational agency determines, based on the reports described in section 1119(b)(1), that the local educational agency has failed to make progress toward meeting the annual measurable objectives described in section 1119(a)(2), and has failed to make adequate yearly progress as described under section 1111(b)(2)(B), for 3 consecutive years, the State educational agency shall enter into an agreement with such local educational agency on the use of that agency's funds under this part. As part of this agreement, the State educational agency—
    1. shall develop, in conjunction with the local educational agency, teachers, and principals, professional development strategies and activities, based on scientifically based research, that the local educational agency will use to meet the annual measurable objectives described in section 1119(a)(2) and require such agency to utilize such strategies and activities; and
    2. (A) Except as provided in subparagraphs (B) and (C), shall prohibit the use of funds received under part A of title I to fund any paraprofessional hired after the date such determination is made;

      (B) Shall allow the use of such funds to fund a paraprofessional hired after that date if the local educational agency can demonstrate that the hiring is to fill a vacancy created by the departure of another paraprofessional funded under title I and such new paraprofessional satisfies the requirements of section 1119(c); and

      (C) May allow the use of such funds to fund a paraprofessional hired after that date if the local educational agency can demonstrate—

      1. that a significant influx of population has substantially increased student enrollment; or
      2. that there is an increased need for translators or assistance with parental involvement activities.

      (D)SPECIAL RULE—During the development of the strategies and activities described in subsection (c)(1), the State educational agency shall, in conjunction with the local educational agency, provide from funds allocated to such local educational agency under subpart 2 directly to one or more schools served by such local educational agency, to enable teachers at the schools to choose, with continuing consultation with the principal involved, professional development activities that—
      1. meet the requirements for professional development activities described in section 9101; and
      2. that there is an increased need for translators or assistance with parental involvement activities.

     
    Peer Review Response to Requirement 4-d The readers found evidence in other parts of the plan that indicate that there are measures for corrective action to be taken. However, it is not clear how the SEA will interpret and implement Section §2141 of the ESEA.  
    Revised State Plans-Requirement 5
    Requirement 5 The revised plan must explain how and when the SEA will complete the HOUSSE process for teachers not new to the profession who were hired prior to the end of the 2005-06 school year, and how the SEA will discontinue the use of HOUSSE procedures for teachers hired after the end of the 2005-06 school year (except for the situations described below). 
    Peer Review Finding
  • Requirement 5 has been met.
  •  
    Peer Review Supporting Narrative The reciprocity policy for HOUSSE that Nevada has adopted seems very logical and appropriate for a state that is experiencing rapid growth.  
    Requirement 5-a Does the plan describe how and when the SEA will complete the HOUSSE process for all teachers not new to the profession who were hired before the end of the 2005-06 school year?  
    Does the revised state plan meet requirement 5-a?
  • Yes
  •  
    Revised State Plan Addressing Requirement 5-a HOUSSE will be limited to the following teachers after the end of the 2005-2006 school year as follows, unless USDE guidance is provided that extends the use of HOUSSE or further limits the use of HOUSSE, at which time the plan for the use of HOUSSE will be revised:
    • teachers currently eligible for HOUSSE who were not able to be documented as HQ through HOUSSE on the basis of district records and who have not yet submitted their documentation to the district regarding meeting the HOUSSE requirements. In Nevada eligibility for HOUSSE is defined as NOT NEW to the profession meaning they were hired before July 1, 2003.
    • teachers not new to the profession who met the HQT requirements through HOUSSE for their assignment prior to June 30, 2006 but are changing assignments and still meet the HOUSSE criteria for their new assignment.
    • multi-subject secondary teachers in rural schools who, if HQ in one subject at the time of hire, may use HOUSSE to demonstrate competence in additional subjects within three years of the date of hire; or
    • multi-subject special education teachers who are new to the profession, if HQ in language arts, mathematics, or science at the time of hire, may use HOUSSE to demonstrate competence in additional subjects within two years of the date of hire.
    Note: Districts were recently notified that other states' HOUSSE would now be reciprocal for teachers who have transferred to Nevada since all states should now have HOUSSE in place. 
    Peer Review Response to Requirement 5-a See overall peer review response for Requirement 5. 
    Requirement 5-b Does the plan describe how the State will limit the use of HOUSSE after the end of the 2005-06 school year to the following situations:
    • Multi-subject secondary teachers in rural schools who, if HQ in one subject at the time of hire, may use HOUSSE to demonstrate competence in additional subjects within three years of the date of hire; or
    • Multi-subject special education teachers who are new to the profession, if HQ in language arts, mathematics, or science at the time of hire, may use HOUSSE to demonstrate competence in additional subjects within two years of the date of hire.  
    Does the revised state plan meet requirement 5-b?
  • Yes
  •  
    Revised State Plan Addressing Requirement 5-b HOUSSE will be limited to the following teachers after the end of the 2005-2006 school year as follows, unless USDE guidance is provided that extends the use of HOUSSE or further limits the use of HOUSSE, at which time the plan for the use of HOUSSE will be revised:
    • teachers currently eligible for HOUSSE who were not able to be documented as HQ through HOUSSE on the basis of district records and who have not yet submitted their documentation to the district regarding meeting the HOUSSE requirements. In Nevada eligibility for HOUSSE is defined as NOT NEW to the profession meaning they were hired before July 1, 2003.
    • teachers not new to the profession who met the HQT requirements through HOUSSE for their assignment prior to June 30, 2006 but are changing assignments and still meet the HOUSSE criteria for their new assignment.
    • multi-subject secondary teachers in rural schools who, if HQ in one subject at the time of hire, may use HOUSSE to demonstrate competence in additional subjects within three years of the date of hire; or
    • multi-subject special education teachers who are new to the profession, if HQ in language arts, mathematics, or science at the time of hire, may use HOUSSE to demonstrate competence in additional subjects within two years of the date of hire.
    Note: Districts were recently notified that other states' HOUSSE would now be reciprocal for teachers who have transferred to Nevada since all states should now have HOUSSE in place.

    (This info overlaps with Requirement 5-a.)  

    Peer Review Response to Requirement 5-b See overall peer review response for Requirement 5.  
    Revised State Plans-Requirement 6
    Requirement 6 The revised plan must include a copy of the State's written "equity plan" for ensuring that poor or minority children are not taught by inexperienced unqualified, or out-of-field teachers at higher rates than are other children. 
    Peer Review Finding
  • Requirement 6 has been met.
  •  
    Peer Review Supporting Narrative Element 4.1, providing 1/5 retirement credit for teachers who serve "in need of improvement" or "at risk" schools, and element 4.8, allowing high need schools first pick of teachers, are noteworthy.  
    Requirement 6-a Does the revised plan include a written equity plan? 
    Does the revised state plan meet requirement 6-a?
  • Yes
  •  
    Revised State Plan Addressing Requirement 6-a NEVADA EQUITY PLAN—EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

    Nevada Policy Agenda for Teacher Quality

    A broad range of national research demonstrates the importance of prepared, experienced and well-supported teachers and administrators to promote long-term school improvement and to close the achievement gap, both goals of NCLB and Nevada Senate Bill 1 of the 19th Special Session of the 2003 Nevada Legislature. Nevada Revised Statute 391.100 mirrors the requirements of NCLB regarding all core teachers meeting the highly qualified teacher requirements by June 30, 2006. Nevada made a significant increase in regard to teachers meeting the NCLB highly qualified teachers requirement - from 68.1% as of the October 1, 2005 district "Contracted Educators Report" to 80.38% as of May 1, 2006. All districts have had a plan to get their teachers to meet the HQT requirements since 2003 which have been updated annually as part of the Title II-A application for funds.

    In 1999 the Nevada State Legislature created a statewide network of Regional Professional Development Programs. The RPDP created Nevada Professional Development Standards. Several task forces have been created to work on the issue of teacher quality including the Nevada National Governors Task Force on the Recruitment and Retention of Teachers and the Teacher Quality Task Force to align teacher preparation, licensing and relicensing.

    The 2005 State Improvement Plan supports teacher quality with the following goals:

    • To improve the performance of all students through the implementation of proven practices that enhance instruction in core academic subjects and reduce achievement gaps.
    • To implement effective statewide professional development activities and educator preservice preparation focused on data-driven needs and proven practices that will increase student achievement as identified in school, district, and state improvement plans.
    Equitable Teacher Distribution: Nevada's Good Faith Effort

    Nevada has completed Phase I of the Equity Plan as outlined on p. 29 and is in the process of beginning Phase II as outlined on pp. 29, 30. Phase II will ensure the Nevada Equity Plan is successful in correcting staffing inequities by working with the Southwest Comprehensive Center as a Nevada Committee on Equitable Distribution of Teachers, to include task forces and representatives from Clark County School District and Washoe County School District, as outlined in the goal and objectives listed.

    Nevada's Growth Rate Challenges

    Nevada is the fastest growing state in the nation. We have an influx each year of more than 13,000 students. For the 05-06 school year 76.2% of the 3047 newly hired teachers were hired from outside Nevada. Nevada is unique with 68% of the teachers positioned in Clark County School District (Las Vegas) - 14,854 teachers out of the 05-06 school year State total of 21,686. Clark County as the fifth largest school district in the United States has significant teacher recruitment and retention challenges with the need to recruit a majority of its teachers each year from outside Nevada. In Clark County 80% of the teachers come from outside of Nevada, 35% of these teachers leave within 3 years, and 50% leave within 5 years. For the 06-07 school year CCSD is projecting to hire 1,000 new teachers. The diversity-minority students make up 50% of the school age population, yet minority teachers make up only 16% of teaching staff. Because Clark County School District accounts for 68% of the Nevada teachers and because of the district's challenges - their strategies are highlighted throughout this plan and their Equity Plan is included in APPENDIX A (and electronic APPENDIX D)*. Washoe County School District is the second largest school district in Nevada with 3,556 teachers out of the 05-06 school year State total of 21, 686. Their EQUITY PLAN is included in APPENDIX B (and electronic APPENDIX E). 

    Peer Review Response to Requirement 6-a See overall peer review response for Requirement 6.  
    Requirement 6-b Does the plan identify where inequities in teacher assignment exist?  
    Does the revised state plan meet requirement 6-b?
  • Yes
  •  
    Revised State Plan Addressing Requirement 6-b Nevada's Analysis of Data
    Inequities in teacher assignment (LEA percent difference between high/low poverty and high/low minority for HQT and experience data) is summarized in the following table.

    HQT by Classes% Difference between High poverty/Low poverty Experience% Difference between High poverty/Low poverty HQT by Classes% Difference between High minority/Low minority Experience% Difference between High minority/Low minority
    Clark - 6.42% - 14.98% - 6.62% - 11.48%
    Elko (rural) - 2.75% - 19.91% - 5.57% - 12.54%
    Humboldt (rural) - 26.35% - 9.33% - 18.56%
    Washoe - 2.69% - 4.86%
    STATEWIDE - 1.08 - 2.71%

    The greatest inequity in teacher distribution is in Clark County School District, the largest school district in Nevada. Clark County School District has a large number of high-poverty/high-minority schools that have teachers that have not met the NCLB highly qualified requirements and have less than 3 years of teaching experience. The percent difference between high/low minority for experience data is relatively low in Washoe County School District, which is the second largest school district in Nevada. There is not inequity in teacher distribution in this district between high/low poverty for HQT. Elko County School District and Humboldt County School District are small rural districts that have some remote schools where it is difficult to attract and retain highly qualified teachers with experience. However, no "high-need schools" were identified in these rural districts.

    There were 85 "high-need schools" identified in Nevada according to the criteria of a school having 20% or more non-HQT or teachers with less than three years of experience at high-poverty (62.2% or greater) or high-minority schools (> 50%) that were in need of improvement. There are 81 "high-need schools" identified in Clark County School District and there are 4 "high-need schools identified in Washoe County School District. 

    Peer Review Response to Requirement 6-b See overall peer review response for Requirement 6.  
    Requirement 6-c Does the plan delineate specific strategies for addressing inequities in teacher assignment? 
    Does the revised state plan meet requirement 6-c?
  • Yes
  •  
    Revised State Plan Addressing Requirement 6-c Nevada's Key Goals

    1. Continuously monitor, through data collection on teacher distribution and analyses of identified patterns, that Nevada poor and minority students are not being taught at higher rates than other children by inexperienced, unqualified and out-of-field teachers so they have equitable access to effective teachers who are able to teach students to needed levels of achievement.
    • Measure: Percentage of highly qualified teachers and/or experienced teachers in high need schools (high poverty/high minority schools in need of improvement) versus schools with low poverty/low minority and not in need of improvement.
    • Publicly Report Progress: Teacher Quality Report
    1. Increase the percentage of Nevada's teachers meeting the NCLB highly qualified requirements to 100%.
    • Measure: Percentage of highly qualified teachers in Nevada's districts/schools.
    • Publicly Report Progress: State Accountability Report
    Nevada's Strategies and Sub-Strategies Listed by Supportive Elements

    1. Increase the relative attractiveness of hard-to-staff schools so they can compete for their fair share of good teachers.
    2. Make these schools personally and professionally rewarding places to work to retain high quality teachers.
    Element 1: Data and Reporting Systems

    1. Collect and publicly report data on the distribution of teacher quality.
    2. 1.1 Program data for data reports on equitable distribution of teachers. (p. 38)
    Element 2: Teacher Preparation

    1. Explore the expansion of college and university teacher preparation initiatives to prepare, place, and support new teachers in schools with high percentages of at risk students. (p. 42)
    Element 3: Out-of-Field Teaching

    1. No longer approve out-of-field teacher assignments in core subjects. (p. 43)
    2. After June 30, 2008 no longer issue out-of-field licenses in core subjects. (p. 43)
    3. Work with the next legislative session to further address the hard-to-staff subject areas of mathematics, science and teaching positions in special education and English as a second language in high-poverty, high-minority, and low-performing schools. (p. 44)
    Element 4: Recruitment and Retention of Experienced Teachers

    1. Provide 1/5 retirement credit for teachers at " In Need of Improvement" or "At Risk" schools. (p. 46)
    2. Provide grant to LEAs to adopt a program of performance pay and enhanced compensation for recruitment, retention and mentoring of licensed personnel at at-risk schools. (p. 47)
    3. Allow retired staff in hard to fill positions to be rehired (p. 48) [In CCSD "at high-need schools" - p. 50).
    4. Investigate the possibility of proposing a change to the Nevada Revised Statutes to allow teachers at high need schools the choice of 1/5 of a year's retirement credit (currently in place) or a $3,000-$5,000 stipend. (p. 55)
    5. Investigate how teachers are assigned to schools in high need districts to ensure Title I comparability and eliminate any unfair budgeting practices. (p. 56)
    6. List state and federal incentives on the SEA website to ensure better communication of this information to teachers and encourage districts to do the same on their website. (p. 56)
    7. Develop a strategic state plan for retaining highly qualified teachers. (pp. 49, 50)
    8. CCSD—Allow high need school first pick of teachers. (p. 52)
    9. CCSD—Continue pay for performance pilot. (p. 52)
    10. CCSD—Continue principal salary schedule based on a point factor system. (p. 53)
    Element 5: Professional Development

    1. Continue professional development provided by the Regional Professional Development Programs to improve the quality of teaching at schools designated as "in need of improvement". (pp. 57-63)
    2. Continue the professional development provided by the Nevada Association of School Administrators. (p. 63)
    3. Continue to partner with the International Center for Leadership in Education to study what model schools do to get student achievement results. (p. 65)
    4. Continue LEA grants to adopt a program of performance pay and enhanced compensation for recruitment, retention and mentoring of licensed personnel at at-risk schools. (p. 65)
    5. Continue state initiatives - Professional Learning Communities; Assessment for Learning; Response to Intervention; Curriculum Self Analysis for Districts and Schools Identified for Corrective Action. (pp. 65-67)
    6. CCSD—Continue Urban Academy at 22 low performing schools. (p. 67)
    7. CCSD—Continue new teacher induction program. (p. 68)
    8. CCSD—Continue coaches assigned to low-performing schools in the Northeast
      Region of the district. (p. 68)
    Element 6: Specialized Knowledge and Skills

    1. Continue the work of the Teacher Quality Task Force in writing a plan to align preservice, licensure, and re-licensure systems around the knowledge, skills, and dispositions needed by teachers working with diverse and at-risk students. (p. 69)
    2. Review research that has been done on ensuring teachers have the specialized knowledge and skills they need to be effective with students at risk and closing the achievement gap to enhance professional development impact on diverse learners. (p. 70)
    Element 7: Working Conditions

    1. Continue the Working Conditions Survey in Clark County and Washoe County School Districts and increase teacher retention by improving working conditions. (p. 72)
    2. Continue State class size reduction funding. (p. 73)
    3. Strengthen school leadership by continuing to provide professional development through the Regional Professional Development Program as outlined in the Administrative Strand, through the Nevada Association of School Administrators, and through the Professional Learning Community (p. 73)
    Element 8: Policy Coherence

    1. Reduce time required to process teacher certification applications. (p. 75)
    2. CCSD—Reduce time required to process teacher applications. (p. 75)
     
    Peer Review Response to Requirement 6-c See overall peer review response for Requirement 6. 
    Requirement 6-d Does the plan provide evidence for the probable success of the strategies it includes? 
    Does the revised state plan meet requirement 6-d?
  • Yes
  •  
    Revised State Plan Addressing Requirement 6-d Strategies that are most likely to work are those that:
    1. Reward teachers for taking on more challenging assignments
    2. Provide the specialized preparation and training teachers need to be successful in challenging classrooms
    3. Improve working conditions that contribute to high teacher turnover
    4. Revise state policies or improve internal processes that may inadvertently contribute to local staffing inequities
     
    Peer Review Response to Requirement 6-d See overall peer review response for Requirement 6. 
    Requirement 6-e Does the plan indicate that the SEA will examine the issue of equitable teacher assignment when it monitors LEAs, and how this will be done? 
    Does the revised state plan meet requirement 6-e?
  • Yes
  •  
    Revised State Plan Addressing Requirement 6-e SEA School Improvement Support
    The SEA assists all Nevada public school districts and schools with school improvement through leadership, resources, assistance, and oversight. All LEAs, regardless of their accountability designations, are supported by the SEA in a continuous improvement cycle framework. All public school districts and schools, as well as the state, conduct an annual review of their improvement plans to evaluate implementation and outcomes in order to reassess specific goals and actions for each upcoming year. The SEA offers school districts and schools training in the SEA model of improvement planning (Student Achievement Gap Elimination), with a focus on effective facilitation of the process and the inclusion of best practices relevant to the unique needs of each site. Additionally, the SEA offers training on targeted initiatives, such as balanced assessment programs, integrated intervention systems, and systematic professional learning communities.

    The SEA prioritizes support to public school districts and schools that have failed to make adequate yearly progress (AYP). When a school fails to make AYP in any of the specified categories for the first time, it is placed on "watch" status. If a school fails to make AYP in that same category the next year, the school is designated as In Need of Improvement Year One. Subsequent failures result in continued In Need of Improvement designations. Designated schools are faced with specific consequences, and as the number of successive years of designation increases so does the significance of the consequences. Schools and school districts that are designated as In Need of Improvement are entitled to technical assistance and support from the state. The SEA provides a graduated level of support to public school districts and schools that fall into an "in need of improvement" status. For the In Need of Improvement Year One and Year Two schools, the state requires that a Technical Assistance Partnership be established that consists of site level and district level representation. The Technical Assistance Partnership teams review each school improvement plan to assist in refocusing the improvement efforts. The SEA also provides training to potential external facilitators who can work one-on-one with Year One and Year Two schools as these sites undergo revision and implementation of their improvement plans. For Title I schools, a portion of Title I funds are provided to hire an external facilitator in this capacity.

    Guided by Nevada Revised Statute 385, the state establishes a School Support Team for each In Need of Improvement Year Three, Year Four, and beyond public school. This team analyzes the school's data and assists the school in targeting its efforts to the most critical areas of need. For Title I schools, a portion of the Title I funds are provided to hire a qualified educator to lead the School Support Team.  

    Peer Review Response to Requirement 6-e See overall peer review response for Requirement 6. 


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