Nevada ESEA Flexibility Waiver

2015-2018 Renewal of Nevada's ESEA Flexibility Waiver

Superintendent Dale A.R. Erquiaga has received approval of the Nevada Department of Education's application for a long-term renewal of the State's 2012 ESEA Flexibility Waiver.

Renewal of the Waiver through the School Year 2017-2018 will permit Nevada to continue to pursue its reform agenda with the goal of college-and career- readiness for all Nevada students.
The Waiver has paved the way for many systemic improvements to education in Nevada, including a focus on several strategic reform initiatives. These initiatives were proposed by Governor Sandoval and enabled through bipartisan support during the 2015 legislative biennium.

Among the reform initiatives enabled by the ESEA Waiver are the following:

Assembly Bill 447 (Improving the Nevada Educator Performance Framework)
Sets up clear expectations for districts in implementing educator evaluation systems aligned with the Nevada Educator Performance Framework. Sets up clear criteria for the use of student achievement data as part of the evaluation of educators.

Senate Bill 460 (Rating Alternative Schools with At-Risk Students)
Provides for an alternative school performance framework to rate approved schools that serve certain populations of students with high risk factors.

Senate Bill 92 (Chronically Underperforming Schools Turnaround)
Authorizes the designation of certain underperforming schools as turnaround schools; allowing certain measures to be taken in respect to the administration and personnel of such schools; and providing incentives to encourage employment at schools designated as turnaround.
Assembly Bill 448 (Achievement District - Underperforming Schools Turnaround)
Establishes the Achievement School District within the Department of Education; authorizes certain underperforming schools to be converted to achievement charter schools, with a charter management organization, education management organization or other person to operate the achievement charter school.

Senate Bill 391 (Read by Grade Three)
Requires boards of each district and sponsors of each charter school to prepare a plan to improve the literacy of pupils enrolled in certain grades; requires elementary schools to provide intensive instruction to pupils deficient in reading; requires professional development in reading for certain public school teachers; requires certain interventions for pupils in kindergarten through grade 3 not achieving adequate reading proficiency; prohibits promotion to grade 4 if the pupil does not achieve reading proficiency; and provides competitive grants to assist schools in paying for certain literacy programs.

Nevada Department of Education Vision, Mission, and Goals: 2020

Background on ESEA Flexibility

"In September 2011, the U.S. Department of Education (Department) offered each State educational agency (SEA) the opportunity to request flexibility, on behalf of itself and its local educational agencies (LEAs) and schools, to help them move forward with State and local reforms designed to improve student learning and increase the quality of instruction for all students" (ESEA Flexibility Guidance for Renewal Process, 2013).

"SEAs, LEAs, and schools implementing ESEA flexibility are meeting a high bar. They are holding all students to high standards, and protecting students by ensuring that low-achieving students in each subgroup are identified for targeted interventions based on need. ESEA flexibility also challenges SEAs to meet the goal of having an effective teacher in every classroom and an effective principal in every school” (ESEA Flexibility Guidance for Renewal Process, 2013).