Big changes on the way for K-12 education in Nevada
According to RGJ.com, the 2015 Nevada Legislative session may be on the verge of overhauling the state’s K-12 education system.
One bill calls for the state to hand over control of low performing schools to an Achievement District and another would test third graders on their reading comprehension skills.
Both bills are marked as controversial because of how aggressive they seem to be.
Under Senate Bill 391, “students would have to earn a passing score in the state’s reading test at the end of the third grade or be held back” by way of RGJ.com. This bill has the aim to ensure that students don’t fall behind and remain in school.
But holding students back because of the results of a state mandated test is usually bad for the student. According to educational psychologist David Berliner, legislators are missing the mark.
“It seems like legislators are absolutely ignorant of the research, and the research is amazingly consistent that holding kids back is detrimental,” Berliner told theatlantic.com. From the looks of it, this bill will likely become law by the time the legislature adjourns on June 1st.
Perhaps the most controversial bill is one that deals with low performing schools. For any school that has “underperformed” by the state’s standards, it would be loosened from control of the local school district it belongs to and moved to a “state-run Achievement School District” run by a charter school operator.
The state would select the charter school operator and would look to move the low performing school back to the local school district as soon as it is “able to demonstrate adequate improvement.”
Both bills represent interesting concepts in regards to numbers and how to properly gauge the overall success of K-12 education. But they do not seem to take the well being of the student into account.
Sure–schools that underperform need to be reviewed and possibly overhauled. Turning them over to the instability of a charter school system may do more harm than good. Holding third graders back for their inability to pass a reading test doesn’t seem to be in the best interest of the student either.
This measuring tool may place additional burdens on teachers and undo stress on young students.
Nevada’s 2015 Legislative session will come to a close on June 1st.