CCSD Tries New Approach Amid Dropping Test Scores - 8 News NOW

CCSD Tries New Approach Amid Dropping Test Scores

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LAS VEGAS -- Middle school reading test scores in the Clark County School District are down 20 percent. That news comes as the district says it will undergo a reorganization to try a new approach to improve student achievement.

For the cash-strapped school district, it's a bit like squeezing the last bit of toothpaste from the tube. CCSD is ditching the five regions it used to have and centralizing control in hopes of getting principals and teachers in the same neighborhoods to work together. They are creating what they call "performance zones."

"We were fragmented. We had programs that were coming in from the regions and the regions were doing the best they could. And we have programs that were coming in from different divisions like Student Support Services or grant funds. Again, these programs were fragmented, were disconnected. Now, we're working together as a team," said CCSD Deputy Superintendent Pedro Martinez.

The district has created 13 performance zones. Martinez says he tried and succeeded with a similar plan in Chicago and Reno. CCSD says state budget cuts force per student resources to be 60 percent of the nationwide average.

"You could say you get what you pay for. The other side of the coin is let's take a look at what our resources are and whether or not we can leverage them to a higher level than we have been," said Carolyn Edwards, CCSD Board of Trustees.

Superintendent Dwight Jones says the new performance zones are part of a three to five year plan and it could take that long to see test scores improve.

Seventh and eighth grade reading proficiency scores went down 20 percent compared to last year. The district partially blames changing test standards for this year's lower scores and highlights improvements in fifth grade scores.

The new performance zones will not change which school your child will go to next year. To view a man of the zones, click here.

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