By Caroline Bleakley, Senior Online Editor - email
LAS VEGAS -- Fourteen high schools today earned top-rated "Five Star" status from the Clark County School District as part of a ranking system designed to hold the district responsible for student performance.
The School Performance Framework for high schools compares all of the district's high schools to their counterparts.
The "Five Star" schools scored an 80 or higher on the district's metric including federal requirements for the Adequate Yearly Progress targets.
"The goal of the School Performance Framework is to allow educators to work together and learn from each other," School Board of Trustees President Dr. Linda Young said. "Like the elementary and middle school rankings, the high school ranking system gives us an opportunity to recognize our areas of excellence while focusing more attention and resources on schools that need improvement."
Under the system, schools are scored on graduation, academic growth, college and career readiness and school climate. Schools are then placed in one of five categories: "Five Stars" for highest performing schools; "Four Stars" for exceeding expectations; "Three Stars" for schools that are meeting but not exceeding academic standards; "Two Stars" for schools close to meeting minimum standards; and "One Star" for low performing schools.
"Five Star" schools include Advanced Technologies Academy, Boulder City High School, College of Southern Nevada High School East. South and West campuses, East Career and Technical Academy, Indian Springs High School, Las Vegas Academy, Moapa Valley High School, Northwest Career and Technical Academy, Southwest Career and Technical Academy, Veterans Tribute Career and Technical Academy, West Career and Technical Academy and West Prep.
Those schools will be given more flexibility over curriculum, budget and day-to-day operations. They will also serve as model schools for lower performing schools to emulate.
The ranking framework utilizes data from the recently developed Nevada Growth Model that tracks individual student academic growth from year-to-year using various demographics, including ethnicity and achievement level. This method of growth measurement allows the community to recognize gains made by schools each year and also provides schools and families with individual growth data on every student. Having individual student growth data allows educators to intervene earlier when students begin to fall behind. It also ensures that schools continue to challenge and provide high-achieving students with opportunities to grow.
Superintendent Dwight Jones called the comparison system a turning point in the district's ongoing commitment to raising the bar and improving education for every student.
"For our high schools, the School Performance Framework captures more than just academics," Jones said. "While test scores are a factor, we know that the high school experience is about more than standardized testing. The rankings show us which schools are doing a great job at educating students in and out of the classroom."
Jones also said that the framework ranking system affirms the district's pledge to have every student "ready by exit" to compete in college or career without remediation. More than a third of a school's overall score focuses on college and career preparation.
"This is the true test of our goal to have every student ‘ready by exit' to succeed in college or career," he said. "The college and career readiness category, perhaps more than any other, will be a measure of our progress at all grade levels in the years to come."
Deputy Superintendent Pedro Martinez said recognizing high-achieving schools is an important part of the district's efforts to give every student a quality education.
"We want to raise our academic standards districtwide," Martinez said. "Our One and Two Star schools are just as capable of success as our Four and Five Star schools. We want our high performing schools to serve as models of excellence for others to follow."
Development of the ranking framework was led by the Technical Advisory Panel on Academic Growth, made up of seven teachers, six principals, two parents and community members.
Giving high-performing schools more independence allows the district to focus more of its time and resources on raising academic achievement at schools not performing to their full potential. Schools can earn additional stars by raising academic performance among students.
Results of the rankings will not be used to evaluate school administrators or teachers this school year. The district previously unveiled its new performance framework for elementary and middle schools.
For more information about the School Performance Framework or the "Five Star Schools," visit ccsd.net
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