School District Joins National Network - 8 News NOW

School District Joins National Network

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LAS VEGAS - Clark County School District leaders are in Washington, D.C. this week in an effort to improve teacher evaluations. CCSD is receiving a grant by the National Education Association, beating out other school districts around the nation.

School district officials, four principals, four teachers, and leaders from the Clark County Education Association made the trip to Washington, D.C. They are tasked with creating an action plan that focuses on teacher instructional practices, evaluations and motivation.

CCSD Chief Student Achievement Officer Mike Barton is among those in the nation's capital. He explained how these meetings will translate to success in the classroom.

"A great teacher really knows where the kids are at every point in the lesson, and the lesson is well prepared, well implemented," he said. "To see a great teacher in all classrooms across the Clark County School District, that's how we're going to get great results."

The effort will encompass more than just teachers. CCSD leaders are also creating ways to strengthen the relationship between the school district and the teachers union. That relationship has strained in recent years due to multiple education budget cuts.

CCEA President Vikki Courtney says she's excited to have been selected for this two-year program. She says it's another step toward building a school system in which the needs of teachers and students are met.

Chaparral High School Principal David Wilson is also part of the contingent in Washington, D.C. He has been an educator since 1991 and a principal since 2000.

While Chaparral has made improvements, he says the school still has a long way to go. Wilson says 65 percent of his freshmen are reading below a 5th grade level. Sixty four percent of seniors passed the most recent math proficiency test.

Wilson says he's excited about the opportunity to promote change.

"It's quite an honor, because what our teachers association is looking to do is actually forge a partnership with schools and administrators when it comes to what instruction looks like, instead of just being a union that's dealing with funding issues. So, it's exciting," he said.

The effort goes beyond Chaparral. Clark County leaders are mapping out a plan Barton says the district will immediately begin implementing. Barton says education officials will focus on two major areas: how to better evaluate teachers and improving the relationship between CCSD and the teachers union.

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