Nevada is pushing forward with a new road map for student achievement, despite the rollback of federal regulations.
The U.S. Senate recently approved a bill to repeal the Every Student Succeeds Act accountability rules issued by the Obama administration. That was followed by new guidelines on ESSA issued by U.S. Education Secretary Betsy DeVos.
Neither really affects the state’s plan, dubbed the “New Nevada Plan” by the state Education Department.
“We don’t really need to be worried about what’s going on in Washington,” said Brett Barley, Nevada deputy superintendent for student achievement.
That’s true for many states, said Carissa Moffat Miller, deputy executive director of the Council of Chief State School Officers. Eighteen states, including Nevada, are set to submit plans to the U.S. Education Department by the first deadline, April 3. The rest of the states will submit plans in September.
“Regardless of the regulations or not, they’re taking a complete state vision and building it into a plan for education in their states,” Miller said.
Rolling back the regulations doesn’t change statutory requirements states have to meet, said Anne Hyslop, a senior associate for policy and advocacy at Chiefs for Change, a nonprofit group for top education officials. Regulations typically help clarify the law and set standard definitions of legal terms written into law, she said.
The template change also doesn’t really affect states, since DeVos is including alternate templates states could use. One of the alternate templates was the original one, Barley said. That’s what Nevada will use.
The state wants to become “the fastest improving in the nation,” and is using the plan as the guideline.
“We believe this is an attainable goal because we’re doing it already in many places,” Barley said.
Gov. Brian Sandoval will sign off on the plan before it is submitted.
The plan will take effect for the 2017-18 year, once Nevada gets feedback from the federal Education Department.