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WCSD Calls For Education Reform

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Chris Ciarlo
Channel 2 News
 
 

Washoe County School District Superintendent Dr. Heath Morrison is meeting with the School Board of Trustees Tuesday to unveil his Strategic Accountability Plan for K-12 education.

"Our strategic plan is built over five years," said Morrison. "We have targets for each year of that five year period."

Part of Morrison's plan creates an evaluation system for teachers and administrators. He said teachers will be evaluated at the beginning - and - end of each year.

They will be graded according to a four-tiered system. Teachers and administrators will be placed in four categories defined as highly effective, minimally effective, or ineffective.

"I think rewards and consequences are very, very important to having an accountability policy that really has some meat and teeth."

If a teacher or administrator is not reaching the effective mark, Morrison said they will be placed on three year probation. If they don't show improvement after three years, they will be let go.

For those teachers above average, Morrison said there will be rewards.

"They will get increased recognition, greater autonomy, and pay performance, which will give them additional dollars."

All schools and departments within the Washoe County School District will also be held to similar standards, based on graduation rates, suspensions and grades.

In each of those areas, they will be rated as exceeds standards, meets standards, approaches standards or below standards.

Morrison said there will be consequences for those not meeting the standard.

"That might mean some changes in staffing or closing of a school and reopening under another governance system."

So, what about those schools that traditionally struggle? I asked Morrison if they would have a far chance of being rewarded.

"If you are one of our higher performing schools, but not growing, that's an area of concern. If you're one of our lower performing schools, but getting better and better every year, there's measured growth. If we see growth, we want to recognize it and reward that."

During Tuesday's meeting, the board also approved more than 150 early employer buyouts that will save $4.3 million over the next two years.

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