“All our efforts have one purpose. It is to ensure all students are Ready by Exit.”
These words grace the inside cover of Nevada’s Clark County School District’s (CCSD) A Look Ahead, Phase II: Progress Made and the Next Mile. Superintendent Dwight D. Jones released the white paper yesterday as a summary of the progress made in his two years as Superintendent, as well as a vision for the future. The district saw its first increase in years for graduation rates, indicators of success in turnaround schools, and progress in state test scores.
Starting in summer 2011, Clark County School District began to reorganize its structure, following a model very similar to our own by separating its schools into 13 “performance zones.” These zones include “autonomous zones” for high-performing schools, and “turnaround zones” (see our blog title) for low-performing schools in need of more support. The “turnaround zones” are beginning to see some progress toward shrinking the achievement gap, but district leadership readily admits that there is still a long road to go. Meanwhile, the “autonomous zones” allow for more power for school leaders within those zones so that more resources may be focused on the “turnaround zones.”
CCSD also finds strengths in its community partnership programs, which build strong capacity and cultures within some of the lowest-performing schools in the district.