LAS VEGAS -- The Clark County School District released its 2011-12 School Performance Framework rankings.
In an improvement over the inaugural ranking system, 91 of the District's 357 schools achieved a Five-Star ranking.
CCSD officials were pleased with the growth, saying that in addition to holding the District accountable for academic performance, the transparent accountability system allows schools in need of improvement to learn and model the behaviors from high-performing schools.
"The goal of the School Performance Framework is to allow educators to work together and learn from each other," said CCSD Board of Trustees President Dr. Linda E. Young. "The improvements in academic performance prove that all students are capable of achievement when teachers and building leaders model methods that work."
Under the system, schools receive scores based on academic growth, graduation rate, student engagement and other factors. 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.
Superintendent Dwight D. Jones says the increased number of Five-Star schools shows that while the District is improving, there is still room for growth.
"While it may be tempting to take a victory lap, we must remain focused on making sure all of our schools become Four and Five-Star institutions," Superintendent Jones said. "For so long, we've been one of the fastest growing Districts in the nation. Now that is changing. We are striving to become the fastest improving district in the country and the SPF allows us to document that in a fair and equitable way."
One success story from this year's SPF rankings is Raul P. Elizondo Elementary School. After narrowly escaping a One-star ranking and receiving a Two-star ranking last year, the school achieved a Five-Star ranking this year.
Principal Keith France attributes the school's rapid success to a team effort among parents, students, teachers and staff.
"When I moved to Elizondo as the principal and met the children, I knew there was no reason that the school was performing this low," said France. "I was able to bring experience and gain the support needed to improve achievement."
France says instituting a parent engagement program that worked for staff and the community as well as focusing on the success of every student, not just students expected to succeed or fail, helped lead them to success.
"As a teacher and administrator, it's easy to focus on the students with the most potential or bypass them while microtargeting kids who are more at-risk of failing," he continued. "We really changed our focus to make sure we reached every student. Our teachers began working closer together and this was truly a team effort. The Five-Star ranking is the result of a lot of hard work and the Elizondo school family deserves this recognition."
The SPF uses 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.