In a state where graduation rates are among the nation's lowest, and where reading and math performance lags the national average, these measures are crucial. Policymakers are seeking to identify and recognize terrific teachers, promote school accountability and address low-performing schools.
When it comes to making these efforts pay off in Clark County, two challenges loom large. First, state-level policies tend to be blunt and prescriptive. This can lead to pushback or frustration. Second, these reforms depend mightily on whether school and system leaders employ them wisely and well.
For instance, efforts to give schools more flexibility or embrace more performance-based teacher evaluations pay off only if leaders use their new authority, and do so in thoughtful ways. Too often in the past, this has not happened.