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Charter Schools Confront Academic Challenges Amidst Pandemic Dilemmas

By TheNevadaGlobeStaff, November 9, 2023 9:19 am

NEVADA – In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, Nevada’s charter schools face academic scrutiny as the State Public Charter School Authority Board identifies two dozen institutions as academically underperforming. The board issued notices of concern for 11 schools, with an additional 13 expected to follow at the December 8 meeting.

Notable among the flagged institutions are Explore Academy, Honors Academy of Literature, and Silver Sands Montessori, all receiving the lowest 1-star rating in the Nevada School Performance Framework (NSPF) and ‘Below Standard’ from the SPCSA’s Academic Performance Framework.

Battle Born Academy, Imagine Schools at Mountain View, Quest Academy Northwest, SLAM Nevada, and Somerset Academy North Las Vegas received 1-star and ‘Does Not Meet Standard’ ratings for their elementary levels. Civica Academy’s elementary and middle schools, along with two online middle schools — Nevada Virtual and Pinecrest Academy Virtual — received 2-star and ‘Does Not Meet Standard’ ratings.

The 13 additional charter schools anticipated to receive notices of concern next month generally performed better but still fall below the board’s set threshold. These developments highlight the challenges faced by the education sector during the pandemic, impacting growth metrics and performance evaluations.

While the board had the option to escalate concerns to notices of breach, potential school closures for underperformance, staff recommended refraining from such actions due to pandemic disruptions. State law mandates the termination of any charter school receiving three 1-star ratings in the NSPF within a five-year period.

Controversy surrounds the growth data component used for ratings, with concerns about skewed results due to years without testing and low participation rates within the Clark County School District. Despite these challenges, the notices of concern aim to ensure accountability and encourage corrective action plans to address academic concerns. The board’s commitment to consistency in issuing notices reflects a dedication to the academic well-being of students in Nevada’s charter schools.

Credits: Nevada Current

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