Success with New Standards in Nevada

Unlike the majority of the states, Common Core is firmly supported by virtually all of Nevada. Adopted June 22, 2010, teachers, parents and even the legislature have stood behind it, proudly announcing the success their students are reaping from the new standards. While dissent grew in the north, it was handled responsibly and respectfully, making Nevada one of the more mature states of this entire debate.

Small Discontent

In late 2013 and early 2014, it became clear that Northern Nevadans were growing increasingly upset with the Common Core. Instead of forcing them to comply or otherwise threatening to cut funding, the Nevada Board of Education, Washoe County School District and Education Alliance of Northern Nevada teamed up in an effort to educate the public about the Core standards. The Superintendent then announced a string of open forums where the entire community would be invited to partake in an honest discussion about what the Core is and what it is not.

Support and Mishaps

With the successful role out of the new standards came the inevitable turn to mandatory yearly testing that coincided with the new curriculum. Unfortunately, this met with a bit of a snag. On the first day of testing, computers around the state crashed, bringing the test to an indefinite halt. The Superintendent of Public Instruction was less than pleased with Measured Progress’ ability to deliver a system without bugs. As it turns out, the testing company didn’t have enough server power, resulting in a crash as soon as too many students logged in. Luckily, however, not every school was affected. Those that waited a little longer managed to get on and take the test without issue.

While the error was inevitably fixed and students were able to finally show what they learned, a proposal entered into the Nevada assembly. Its contents, written by Brent Jones, would have forced all Nevada schools to allow the parents the right to opt their kids out of any standardized test that paralleled the Common Core, claiming the Core to be an experiment on the children. While no one was allowed to testify for or against after his speech, the proposal failed.

In response to not being heard at the actual hearing, many educators took to the internet to share their first hand opinion of the common core. Hands down, they see it as one of the best things to happen to their poverty-stricken students. Instead of forcing the students to memorize without understanding, it gets them to figure out the answers on their own, coming to the same conclusions but with a complete grasp of the concepts. These teachers want nothing more than to see their bilingual students become the first in their families to attend and excel in college, achieving the American Dream that so many of us forget.