Assembly Democrats to Present Legislation Aiding Struggling Students, Improveing Parental Involvement
March 3, 2011
CARSON CITY—Tomorrow, the Assembly Education Committee will hear two more bills sponsored by Assembly Democrats to help Nevada kids get the skills and proficiency they need to graduate, improve their preparedness for college, and better equip them for 21st century jobs.
Legislation (A.B. 233), sponsored by Education Committee Chair David Bobzien, gives schools flexibility in helping students who are credit deficient to catch up, meeting rigorous standards, so they can move forward and graduate.
“We are blazing a trail in Nevada to reengage at-risk students and make sure we can get them back on track,” Bobzien said. “Writing off those kids with serious truancy or academic problems has only given us sky-high dropout rates and a plummeting graduation rate. We need to give educators the tools to teach these kids what they need to know and assess whether they have mastered the skills they need to graduate and succeed.”
Legislation (A.B. 224) sponsored by Assemblywoman Theresa Benitez-Thompson, would help teachers and schools to better engage with parents in a meaningful way that impacts student achievement and involve family members in their children’s education.
“Education is a shared responsibility,” Benitez-Thompson said. “Parents and families can step in like no one else can to keep their kids on track. We have to do everything we can to bridge the achievement gap by engaging parents and families in their children’s education.”
The legislation establishes within the Department of Education the Office of Parental Involvement and Family Engagement, charging it with reviewing and evaluating programs being implemented in school districts as well as developing and applying a list of effective practices in districts.
The act adds a parental involvement component to the State Board of Education, School District, and report card, authorizes school districts to create advisory councils to encourage parental involvement based on effective practices, requires coursework in parental involvement and family engagement for new teachers who get an initial license on or after July 1, 2013, and improves training of educators
Yesterday, the Assembly Education Committee heard legislation to reform probationary status, post-probationary status, teacher evaluations, and to create a strong pay for performance package that rewards teachers for student achievement and meeting goals.
Next week, the committee will hear legislation to provide an alternate route to teacher licensure in areas of teacher shortage and for at-risk schools. This legislation, based on recommendations from the Education Reform Blue Ribbon Task Force, expands current law to allow qualified individuals to enter the teaching profession.