Posts Tagged ‘James Guthrie’

Nevada Granted Waiver From Federal Education Requirements In Exchange For New Accountability Measures

By Nevada News Bureau Staff | 12:35 pm August 8th, 2012

CARSON CITY – The U.S. Department of Education today approved Nevada’s request for a waiver from the No Child Left Behind Act in exchange for state-developed accountability measures.

Nevada’s accountability plan is designed to prepare all students for college and career readiness, substantially raise the achievement of the lowest achieving students, and support effective teaching and administration.

Nevada’s state-developed plan creates the Nevada School Performance Framework, a new system for classifying, rewarding, and supporting school performance. In addition to looking at student proficiency, Nevada will now be able to analyze and use student growth data and other measures in determining school and district success.

“This next generation accountability system is a central lever in statewide efforts to substantially elevate student performance,” said State Superintendent of Public Instruction James Guthrie. “This system was built through robust collaboration with key partners, together with whom we will re-engineer Nevada’s educational system to realize true college and career readiness for all students.”

Nevada Superintendent of Public Instruction James Guthrie.

Gov. Brian Sandoval said: “Today is a new day for education in Nevada. Nevada’s ESEA (Elementary and Secondary Education Act) Waiver creates an accountability system that improves student achievement and reflects Nevada’s education values and goals. I congratulate and thank the Nevada Department of Education for working with stakeholders to ensure we put Nevada’s children first.”

In order to obtain a waiver, states were required to meet certain conditions including adoption of the Common Core State Standards, which Nevada had adopted in June 2010, as well as the creation of a statewide system for evaluating teacher and administrator performance that relies in part on student achievement data. Nevada passed such legislation in June 2011.

Washoe County Schools Superintendent Pedro Martinez said the district is pleased with the decision to grant the waiver.

“(The) Washoe County School District was very involved with the development of the waiver application, and we are excited about the new accountability framework,” he said. “The Nevada School Performance Framework is built around student growth, which provides a more complete picture of student achievement.”

Martinez said the new accountability system, “will allow us to continue to focus on continuous improvement at schools throughout Washoe County so that every child receives a high-quality education that readies them for college and highly-skilled careers.”

Thirty-three states and the District of Columbia are now approved for waivers from the act in exchange for new accountability measures.

“Nevada joins the growing number of states who can’t wait any longer for education reform, and we’re thrilled that more than 1 million new students will now be protected under these 34 flexibility plans,” said U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan. “We still remain hopeful that Congress will come together to reauthorize the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, but we know states need this relief now.”

President Obama announced in September of 2011 that his administration would grant waivers from NCLB to qualified states. The first requests for waivers were granted in February of 2012. Four additional requests are still under review, and there is still time for other states to apply. States have until Sept. 6 to apply for the next round of waivers.

Sandoval Public Education Reform Agenda For 2013 Outlined By Top Administration Official

By Sean Whaley | 3:39 pm May 4th, 2012

CARSON CITY – Establishing school choice for parents and ending social promotion for students are two top priorities in Gov. Brian Sandoval’s education reform agenda for the 2013 legislative session, an administration official said today.

Linking pay to performance and providing professional development to ensure students have the best possible classroom teachers is a third major priority, said Dale Erquiaga, senior adviser to Sandoval.

Erquiaga briefed the Nevada State Public School Charter Authority on the governor’s education reform agenda being readied for the next session.

Photo courtesy of the National Archives and Records Administration via Wikimedia Commons.

Erquiaga said Sandoval is a strong believer in parental choice for schools and that he will again pursue that objective. Whether it will be through a voucher system or by providing opportunity scholarships directly to parents to pick a private or public school has yet to be determined, he said.

Implementing a voucher program would likely require a change to the state constitution, a time consuming process. A scholarship option might circumvent the need for a constitutional change. Florida implemented school choice by giving tax breaks to corporations that provide scholarships to parents for private school, including those operated by religious organizations.

“Fortunately though, we now, really for the first time, have a superintendent of public instruction who supports those concepts and will be working hand-in-hand with the governor’s office to present the best bill,” he said in an interview after his briefing. “The superintendent the governor has hired is a national expert with a national network, and we’re going to bring all of that intellect to bear on providing the very best bill that we can.”

James Guthrie, formerly the senior fellow and director of education policy studies at the George W. Bush Institute in Dallas, Texas, was named by Sandoval as the new state superintendent of public instruction in March. He started his new job April 2.

Erquiaga said Sandoval was disappointed that the 2011 Legislature failed to act on his proposal to end social promotion. His bill would have required children to be reading proficient by the end of third grade or they would not advance to the fourth grade.

The bill had a hearing but never made it out of the Democrat-controlled Assembly.

“We already provide class size reduction dollars in grades one, two and three,” Erquiaga said. “We have smaller class sizes and it is the intent of those dollars that those children receive the special attention. And yet we’re still passing on thousands of children who can’t read. We’re dooming them to failure.

“We may need to draw a bright line in the sand there,” he said.

Ensuring that each classroom has a highly effective teacher is Sandoval’s other major priority, Erquiaga said.

“We have a performance pay framework but the new superintendent has great ideas around a career ladder so that teachers can see a progression in their career and so we’re really going to look at that as well,” he said.

“We recognize that if we have an effective or highly effective teacher in the classroom, there is almost no better gift that we could give a child than that,” Erquiaga said.

The intention is to reward highly effective educators, including principals, and find ways to keep them, he said.

One element of Sandoval’s education agenda that was well received by the Charter Authority was the idea that many of the existing separate funds designated for specific needs such as textbooks, be placed instead in performance-based block grants that would give school districts more flexibility in how to use the money. Charter schools would be eligible for these block grants as well, Erquiaga said. A bill to accomplish this was introduced in the 2011 session but did not win approval.

The State Public School Charter Authority, itself created by the 2011 Legislature and viewed as a major education reform success by Sandoval, will have at least one bill draft, he said. The authority, created to focus on the creation and oversight of quality charter schools in Nevada, met today and had a discussion about what proposals to bring to the 2013 Legislature.

One of the key issues for the Charter Authority is the creation of “performance-based” charter contracts, which would link accountability to outcomes.

Erquiaga said Sandoval is a strong supporter of accountability throughout the public education system.

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Audio clips:

Sandoval Senior Adviser Dale Erquiaga says the governor will pursue school choice in the 2013 session:

050412Erquiaga1 :28 that we can.”

Erquiaga says social promotion is dooming thousands of children to failure:

050412Erquiaga2 :16 them to failure.”

Erquiaga says ensuring each classroom has a highly effective teacher is critical:

050412Erquiaga3 :11 that as well.”

 

Gov. Brian Sandoval Names James Guthrie Of The George W. Bush Institute As New State School Chief

By Sean Whaley | 1:57 pm March 12th, 2012

CARSON CITY – Gov. Brian Sandoval today named James Guthrie, currently the senior fellow and director of education policy studies at the George W. Bush Institute in Dallas, Texas, as Nevada’s new public schools chief.

Guthrie, who will be based in Las Vegas, will begin his job as state superintendent of public instruction on April. 2. He succeeds current Superintendent Keith Rheault, who is retiring.

Sandoval selected Guthrie from three names forwarded to him by the state Board of Education. The board interviewed five candidates last month. Guthrie received unanimous support from the board.

James Guthrie.

Sandoval’s appointment of Guthrie is a first for a Nevada governor. The state board had made the superintendent appointments until the law was changed by the 2011 Legislature as part of an education reform package sought by Sandoval.

“After the passage of education reform in the last legislative session, for Nevada to have access to a figure with a national reputation is the perfect next step,” Sandoval said. “I am honored and thrilled Dr. Guthrie has agreed to help lead Nevada as we continue strengthening education in our great state.”

In a phone interview today, Guthrie said he decided to seek the position in part because of a belief that Nevada is on the brink of significant success in the public education arena.

“There are many hopeful signs in the state, not least of which is . . .  we have two of the nation’s best superintendents and we may have more than that,” he said. “I just only know Heath Morrison in Washoe and Dwight Jones in Clark, I don’t know the other 15. But in those two, virtually any big district in the nation would be delighted to have either one of them and we have both.”

Morrison was recently named superintendent of the year.

The 2011 legislative session also made a number of positive moves in education reform that Guthrie said he is impressed with. Guthrie said he is also impressed with Sandoval and is looking forward to working with him on education reform efforts.

Guthrie said his first task will be to familiarize himself with Nevada and its public education system, although he has worked in the past for the Nevada Legislature and has made extensive visits to the state.

Guthrie said he also has experience in the political realm, which will be important as he works with the governor and state lawmakers in the 2013 legislative session.

“I’ve worked for a number of legislatures, I’ve worked in the White House, I’ve testified before Congress,” he said. “I can’t say that I know all that I need to know but I have done it before.”

Prior to his position with the George W. Bush Presidential Center, Guthrie served as a professor of education policy and leadership at the Annette Caldwell Simmons School of Education at Southern Methodist University.

Guthrie has a bachelor’s degree from Stanford University in physical anthropology, a master’s degree from Stanford in educational administration and earned his Ph.D. in educational administration from Stanford.

Guthrie has completed two postdoctoral fellowships, one at Harvard University in economics and education and one at Oxford Brooks College in Oxford, UK.

From 1999 to 2009, Guthrie served as the director of the Peabody Center for Education Policy at Vanderbilt University and as editor of the Peabody Journal of Education as well as the Peabody Education Leadership Series. From 1982 to 1983, Guthrie was the dean of the School of Education at the University of California, Berkeley. After serving as a professor in the graduate School of Education at the University of California, Berkeley, Guthrie was an education specialist in the U.S. Senate.

A published author, Guthrie has served at least 25 state governments and worked with international organizations such as The World Bank and the Organization of American States (OAS).

The state superintendent position pays about $121,785 a year plus benefits.

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Audio clips:

James Guthrie says there are a lot of reasons to be optimistic about Nevada’s public education system:

031212Guthrie1 :28 we have both.”

Guthrie says he has experience in dealing with legislators:

031212Guthrie2 :13 done it before.”

 

Three Finalists Forwarded To Gov. Sandoval For His Pick For State Schools Chief

By Sean Whaley | 1:42 pm February 24th, 2012

CARSON CITY – Two Nevadans and a scholar from Texas made the final cut today for the job of state superintendent of public instruction.

René Cantú Jr., Caroline McIntosh and James Guthrie were selected from among five finalists by the state Board of Education to forward to Gov. Brian Sandoval for him to select the new state public schools chief. Sandoval is expected to announce his choice sometime next month.

René Cantú Jr. is currently the executive director of the Latin Chamber of Commerce Community Foundation and former vice president of multicultural affairs at Nevada State College.

James Guthrie is a senior fellow and director of education policy studies at the George W. Bush Institute in Dallas, Texas, and a former member of the Board of Directors of the Berkeley Unified School District in California.

Caroline McIntosh is the superintendent of schools for the Lyon County School District.

Guthrie was the top finalist, winning favorable votes from all 10 members of the board. Cantú and McIntosh received 8-2 votes.

Sandoval has called the appointment of a new superintendent one of the most important he will make as governor.

James Guthrie.

The five candidates were interviewed by the board on Wednesday and Thursday.

Keith Rheault, Nevada’s current superintendent is retiring in early April.

Sandoval wants a new schools chief on board well ahead of the 2013 legislative session.

As a result of education reform legislation approved by the 2011 Legislature, Sandoval now has the authority to appoint the new schools chief. In the past the 10-member Board of Education had the authority to select the superintendent.

The board today discussed the qualifications and qualities of all five candidates before voting.

Board Vice President Adriana Fralick said of Cantú: “He knows education. He is eager and excited to work. I think of all of them he probably would work harder to prove himself. I like that about him. He may not have as much experience management-wise as some of the others but I think he had a lot of good points.”

Board member Willia Chaney said McIntosh was energetic in her interview and already has a working knowledge of the problems and challenges facing public education in Nevada.

“And I think that she has a strong vision and she has high expectations,” Chaney said. “And I believe that any person who is going to lead the Department of Education has to have high expectations.”

Board member Craig Wilkinson was one of several board members who spoke very highly of Guthrie, saying he would clearly seek out the opinions of others and get to know all of the stakeholders in the education reform effort.

“He was for the students,” Wilkinson said. “I like that. He wasn’t just education. He was for the students and teachers.”

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Audio clips:

Board Vice President Adriana Fralick says Cantú knows education:

022412Fralick :26 of good points.”

Board member Willia Chaney says McIntosh was energetic in her interview and already has a working knowledge of the problems and challenges facing public education in Nevada:

022412Chaney :31 have high expectations.”

Board member Craig Wilkinson says Guthrie will seek out the opinions of others:

022412Wilkinson :21 students and teachers.”

 

Five Educators, Three From Nevada, Picked As Finalists For Nevada Public Education Chief

By Sean Whaley | 5:29 pm January 26th, 2012

CARSON CITY – Five finalists for Nevada’s top public education job were submitted today to the state Board of Education.

The names of three finalists will be forwarded to Gov. Brian Sandoval for his final selection after interviews are conducted by the Board of Education next month.

The five finalists, picked from 15 applicants who sought the position of state superintendent of public instruction, are:

- René Cantú Jr., currently the executive director of the Latin Chamber of Commerce Community Foundation and former vice president of multicultural affairs at Nevada State College;

René Cantú Jr.

- James Guthrie, senior fellow and director of education policy studies at the George W. Bush Institute in Dallas, Texas, and a former member of the Board of Directors of the Berkeley Unified School District in California.

- Magdalena Martinez, assistant vice chancellor for academic and student affairs with the Nevada System of Higher Education;

- Caroline McIntosh, superintendent of schools for the Lyon County School District;

James Guthrie.

- Sylvia McMullen, co-founder of the Education Data Collaborative and executive director of the Texas Education Reform Foundation, of College Park, Texas;

Keith Rheault, Nevada’s current superintendent who will be retiring in early April, said the state board is scheduled to interview the finalists on Feb. 22 and 23, voting on Feb. 24 on three finalists to forward to Sandoval for his consideration for a March appointment.

Sandoval wants a new schools chief on board well ahead of the 2013 legislative session.

As a result of education reform legislation approved by the 2011 Legislature, Sandoval now has the authority to appoint the new schools chief. In the past the 10-member Board of Education had the authority to select the superintendent.

Magdalena Martinez.

Magdalena Martinez.

The job pays about $121,785 a year plus benefits.

Sandoval has called the appointment one of the most important he will make as governor.

Dale Erquiaga, senior adviser to Sandoval, helped pick the five finalists.

The reform legislation in Senate Bill 197 also changes the makeup of the state Board of Education following the 2012 general election. The board will have four elected members, one from each of the state’s congressional districts, one member appointed by Sandoval and one member each selected by the Senate majority leader and Assembly speaker. There will also be four non-voting members appointed by the governor representing different public education interests.

Sandoval and lawmakers also agreed to a number of education reforms in the 2011 session, including a new teacher evaluation process to ensure the best educators remain in the classroom.