Anna Habash, a policy analyst for Education Trust, a national nonprofit organization, said Nevada still has much work to do to if it wants to become a state that performs in the top tier. "You have to start somewhere," Habash said. "At least Nevada is moving in the right direction."
Daria Hall, director of K-12 policies with The Education Trust, based in Washington, D.C., said that schools like Tohatchi "are proof positive that when we organize for student success, low-income and English language learning students can perform at high levels."
But perhaps now that the Obama administration has not only embraced the idea but is requiring that states hoping to get a piece of the US Department of Education's $4.35 billion Race to the Top grant money must be willing to link teacher evaluations to student performance, the AFT has decided they'd better get a hand in this game. "This is a real about-face, especially after they put up a firewall in New York State to prevent districts from using student test scores when evaluating teachers," said Amy Wilkins of Education Trust, a nonprofit education reform group.