As a nonprofit policy advocacy organization, Nevada Succeeds works to bring relevant information and analysis to education stakeholders as we pursue immediate and continuous improvement to Nevada’s public education system. Our work has brought us in contact with leading minds from across the education policy landscape, many of whom have come to Nevada to speak with policy makers at our behest. We maintain a full time presence in Carson City during the biennial Legislative Session, where we serve as a clearinghouse for education policy and are regularly asked for input by policy makers on the issues affecting Nevada’s public education system.
Both at the Legislative and School District level, Nevada Succeeds strives to set itself apart from traditional business interests who work in education policy circles. In practice, this means that we get involved at a granular level regarding education policy and take the time to truly understand what is driving Nevada’s education crisis. We attend Legislative hearings and School Board meetings, converse with advocates from across the political spectrum, and maintain a core focus on improving student outcomes above all else. While our knowledge of Nevada’s education space is both deep and broad, our activities are narrowly focused by our Charter and accompanying bylaws, the crux of which is outlined in Our Mission. That focus has brought us to the conclusion that there are two major drivers of Nevada’s educational crisis: Early Childhood Literacy and Nevada’s Broken Teacher and Leader Pipeline
Our Research has identified millions of dollars in potential cost savings to the state and has already led to an official reconsideration of how resources are allocated.
We’ve worked hard to address these challenges, and our past work reflects our commitment to helping solve Nevada’s education crisis through a greater awareness of effective policy and strategies. This work includes:
- The Nevada Literacy Summit
- The Legislative Academy
- Teacher & Leaders Workforce Pipeline
- Social Impact Financing/Pay For Success
In March of 2013 the Nevada Literacy Summit set the stage for the interim legislative session and jump started a statewide discussion about the importance of literacy. With over 200 attendees, a quarter of the Legislature, 5 of 6 Nevada State Board Of Education members, and 20 policy experts from across the country the event was a smashing success.
Our February 2015 Legislative Academy was attended by two thirds of the legislature, as well as the Lt. Governor and State Superintendent, so that they might hear our important message on improving education through a focus on literacy and improved teacher quality. We brought in a diverse group of policy, governmental, and business leaders to speak to the importance of effective literacy legislation and the lessons Nevada might learn from the experiences of other states.
Nevada Succeeds successfully worked with UNLV to redesign their outdated and inactive teacher preparation program, an absence that exacerbated already strained teacher hiring challenges. Our advocacy and coalitionbuilding has called attention to the teacher pipeline and made it a legislative priority for the 2015 legislative session. Nevada Succeeds partnered with philanthropists to create special scholarships for highcaliber aspiring teachers to enter a unique new principal certification program at UNLV, which we were also instrumental in helping design and get off the ground.
In January of 2014, Nevada Succeeds hosted the Social Impact Forum to discuss Pay For Success financing.This program utilizes innovative financing models to promote early childhood literacy in the form of expanded prekindergarten seats for atrisk youth by using private dollars and aggressive accountability measures, without raising taxes. SIB/PFS has been adopted by the State, which is currently setting up a program around quality prek investment based on our work. Next steps include monitoring the state process for fidelity, and working with partners to secure adequate financing.