Nevada is one of 18 states using a new growth model to follow a student’s academic performance over a period of time rather than by an annual test score.

Nevada’s Clark County School District (CCSD) unveiled prototypes of websites to measure academic achievement and operational efficiency during a meeting with school board members on Oct 13.

Ken Turner, special adviser to Clark County Schools Superintendent Dwight Jones, has been looking at similar systems used in other districts. Jones said he is pushing for new ways to track how dollars are spent in the district to better understand how much “return on investment” the district — and taxpayers — are getting.

The meeting was the first of many this year to see how the cash-strapped but reform-minded district can best implement new technology.

Turner unveiled a prototype for a new school-ranking system that would help educators determine how their schools are performing academically in relation to one another.

Using the system, 30 elementary and middle schools were analyzed, ranked by numerical scores and color coded. Green illustrated positive growth; red showed stagnant growth.

In an eMail message to eSchool News, CCSD spokesman Michael Rodriguez said the School Performance Framework was developed by the Colorado Department of Education and is in the public domain, and therefore has no cost to the district.

There were three criteria that went into the proposed school rankings: achievement (test score results), growth (how much students are improving) and gaps (if achievement gaps between white and minority students are narrowing).