Nevada is one of 30 states that require student growth factors to be a portion of a teacher's evaluation. Growth is measured as the academic progress a student makes between two points in time, typically year over year.
However, according to research conducted by the non-partisan National Council on Teacher Quality, state policy does not actually require any particular score on the growth component when deciding an educator's effectiveness. It's often left up to the local district to make that call.
"What we're finding is that the policy hasn't even gotten it quite right on the front end," says Joseph. "There is this loophole where teachers can be rated pretty low on the student growth component in their evaluation, but still gain an effective rating."
Joseph says states like Nevada should make growth requirements very clear when drafting evaluation policy. Groups opposed to using student growth as a factor in teacher evaluations have argued that the requirement is unfair as it relies too much on student test-scores.