Fighting for Nevada’s Children

  • After 40 years as an educator, I learned that Nevada does best when all of our families have a fair shot at success. That's why I'm continuing to fight for world-class schools for our kids, good jobs with fair pay for our workers, and a secure retirement for our seniors. I hope you'll stand with me so we can make Nevada into an even better place to live, work, and raise a family.

    - Joyce Woodhouse





    LAS VEGAS - Today, State Senator Joyce Woodhouse (D - Henderson) announced her “Time to Teach, Not Test” initiative. Senator Woodhouse filed a bill draft request requiring that the Nevada Department of Education conduct a full audit of student assessments at every grade level. The goal of the audit will be to identify and eliminate unnecessary and redundant student assessments while improving remaining assessments.

    “Putting so much of our focus on testing creates a more stressful learning environment for students and takes away valuable classroom hours from teachers,” said Senator Woodhouse. “Teachers should be teaching, not just administering tests. Students should be focused on mastering their coursework, not solely on preparing for the next test on the horizon. With a full audit of our current assessment structure, we can come closer to achieving those goals while still maintaining accountability within our schools.” 

    “The Nevada State Education Association (NSEA) applauds Senator Woodhouse’s initiative to reduce the focus on high-stakes standardized tests, so students have more time to learn and teachers have more time to teach,” said Brian Rippet, NSEA Vice-President. “NSEA is committed to a quality public education for every Nevada student and initiatives like this one proposed by the senator and the Every Student Succeeds Act puts education decision making back where it belongs – in the hands of local educators, parents, and communities.”

    "Analyzing instruction is an important piece of my training as a national board certified teacher. Spending critical instruction time watching students become frustrated with an assessment, does not assist me with analyzing and adjusting instruction appropriate for my students,” said Amy Horonzy, National Board Certified teacher and NSEA member from Douglas County. “The Every Student Succeeds Act provides a way to allow teachers with more instruction time and less testing time. Teachers need more time to teach, especially now with "Read by 3."

    With the passage of the federal Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) in 2015, many federal requirements for student assessment have been eliminated. The ESSA has also made federal funding available for states to audit and streamline assessments. As part of the Time to Teach initiative, Senator Woodhouse also sent a letter to the Nevada Department of Education urging that Nevada begin the process of applying for that funding immediately. 



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