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July 23, 2014

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Education:

Sandoval to settle on next state schools superintendent in August

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ASSOCIATED PRESS

Nevada State Superintendent Jim Guthrie testifies in an education committee at the Legislative Building in Carson City on March 1, 2013. Guthrie told lawmakers that effective teachers trump the issue of class size. Clark County Schools Superintendent Dwight Jones is at left.

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Nevada Gov. Brian Sandoval delivers the State of the State address at the Legislature in Carson City on Wednesday, Jan. 16, 2013.

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Gov. Brian Sandoval is expected to announce a new state superintendent by the end of the summer, according to a search timeline released Thursday.

The Nevada State Board of Education is currently looking to replace Jim Guthrie, who abruptly announced his resignation in late March without giving any reason. The state school board discussed plans for the superintendent search process during a meeting Thursday morning.

Nevada's superintendent of public instruction serves at the pleasure of the governor and executes K-12 education policies set by the governor and the state school board.

The governor's office and the state human resources department will begin accepting applications for the position in May or June. Interested applicants must submit a cover letter and resume by July 5.

According to a draft job posting, applicants must be at least 21 years old and undergo a background check.

They also must have experience working in the classroom and school administration, as well as experience with English-language learner students and large budgets.

They must work collaboratively with lawmakers, business and community leaders, parents and school leaders to close the achievement gap between different student groups and improve underperforming schools.

In addition, applicants must be "strongly committed to education reform and a student-first philosophy" and be a "team player," according to the draft qualifications.

The governor will submit the names of six candidates to the state school board, which will vet each candidate. After its July 25 meeting in Carson City, school board members will narrow the candidate pool to three names, which will be forwarded to the governor's office.

Ultimately, the governor will select the next superintendent from that pool of three candidates, according to a new state law implemented in 2011. Sandoval is expected to announce Guthrie's replacement in August.

The next state superintendent will have a plethora of challenges in improving Nevada's struggling education system. Nevada has the lowest graduation rate among states nationally and ranks at the bottom of many education rankings.

The new superintendent will come in the middle of many new education reform efforts started by his predecessors, including implementing a new Common Core curriculum and tests and continuing several federal school "turnaround" efforts. He or she also must launch a new teacher evaluation system, which has been in the works for the past couple of years.

The next superintendent must oversee new state money — pending approval from the Legislature — for a variety of initiatives, such as full-day kindergarten and literacy programs for English-language learners.

Interested candidates may submit their information by email, by mail (101 N. Carson St., Carson City, NV 89701) or by fax (775-684-5683).

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  1. Our state needs to fund Nevada's infrastructure sufficiently and sustainably enough to attract and KEEP the BEST people. Until THAT happens, all we will hear is the sounds of crickets, and all we will have is a revolving door of highly qualified people coming and going. For whatever it's worth.

    Blessings and Peace,
    Star