Nevada’s Superintendent of Public Instruction Steve Canavero submitted his resignation letter to the governor late last week, shortly before the state’s legislature—which faces an ambitious education agenda—was set to go into session.
In recent weeks, two of the state’s deputy superintendents also submitted their resignations to the state. The three resignations sparked fear in the state’s advocacy communities that the state’s department of education won’t be able to provide the sort of research and guidance it’s provided state politicians in past years. The resignation also comes amid a push by advocates, teachers and parents to finally replace the state’s school funding formula which was crafted in 1967, making it one of the oldest in the nation.
Nevada’s K-12 system consistently ranks as one of the worst-performing in the nation, according to NAEP scores and Education Week‘s Quality Counts. This has frustrated state and local politicians, technocrats and practitioners and led to a series of ambitious efforts over the years to improve the system.
Canavero, whose last day will be Feb. 6, was appointed by former Republican Gov. Brian Sandoval to be the state’s interim superintendent in 2015 and hired full time into the role in 2016. He has overseen the creation of the state’s plan under the Every Student Succeeds Act, the start of a state-run district that oversees some of the state’s worst-performing schools, and a debate over how expansive the state’s charter sector should be.
“Superintendent Canavero is a champion for opening doors of opportunity for all students in his state. He helped to develop and pass educational investments and reforms in Nevada that have fueled programs to raise the achievement of English-language learners and students in poverty,” said CCSSO Executive Director Carissa Moffat Miller.
The state’s board of education can recommend to Democratic Gov. Steve Sisolak up to three candidates to replace Canavero. Sisolak will appoint the new chief.
A version of this news article first appeared in the State EdWatch blog.