Nevada Republicans can no longer blame school boards comprised primarily of Democrats who the teachers union effectively controls.
Now we have the ignorance of a large number of our Republican elected officials that have facilitated “not reforming the system” again as the causation of this continued disaster. These Republicans accepted the Democrats’ platitudes and excuses and the scheming of the failed bureaucracy as a basis for their decisions. They now deserve credit for completely dropping the education reform ball during the recently concluded legislative session.
Exemplifying this failure of some Republican elected officials’ wrong-headed thinking are the comments written by Assemblyman Chris Edwards in his guest commentary in the Tribune last week. Chris, don’t you read the emails that I send you when the legislature is in session? Do you read my reports in the Tribune?
RINO Governor Sandoval doesn’t deserve “credit for facing Nevada’s education crisis with a multi-pronged effort to address the different obstacles…” because the first 10 prongs of his solution are: throw money at it, throw money at it, throw money at it…
Now that the legislature’s vote to eliminate prevailing wage costs from school construction has been proven to be a farce, only one of the programs that the legislature enacted is more than smoke and mirrors — “for the kids.”
Chris Edwards offers, in his comments, that he has found a “savings” of $42 million by phasing in all-day kindergarten. This is propaganda straight out of the D’s and school board handbook. Adding all-day kindergarten COSTS money. There is no “savings” in a delayed increase in costs. And empirical evidence has proven that by grade 3 students who attend all-day kindergarten have no advantage over those who never did attend all-day K. This screwy Democratic Party logic as a basis for thinking is not a reasonable basis for Republicans to build
Republican decision-making upon. We can completely eliminate all-day kindergarten where it already exists and ACTUALLY save money. This will have no effect on high school graduation rates because empirical evidence shows that any effect of all-day K is gone by the third grade.
Our own Clark County School District spends extreme amounts of effort, time and money trying to back its assertions, no matter how absurd they are. If “classroom-size reduction” was helping students succeed,
our school district would have tons of suspect statistical analysis and theories in front of the public “proving” that it works. But some Republicans believed the repeated platitude chant that “classroom-size reduction” helps kids. If the teachers union and school boards started chanting that red school houses helped kids learn better, would our
buildings all be red now? Try to apply critical thinking to the propaganda from the liberal press and the D’s.
So what, logically, does the increase in teachers and building more classrooms and buying more portable classrooms do? The only simple and provable end results are:
1. More money in the hands of politicians gives them more power.
2. More teachers results in more teachers in the teachers union. If you don’t believe this is true then you should attend the school board meetings for a year. You will find that they are scared of the union (go figure — Democrats controlled by a union. Stop me if my credibility is stretched too far…). And you will see them steer contracts for everything from pizza providers to professional services onto people and companies who are making the right campaign donations and more.
Along with unproven claims that classroom-size reduction is “for the kids” goes huge expenditures for constructing new schools. Readers of my previous articles will recall that our school districts’ buildings are UNDERUTILIZED by anywhere from 30 to 60 percent depending upon how you look at it. So why do some of our Republican politicians act as though they did the kids a favor by building more schools? Is it not obvious that more school buildings will only increase the overhead and drain more money from actual teaching activities? If you owned 300 stores in the county and you knew that building more stores would not increase sales but would increase the overhead, would you build more stores? It’s an employment program for prevailing wage construction workers. Would an ex-supreme court judge know that the legislation to remove prevailing wage costs from school construction would fail? Do you know what Sandoval’s last job was?
Now think through Edward’s editorial comments regarding “team teaching” as being “a bridge too far.” Actually, School Board propagandists and the socialist media don’t want Sandoval or Edwards or voters to have the vocabulary to comprehend the topic. In his comments, Edwards gets confused between “classroom-size reduction” and (no word for) “team teaching.” Under the current mishandling of the system, classroom-size reduction can’t fix anything.
Using common sense, a commodity frequently lacking in politics, let us look at full utilization of school facilities and its accompanying principal. Back in the days when the educational system in Clark County was as successful as the average school district in the USA, we built many classrooms that would hold over 30 kids. By today’s standards (chant: classroom-size reduction), they are double the size that the unions want. Double-sized classes with two teachers are known, according to empirical evidence, to have a high statistical likelihood of improving education. This is because with two teachers in the classroom, one teacher is almost always teaching. And more time
listening to a teacher teach is known to actually help the kids. Most of those schools with larger classrooms are the older schools that are failing. And the old schools, originally built with the larger classrooms, tend to be in the failing areas, where they are actually needed.
Because Nevada is among the states with the worst educational systems in the nation, we hire a disproportionately large number of the worst teachers from the crop of new teachers that barely graduate every year. As soon as those teachers have a few years of learning to teach here on their resume, many go back to their home states. So getting
the first- and second-year teacher to learn how to teach quickly is very important to success of Clark County education. Teaming new zealous teachers with experienced teachers in team-teaching classrooms will help the teachers and the kids.
So why are they not pushing that concept? Because about eight years ago the school district got caught putting unqualified people in the role of the second person in the team-teaching classroom and the state put an end to it. It was basic mismanagement by the school boards and bureaucracy. Bungled management can never be fixed if taxpayers keep on pouring more money into the broken system. And while team-teaching could possibly help, thinking about why it could work leads to taxpayers actually comprehending the problem that it would fix. It is
apparent that none — not Sandoval, school boards, the D’s, the teachers union nor the socialist press — are willing to take the chance that taxpayers could follow the conversation about solving the real problems because all discussion, chanting and propaganda lead us in the opposite direction of the Sandoval solution.
Upcoming commentaries: The only good education news from the 2015 legislature was called “school vouchers,” and, Why the Nevada teachers unions, school boards and bureaucracy use smoke and mirrors to justify bogus spending programs.