Part three of a four-part series
This is the third in a series of four articles examining reasons why the school district continues its everlasting problems. In reading this series it becomes apparent that the nine issues listed in the two prior articles’ problems are wide-ranging. They run from numerous small problems to large overreaching problems.
Continuing with those problems, we now pick up with: 10. Lack of parental interest and involvement. This is the long-standing blame placed upon parents due to the parents’ training by the school board and bureaucracy. Unfortunately, failure of parental interest is factually accurate. It doesn’t take long for the parents of our students to get discouraged and give up. Like many of their children, some parents come to the school board or PTA meetings with excitement to help out and be involved. They soon learn that the Clark County School District (CCSD) system is a top down system that has little interest in their advice. Yes, they would like anyone to
volunteer to do their bidding, if they hold to their advice. But when parents go to the school board to try to effect change they are “given” two minutes to speak. When the two-minute buzzer rings, the school board rarely replies and the unspoken message is “sit down now and shut up.” For those who don’t get that message easily, the school board has literally had a grandmother (Rose Moore) and others dragged off of the podium for speaking their minds. This kind of “open-minded”
opportunity to constructively improve the system takes a few years to discourage any but the most stubborn parents. School board members typically use faltering parental interest as an excuse for failure.
The truth is that parents have been trained to give up by the system.
11. For those who believe that only some parents are being ignored in the best interest of all, you should know that the school board often goes directly against the wishes of the voters. One noteworthy example is the school board’s intentional illegal misuse of public resources (staff, money, facilities) to advocate for election ballot items that were later voted down. This is ignoring the wishes of the majority in
the interest of continuing one’s political aspirations and the orders of the Democratic Party.
12. While it is true that doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result makes no sense, the things that CCSD has changed in order to achieve improvements are typically counterintuitive. Does anyone honestly believe that walking to school is bad for children or that bussing is good or cheaper? Does bussing help the childhood obesity problem? Then why has CCSD chosen to get rid of many crossing guards and replace them with busses and bus drivers? Why didn’t CCSD place new schools in locations that avoidedthe need for students crossing major streets? Certainly since the real
estate crash of 2007, CCSD could have obtained a great deal on many properties to place new schools better? Land purchasing corruption is commonly known at CCSD and openly discussed among parents who follow the school board. When the land value bust hit, CCSD took stock of its land holdings and apparently owned only such properties for which they were unable to explain their reasons for owning. How did they accidentally purchase land on which to build a school where it was illegal to build a school? Follow the money.
13. If you owned a business that was steadily sinking, would you build more of the same facilities or would you try to improve the utilization of your existing facilities? Is raising the overhead the answer to the problem? During the During the 1996 Bond Election Campaign, voters were told that CCSD should have year ‘round elementary school and
voted for it. That schedule increased the number of students that
attend a school by 20 percent while improving learning retention over
breaks. Parents in working neighborhoods like it better because they
have a better chance of juggling their work schedules around kids’
shorter vacation periods.CCS Dvoters were told that CCSD should have year ‘round elementary school and voted for it. That schedule increased the number of students that attend a school by 20 percent while improving learning retention over breaks. Parents in working neighborhoods like it better because they have a better chance of juggling their work schedules around kids’ shorter vacation periods. Why would the school board insist upon building more schools when parental and educational goals are helped by building fewer or none? Follow the money.
14. Homework: Surely if anything is free and tried-and-true, then CCSD would stick with it to help education? Yes? Eh… no. Parents commonly report that elementary teachers assign homework on subjects that were not taught in class nor will these subjects be taught the next day when the homework is returned. Why? As we mentioned in article two, many upper level elementary teachers have students who are victims of
prior teachers who did not teach them. This means that a 5th grade teacher may find that her student has no 4th grade math background to act as a basis for learning 5th grade math. So what some teachers do is assign 4th grade homework and teach 5th grade math in the classroom. Parents report that after scolding their kids for not paying attention in class (because they didn’t know anything about the homework), they later found out that teachers were assigning homework
not taught in class. This leaves the 5th grade parents to teach 4th grade math at the kitchen table every night or pay a tutor. Is it any wonder that kids from homes where parents are better educated do better? Since CCSD can’t do its job, parents have to.
As CCSD is the largest or second largest organization in southern Nevada (probably second after the federal government) it is to be expected that an organization of its size should be both hard to turn around and possessing a will of inflexibility. It is also understandable that the surrounding political system has little interest in making changes. This is why the system is deathly afraid of vouchers allowing students to leave it. There is little competition now and discouragement of competition is a unifying force in the system.
The next article will be the fourth and last in this series.
Part three of a four-part series