Friday, July 25, 2014

Nevada Public Education Ranks Poorly Compared To Other States

The state of Nevada public education system ranked poorly in the most recent Anne B. Casey Foundation Study compared to other states related to a variety of criteria.  This study has been conducted for the past 25 years.   40% of Nevada's students did not graduate from high school in 2012, which is double the National Average. Nevada also had the lowest number of kids attending Pre-School at 30% compared with 46%, which is the National Average.  Since this Blogger lives in Nevada and as a former public school teacher, naturally I am concerned.  These numbers are bad; but even some states like California that spend a lot more money on education are not wonderful either.  

The solution we always hear from Teacher Unions and their Socialists supporters is that we need to spend more money on public education when in fact, the United States spends more on public education that any other industrialized nation in the world; yet it is not reflected in student achievement.  This very moment, the Teacher Union in Nevada is pushing a Margins Tax on businesses, supposedly to benefit education, that will be a job killer.  If it was proposed with necessary reforms, this Blogger might be a supporter; but since it is business as usual, I am opposed.  As a former public school teacher and someone with a Master's Degree in Education Administration, who spent six years teaching at the junior, senior and adult school levels in the Los Angles City School system, I know that student achievement is not about more money, or even class size.   

Look, kids need decent facilities, great teachers and books and other materials to learn.  It is that simple.  Computers may be helpful, as long as they are not a substitute for rote learning.  Common Core, the latest Socialist Scheme to improve public education, has nothing to do with learning.  It is all about imposing standardized politically correct, Socialist ideology in our schools and as such will fail.   And, what kids don't need is three levels of education bureaucracy at the federal, state and county levels wasting everybody's time and taxpayer dollars.   The Education Establishment, like all big government, is plagued by waste, fraud, abuse and redundancy, which is the reason despite spending billions on education has little impact. 

Public Education should be run by local school boards and parents, not bureaucrats from hundreds, or thousands of miles away.  To improve public education, we need real reform and administrators with the power to actually manage our schools like any other business, which includes the power to hire and fire.   Further, kids that are constantly disruptive should be put in special schools to prevent them from taking time away from learning.  Sorry, it may not be politically correct, but I have been there and I know that this is a major problem.

Collective bargaining has to go.   Even Socialist President Franklin Roosevelt was against collective bargaining for public employees.  Public Schools, like all government employment, should be governed by a Civil Service Commission with the power to make the rules in the interest of children as their only concern.  The rise of teacher unions has coincided with the poor results we see in many public schools.  To deny the correlation is to deny facts.  Collective bargaining works for the union bosses; but it does not work for kids.  As a young teacher, I was forced by the Union to submit mediocre objectives for my evaluation because the Union did not want teachers held to a higher standard.  I know, I was there.  Teacher Tenure has to go, as well, so that bad teachers can more easily be fired in accordance with fair evaluation procedures.  This is the reason there is a Class Action Lawsuit working its way through the courts in California alleging that Teacher Tenure is harming children.  I saw it with my own eyes.  There were incompetent teachers that should have been fired; but the process was so arduous that Administrators would not take the time to battle the bureaucracy and Union to get it done. 

We need Merit Pay for teachers, opposed by Teacher Unions, to reward really good teachers based on sound evaluation methods.   Why on earth should a poor teacher make the same money as a great teacher.  From what I saw when I was teaching, given the same years of service, there were about 25% of really outstanding teachers making the same money as teachers that were incompetent.  This makes no sense.   We need School Choice for parents and kids in failing public schools to create competition for eduction dollars.  To hold those kids prisoner in these schools is outrageous.   These children should have the same opportunity as the rich, including the Obama's and most members of Congress to send their kids to private schools, when the public schools in their areas are poor. 

There should be more public and private charter and magnet schools run by independent boards of directors and involved parents.  We also need more vocational education and apprenticeships for kids who are not college bound so they can graduate with a marketable job skill.  Unless and until we see the reforms indicated, we will not see the quality of education improve.  Just throwing more money at a system that often produces poor results will not improve the quality of education, whether in Nevada, or any other state.  

No comments:

Post a Comment