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Clark County School Board, District E - Patrice Tew - Nonpartisan office

Name: Patrice Tew

Office: Clark County School Board, District E 

Party Affiliation: Nonpartisan office

Website: www.patricetew.com

Biography provided by the candidate:

Trustee Patrice Tew and her husband of 37 years have raised their four children in Las Vegas-- all of whom are CCSD and college graduates.

For the past 31 years she has lived a life of volunteerism in Las Vegas and currently serves as the current Clark County School Board Trustee for District E. 

For two decades she has effectively advocated for public education as an education activist beginning in her children's schools when her kindergartener walked into a classroom of 45 students. 

She knew then, that her greatest contributions would come, not by continuing on in her profession as an attorney, but by helping and supporting her children's teachers and schools. 

Support comes from

She also served on a CCSD School Board Advisory Committee to the School Board.  She serves on the Executive Committee for Boy Scouts of America Las Vegas Area Council making it her 18th year in executive/den leadership mentoring cub and boy scouts. In 2010 she was honored as Nevada Mother of the Year by American Mothers, Inc. 

As an activist parent herself she strongly believes in partnering with parents to engage and insure parent voice and parent choice;  in providing support to our teachers so every that every child has a quality teacher; and in promoting accountability and transparency.  She believes in the transformative power of education and that all children deserve a great education.

Question: Should CCSD expand sex education? 

As a Trustee I am listening to parents and community as we go forward with the Sex Education Program expanding it. CCSD Materials and Curriculum are expanding. The following are newly adopted materials and curriculum as of May 2016. 

A FACT SHEET on Sexually Transmitted Infections (STI) (based on the Center for Disease Control STI Fact Sheet 2016).   Available for Middle School Grade 8 Health course - Sex Education and for High School Grades 9-12 Health course- Sex Education.

The use of contraceptives is taught in Sex Education classes currently. 

The following lessons and resources have been added as support :

LESSON PLAN on “How to Obtain Contraceptive Methods, Where to Access Contraceptive Methods, and How to Talk to Parents Regarding Contraceptive Methods.” Available for Middle School Grade 8 Health course - Sex Education and for High School Grades 9-12 Health course- Sex Education.

LESSON PLAN on “Setting Personal Limits.”  And a PowerPoint on “Statutory Rape and Age Of Consent.”   Available for Middle School Grade 8 Health course --Sexual Violence Prevention Unit of Instruction.

LESSON PLAN on “Setting Personal Limits.”  And a PowerPoint on “Statutory Rape and Age Of Consent.”  Available for High School Grades 9-12 Health course-- Sexual Violence Prevention Unit of Instruction.

The Clark County School District Sex Education Operational Guide for K-12 Curriculum Development was updated including a new Health course for Middle School Grade 8 as well as High School Grades 9-12 including new objectives, updated information regarding names of people, divisions, and departments.  

Question: What should the district do about the teacher shortage it currently faces? 

It is critical that the District be able to attract, retain, and train the best and the brightest teachers so that every student has the opportunity to have a high quality education.   The teacher shortage is not only Districtwide, but nationwide.   Our District needs to be known for valuing its teachers through recognition, by providing the necessary supports and resources that will ensure a quality teacher in every classroom. 

We need to:

  • Hold exit interviews of the teachers who are leaving CCSD and document why.
  • Offer site-based Differentiated Professional Development as determined by principals and teachers to support teachers in their roles as educators.
  • Offer Professional Development for Principals to enhance their collaborative/leadership skills
  • Rollout Districtwide the Peer Assistance and Review (PAR) teacher/ leadership model  (where a “master teacher” is assigned a group of 15 new teachers in the Turnaround Zone whom they mentor and support)  to be extended to “all new teachers” and to “struggling veteran teachers.”
  • Address the Teacher Pipeline by establishing relationships of communication between K-12 education and universities.  We need to build a vision that the profession of teaching is changing.   The  “stand and deliver” lecturing is dying and that individualized learning is what will engage our 21st Century learners. 
  • Offer incentives to principals and teachers to go to at risk schools.   Teachers follow good principals.
  • Offer Nationally Competitive Salaries
  • Partner with Banks, Credit Unions, and Lending Institutions to offer low interest, long-term loans to cover a teacher’s relocation expenses.
  • Create Career Ladders so that teachers do not have to leave the classroom in order to advance their opportunities or increase their salaries.
  • Simplify and expedite teacher licensure
  • Allow part-time and flex time educators

Question: What are your thoughts on the Education Savings Accounts, allowing per-pupil funding from the state to be used for private school tuition? 

I do believe in parent choice and parent voice. As it stands, SB 302’s allowance for per-pupil funding from the state is in conflict with our Nevada Constitution. The Nevada Constitution clearly states that public education is to be available for all of our students. It mandates that the Legislature is to provide “sufficient” monies first, before any other appropriation or funding, for the “support and maintenance”  of public schools by direct legislative appropriation from the general fund.   (Nev. Const. art. 11,     § 6.1 and  §6.2)  And that the Legislature must appropriate funds for the public schools in an amount that it ‘deems to be sufficient.’ (Supreme Court No. 69611).  Education in Nevada is underfunded with “insufficient” monies for the “support and maintenance” of its public schools.  Nationally, Nevada ranks with two other states at the bottom of the nation in per pupil funding.

The Nevada Supreme Court heard the arguments on SB 302 and are deliberating now.  If SB 302 is found to be constitutional several subpopulations such as children of poverty, English Language Learner Students, and special needs children may be significantly impacted in negative ways because of continued insufficient funding.  To date there have been 8,000 applications 

for the ESA Funds which is approximately $41,000,000 which will be diverted from CCSD alone.  This bill doesn’t account for all the additional ‘costs’ for education beyond the dollar amount it would provide, such as:  time to research available options; securing transportation to a new school; and families lack of understanding the commitment to a school outside of the family’s’ residential community.  

This bill, if passed, will potentially best accommodate affluent families or upper and middleclass families who already have the options of transportation and the means to attend private schools.   Historically, government subsidies like this potentially only drive up the price of the commodity, which in this instance is education, and  would not help families of poverty to afford private school.   Additionally, this bill doesn’t address the  biases of admission boards to include stipulations for the inclusion of diverse communities within their student populations.

Question: What issues, if any, do you see in light of CCSD redistricting into smaller precincts? 

I see great promise for AB 394. I embrace the empowerment/autonomous model for site-based instructional and strategic budget decisions that it promotes.   I believe in principals, parents, staff, teachers and administrators coming together to make decisions that are in the best interests of “their students” and “their communities.”  I have never believed in a “one size fits all” educational  model.  I would like to see AB 394 go forward and to be successful.

I do believe that there needs to be time for careful review and consideration of the practical implications this process will have on students, the climate at the schools and the operation of the schools and the organization of the precincts going forward. 

The process of AB 394 has proceeded very quickly.   As the draft regulations are written, there are valid, legal, policy, and education concerns and questions regarding student achievement, equitable funding, student equity, financial and employment issues which have been raised and need to be addressed and resolved before draft regulations become final.  The implementation of the regulations should assure that educational opportunities will improve for all students.  

Below are just a few of the issues to consider as AB 394 goes forward:

How can the regulation reflect more focus on student achievement?

Will student equity  be maintained in student assignment, school attendance boundaries, school siting, increasing seats at individual schools nor does it provides clear provisions for systemic checks and balances to ensure that all students will have equitable access to high quality programs including magnets, Career & Technical Academies, advanced placement classes, etc.?

What does the weighted student funding formula look like?   Where will those additional monies come from?

’s’ residential community.  

This bill, if passed, will potentially best accommodate affluent families or upper and middleclass families who already have the options of transportation and the means to attend private schools.   Historically, government subsidies like this potentially only drive up the price of the commodity, which in this instance is education, and  would not help families of poverty to afford private school.   Additionally, this bill doesn’t address the  biases of admission boards to include stipulations for the inclusion of diverse communities within their student populations.

WHAT ISSUES, IF ANY, DO YOU SEE IN LIGHT OF CCSD REDISTRICTING INTO SMALLER PRECINCTS?

 

I see great promise for AB 394.  I embrace the empowerment/autonomous model for site-based instructional and strategic budget decisions that it promotes.   I believe in principals, parents, staff, teachers and administrators coming together to make decisions that are in the best interests of “their students” and “their communities.”  I have never believed in a “one size fits all” educational  model.  I would like to see AB 394 go forward and to be successful.

I do believe that there needs to be time for careful review and consideration of the practical implications this process will have on students, the climate at the schools and the operation of the schools and the organization of the precincts going forward. 

The process of AB 394 has proceeded very quickly.   As the draft regulations are written, there are valid, legal, policy, and education concerns and questions regarding student achievement, equitable funding, student equity, financial and employment issues which have been raised and need to be addressed and resolved before draft regulations become final.  The implementation of the regulations should assure that educational opportunities will improve for all students.  

Below are just a few of the issues to consider as AB 394 goes forward:

How can the regulation reflect more focus on student achievement?

Will student equity  be maintained in student assignment, school attendance boundaries, school siting, increasing seats at individual schools nor does it provides clear provisions for systemic checks and balances to ensure that all students will have equitable access to high quality programs including magnets, Career & Technical Academies, advanced placement classes, etc.?

What does the weighted student funding formula look like?   Where will those additional monies come from?

Will this Reorganization of CCSD be truly “cost neutral?”  What will the real costs be?

Are principals ready to manage budgets and making decisions that are not within their experience?

Will there be issues of equity and diversity in hiring, promotion and retention of employees ?

How will consistent compliance with and implementation of current state and federal laws and funding be handled?https://mail.google.com/mail/u/0/images/cleardot.gifWisdom dictates that we deal with these and other issues now so that we remove any obstacles that would prevent SB 394 from succeeding.

(Editor's note: The candidate's biography and answers were not edited for content or length)

 

 

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