Name: Mark Newburn
Office: Nevada State Board of Education, District 4
Party Affiliation: Nonpartisan office
Biography provided by the candidate:
I have the honor of serving the people of my district (4) for the past four years as their elected representative to the Nevada State Board of Education. I currently serve as Vice-President of the State Board of Education and chair of the High School Graduation Requirements Subcommittee. I am well known in Nevada for championing the need to improve K12 education in the areas of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM). In recognition of the importance of STEM education to the "New Nevada's" economy, last fall Governor Sandoval appointed me to the Nevada State Advisory Council on STEM, where I currently serve as co-chair. Over my 35 year career, I have worked for some of the top technology companies in America. This experience has given me important insight into the high-tech skills our kids will need to succeed.
My family and I have been involved in education in Nevada for generations. I grew up in Las Vegas graduating from Rancho High School and UNLV. My father Dr. Dan Newburn served as President of the CCSD of Trustees and led the establishment of CCSD's highly regarded Magnet School program. My wife and I have 5 children and 4 grandchildren that are now the fourth generation to attend public school in Las Vegas.
Question: What is the most important issue facing state schools?
1) Skills Gap : Students are graduating K12 without the needed skills to succeed in the globally competitive, "New Nevada" economy
2) Teacher Shortage : The current system of teacher training, recruitment, and licensing is inefficient because it is managed by a variety of disconnected organizations.
3) At-Risk Schools : Schools with high numbers of English Language Learners and students in poverty significantly under perform in student achievement and graduation rates.
Question: What can you do, as a state board member, do to help fix it?
1) Skills Gap : Expand STEM, and Career and Technical Education. Develop new high school diplomas and certificates targeted towards workforce development and stackable credentials,
2) Teacher Shortage : Modernize, align, and streamline the organizations managing the recruitment, training, support, retention, and equitable distribution of highly effective teachers,
3) At-Risk Schools : Focus attention and accountability on these schools. Work with the legislature to expand the Zoom and Victory School programs and accelerate the new weighted funding formula. Fight to prevent these schools from being used to financially subsidize schools in affluent neighborhoods.
(Editor's note: The candidate's biography and answers were not edited for content or length)
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