Upon his selection in 2011, Superintendent Dwight Jones was hailed as a bold reformer charged with improving a troubled district that ranked as one of the worst in the nation. During his tenure, he introduced changes and implemented turnaround plans at several struggling Clark County schools. Now, only two years into a four-year contract, he's abruptly leaving his post to care for his ailing mother.
Heath Morrison won National Superintendent of the Year in 2012, having raised graduation rates in the largely rural Washoe County School District. But now Morrison is leaving for a new superintendent job in North Carolina.
An analysis of Clark County School District's School Performance Framework, a ranking system that assigns a star ranking for school performance, revealed that most top rated schools in the district are located in affluent areas. The analysis was done by the Las Vegas Sun and revealed that homes in the most affluent neighborhoods in the valley where the median home price exceeds $132,250 are eight times more likely to have a four- or five-star school than schools in poorer neighborhoods. We talk with LV Sun Reporter, Paul Takahashi about the analysis and what the district plans to do to change address the issue.
Many schools across the Clark County School District are crumbling. Broken air conditioners, leaky roofs and cracked paint are just a few problems facing older schools in the district. Officials in the district recognize the need for maintenance and repair of school buildings but are struggling to pay for it. The School District estimates it needs about $5.1 billion to make repairs over the next decade. We discuss how the district plans on making school repairs it can't afford.
Mojave High School is one of five Clark County campuses designated as a "turnaround school." This means a large part of the teaching and administrative staff was replaced over the summer and an entirely new curriculum is now in place. Antonio Rael, the new principal at Mojave jumped at the opportunity to lead one of Clark County's poorest performing schools saying it's an opportunity to make serious changes in the district. Antonio Rael joins us to talk about how his turnaround efforts are doing.
The blow to public education was softened by an additional $250-million in state funds that were allocated to schools by the legislature. Now, the Clark County School District will be able to keep 1,000 teachers that were to be laid off. The district will also be able to keep class sizes at current levels and restore some support staff. The full effect of legislative cuts have yet to be determined but schools in Clark County now have a good picture of what they will be dealing with. But, despite the additional money the district still has to fill a $150-million budget gap which they say will be addressed by previous proposals. We talk with CCSD Board of Trustee President, Carolyn Edwards about the district's plan after the legislature.
A new report from Brookings says that Las Vegas has become an emerging gateway city for immigrants. That population is mostly comprised of low skilled workers who came to the city for construction jobs during economic boom times.
One of most contentious issues in this year's legislature is how to reform education in Nevada. A couple of bills that were recently passed in the Assembly would change how teachers are evaluated and will implement a pay for performance plan for teachers. Those bills passed with bi-partisan support, but Gov. Brian Sandoval wants bigger changes to the system including changes to seniority rules and ending social promotion.
One of the governor's biggest bills, which would institute a voucher program in the state, has died in committee but there are other bills he will push for. The governor's plan has been compared to reforms implemented in Florida and Washington D.C.
Well known education activist and former chancellor of D.C. schools Michelle Rhee is also advising the Sandoval administration on education. We'll take a look at the bills the governor is proposing and whether those types of reform have worked in other states.
Assembly Bill 64 known as the Graduation Priority Act would make it so that teens seeking to get a drivers license would have to show proof of school attendance or graduation to be allowed to drive. Supporters of the bill say it's aimed at lowering truancy and raising graduation rates by putting incentives on good attendance and grades.
People are losing their jobs and their medical benefits. Doctors are cutting back on the Medicare patients they see, and insurance companies stopped providing single policies for kids. So where do the uninsured go when they're sick? Free health clinics. How successful are they? Are they only treating the poor, or is their patient base changing in this economy? How do they afford to stay afloat if they're free? Clinic founders and patients weigh in. Do you go to health clinics? Were they helpful? Are there better options when you don't have insurance? Give us a call or write in.
When Ricardo Esparza taught at rural Washington state high school he vowed to remind his students what was at stake if they didn't graduate. So he filled a suitcase with $400,000 worth of fake money to illustrate the amount of money over a lifetime they would lose without a high school diploma.