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Old 05-09-2013, 02:29 AM
 
Location: Sunrise
10,869 posts, read 13,699,142 times
Reputation: 8987

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Quote:
Originally Posted by NLVgal View Post
I've had a few that were little more than babysitters, but the ones who shine.... Well, they shine brightly.
But they also get the rug pulled out from under them by CCSD. All my wife wants to do is go into a classroom and teach. She is very good at what she does -- having 1st-hand experience as what it's like to arrive in America as a child not speaking any English.

If she could actually teach eight hours a day, she could turn around more lives. Currently, she considers it a success if she can keep just one kid out of prison for life. She volunteered to work the hard neighborhoods.

But only half her time is actually doing her job. The rest is BS CCSD politics and No Child Left Behind stupidity.

I know you and I are never going to agree on where to rank individual schools under the CCSD umbrella. I'm lucky that I attended a couple truly great schools. And once you've had "great," then "good" just isn't good enough anymore.

I am very glad the NW Tech helped turn your son around. But I cannot bring myself to call it a great school. I'll go with good; very good, even excellent. But I reserve great for the Choates, Deerfields and Phillips of the world. (Yes, those three examples are uber-snobby. But there are some public high schools that are right up there at that level.)

I consider it a failure for the people and government of the Las Vegas Valley that we do not have a school in the top 50. Considering everything we have to put up with to live here, we should have at least one truly great high school. Something that blows Meadows away. Raise the bar so high that teachers, administrators, school board members, students and the public at large get whiplash just trying to look at it.

The current high schools would have to improve to compete -- Gorman, Meadows and even NW Tech. The middle schools would have to improve to have a shot of sending kids to "Raise the Bar High School." The gifted kids would have a challenge to 1) try to get in; and 2) finish the program.

I simply do not see a down side.

I am also in favor of putting beefing up some schools within UNLV to world-class levels. UNLV should have a world-class medical school (but doesn't for political reasons). It should also have world-class engineering, law and business schools. We shouldn't rely on hospitality. That doesn't help the bulk of our home-grown kids. Hospitality is basically a calling. Nobody wants to become a chef or a hotel manager for the money or the prestige. Teaching kids how to work on the strip should be "Plan B." Hell, UNLV could strive to have one of the best schools of education in the country. (I doubt that will ever happen. But a guy can dream.) Imagine the dividends THAT would pay.

Last edited by ScoopLV; 05-09-2013 at 03:30 AM..
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Old 05-09-2013, 03:41 AM
 
13,488 posts, read 9,661,530 times
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Boyd Law at UNLV was considered a very up and coming law school prior to the cuts in funding that accompanied the recession. From what I understand, they lost a lot of faculty and promise when the crash came.

The med school fiasco gives me high blood pressure to think about, so I'm not even going to wade into that morass.

If eight of our schools made a list of best high schools in America (according to the article), that's a great start to improving education in this valley. Lets model the rest of the schools on the template that works and see where we can go.
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Old 05-09-2013, 09:47 AM
 
Location: Las Vegas, NV
110 posts, read 252,726 times
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Boyd increased in-state tuition considerably several years ago, effectively eliminating many prospective students by cost alone. I'm pretty sure this was before the budget cuts you mention. What a shame. The school ranked nationally in the top 100. I wonder where it is now.
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Old 05-09-2013, 09:49 AM
 
3,520 posts, read 4,381,664 times
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One thing you have to ask yourself when you talk about school being great, excellent, or any other synonym of first-rate is, what makes it better? Do you think a school which is in the top 50 is in the top 50 because its teachers are so much better than a teacher in a school whose cost isn't upwards of $50,000 per year? Families that can afford that can also hire the best tutors in conjunction with their education if needed. And, believe me when I tell you, they do. There is a selection process at these schools that exclude students who are not the cream. Having all that money and the exclusionary tactics is what makes them great. It's not a great school; it's a great population.

nlvgal, thanks for the vote of confidence and I would take credit if it were due, but the research has been very clear on this. The number one predictor of a student's success in school is the emphasis the family places on education. Don't get me wrong, teacher quality is important, but not nearly as important as the value education has in the home.
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Old 05-09-2013, 01:38 PM
 
Location: Sunrise
10,869 posts, read 13,699,142 times
Reputation: 8987
Quote:
Originally Posted by Everdeen View Post
One thing you have to ask yourself when you talk about school being great, excellent, or any other synonym of first-rate is, what makes it better? Do you think a school which is in the top 50 is in the top 50 because its teachers are so much better than a teacher in a school whose cost isn't upwards of $50,000 per year?
It's the same thing with restaurants. The great restaurants of the world have a Michelin star. Forget Zagat's, "four diamonds" or Yelp or anything else -- that's bush league. (The problem is Michelin doesn't bother reviewing all areas of the world. Just the populated and very-well-traveled areas.) But they review Las Vegas so the analogy fits.

The chefs and cooks and servers in a Michelin starred restaurant aren't all that much better (if at all) than a non-starred restaurant. The mechanics are exactly the same. What's different is their expectations. Mediocre restaurants have a philosophy of "We're going to make as much money as we can." Good ones have the philosophy, "We're going to put out the best food we're capable of making. The rest will sort itself out."

I assert that we will never have a truly great school in this county because CCSD is a toxic entity, which like an anti-Midas, turns everything they touch into [censored]. Some schools manage to do well despite CCSD. But they could do much, much better -- if they were given the resources they needed and were allowed to teach without one hand tied behind their back.

I have no hope that this will change, though. Because the people of the Las Vegas valley simply do not care about education. (There are exceptions, sure. NLVgal, for one. But by and large, parents just want their children to get through the program, not really giving a damn about the quality of the program itself.) And for the most part, taxpayers in this stingy valley want their school taxes to go down (way down) not up. We won't even fund libraries.
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Old 05-09-2013, 03:26 PM
 
13,488 posts, read 9,661,530 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Everdeen View Post
One thing you have to ask yourself when you talk about school being great, excellent, or any other synonym of first-rate is, what makes it better? Do you think a school which is in the top 50 is in the top 50 because its teachers are so much better than a teacher in a school whose cost isn't upwards of $50,000 per year? Families that can afford that can also hire the best tutors in conjunction with their education if needed. And, believe me when I tell you, they do. There is a selection process at these schools that exclude students who are not the cream. Having all that money and the exclusionary tactics is what makes them great. It's not a great school; it's a great population.

nlvgal, thanks for the vote of confidence and I would take credit if it were due, but the research has been very clear on this. The number one predictor of a student's success in school is the emphasis the family places on education. Don't get me wrong, teacher quality is important, but not nearly as important as the value education has in the home.

The studies will bear out your statement, sure. The data is there. The funny thing about human beings though is that the data doesn't always tell the full story. Gavin DeBecker who wrote "The Gift of Fear," which is a book that I am convinced saved my life, tells the story of his childhood in the early chapters.

His childhood was badly marred by severe domestic violence and substance abuse. He talks about how his life may have turned out much differently if it were not for the influence of one person. A teacher.

I have to agree with you, and with Scoop, that education is under-valued in this community, but that does not mean that lives aren't being changed everyday by our educators in the trenches. It IS possible to get a good education in Las Vegas, even at a "bad" school.
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Old 05-09-2013, 06:26 PM
 
3,520 posts, read 4,381,664 times
Reputation: 4601
Quote:
Originally Posted by ScoopLV View Post

I assert that we will never have a truly great school in this county because CCSD is a toxic entity, which like an anti-Midas, turns everything they touch into [censored]. Some schools manage to do well despite CCSD. But they could do much, much better -- if they were given the resources they needed and were allowed to teach without one hand tied behind their back.
Here we go again.

Everyone except you accepts that a school in the top one-half of one percent in the nation is a truly great school. And we have at least one.

CCSD could do much more to improve all the schools, but they spend money unwisely and I don't think it is on accident.

Here's an example: When a school's test scores are not what they should be, some administrator, usually not a site administrator, decides to purchase a program that claims to raise scores and improve learning. One that is being implemented now is Springboard. It is not a good program and is bad for kids, at least, as a stand alone curriculum, which is what it is touted as being. At best, it could be used as a supplement. I heard a rumor, but from a reliable source that the district has spent $10 million dollars on these consumable books. I know that each book is $18 and if you had a school of 1300 that's about $23,000 for one year's worth of books. And they are garbage. If you dare speak up about it you are labeled a bad teacher that just doesn't know how to implement it correctly. Every math teacher I have talked to hates them. They better be in our lesson plans, though, and our admin better see us using them or bad things happen. I strongly suspect that every time some come administrator makes a large purchase like this someone is getting a kickback or favor or something. This is one of the many reasons the district needs to be split up.

I suppose you and I agree on most things with regard to education in Las Vegas when everything is said and done.

Quote:
I have no hope that this will change, though. Because the people of the Las Vegas valley simply do not care about education. (There are exceptions, sure. NLVgal, for one. But by and large, parents just want their children to get through the program, not really giving a damn about the quality of the program itself.) And for the most part, taxpayers in this stingy valley want their school taxes to go down (way down) not up. We won't even fund libraries.
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Old 05-09-2013, 06:42 PM
 
3,520 posts, read 4,381,664 times
Reputation: 4601
Quote:
Originally Posted by NLVgal View Post
The studies will bear out your statement, sure. The data is there. The funny thing about human beings though is that the data doesn't always tell the full story. Gavin DeBecker who wrote "The Gift of Fear," which is a book that I am convinced saved my life, tells the story of his childhood in the early chapters.
I gave that book to my daughter and several others. Every woman should read it.

Quote:
His childhood was badly marred by severe domestic violence and substance abuse. He talks about how his life may have turned out much differently if it were not for the influence of one person. A teacher.
When conditions are right, a teacher, or any other adult who cares, can help change the direction a life is going. I know I have done it, but only a couple that I know of. I try and try every year and so little of my efforts get through. And with our hands being tied more and more, it is happening less and less.

The bigger problem is that people watch movies like Stand and Deliver and think, "if teachers would just care about kids like Jaime Escalante, then education would get better." or something equally ignorant.


Quote:
I have to agree with you, and with Scoop, that education is under-valued in this community, but that does not mean that lives aren't being changed everyday by our educators in the trenches. It IS possible to get a good education in Las Vegas, even at a "bad" school.
Except for one issue, I agree with Scoop too. You are correct. You can get an a good education at a bad school. But because of the limitations placed on teachers, it probably won't be a top one-half of one percent education.
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Old 05-09-2013, 06:51 PM
 
13,488 posts, read 9,661,530 times
Reputation: 17442
Quote:
Originally Posted by Everdeen View Post
I gave that book to my daughter and several others. Every woman should read it.



When conditions are right, a teacher, or any other adult who cares, can help change the direction a life is going. I know I have done it, but only a couple that I know of. I try and try every year and so little of my efforts get through. And with our hands being tied more and more, it is happening less and less.

The bigger problem is that people watch movies like Stand and Deliver and think, "if teachers would just care about kids like Jaime Escalante, then education would get better." or something equally ignorant.




Except for one issue, I agree with Scoop too. You are correct. You can get an a good education at a bad school. But because of the limitations placed on teachers, it probably won't be a top one-half of one percent education.
The three of us should run for the school board, but we'd never get elected because we make too much sense. That just does not fly in Nevada politics. (wry smile)
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Old 05-09-2013, 08:27 PM
 
Location: ( ͡ ͜ʖ ͡) (╯□)╯︵ ┻━┻ ̡
7,112 posts, read 10,892,724 times
Reputation: 3866
This video that has been all over the news recently seems very appropriate for this thread.

http://youtu.be/ahyB8jhJfZU


(╯□)╯ ︵ ┻━┻
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