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Ricardo Esparza
Ricardo Esparza

AIR DATE: July 13, 2010

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. That was just one of the ways Ricardo Esparza went about affecting change as a principal. And his methods, while not agreed upon by some, worked. He doubled the graduation rate at his school and significantly improved performance.

So what would he do in Clark County? Esparza says most people think you can't compare a large district like CCSD and his rural school in Washington. But those people are wrong.

We continue our summer series on education with educator and former principal Richard Esparza. He tells us how better communication with parents and a personalized plan for all students can not only change individual schools and districts but education across the country.

Ricardo Esparza, former Principal at Granger HS

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Maybe it's time for Mr. Esparza to move on to a superintendent's position...

I'd like to hear some teacher reviews of his leadership. If the teachers thought he was good, I'd sure like to see him apply to the superintendent position here. Has the expensive search firm found him?

artiJun 24, 2010 10:56:52 AM
Funny how Mr. Esparza reacts to the issue of homework compared to how some in positions of power react here.

I heard that when Fremont MS was taken over by the state and teachers had to re-interview, and teachers complained about students not doing homework, they were asked by the state people why they keep giving it if the kids aren't doing it, since obviously it's not working.

Additionally, at my school we have now had it dictated to us that we may only count homework as 10% of a quarter grade.

Little by little over the years, I am giving less and less homework, because so many students don't do it, and administrators and the powers that be don't support it. It's hard to go over homework in class to help the students learn if only ten or twenty or thirty percent do it.

I do still give it for the benefit of those students who care, but until administrators and policy makers realize that homework is crucial because an entire curriculum cannot be taught and mastered during class time, and until they stop social promotion, this issue is going to hold students back from mastering the skills for their grades.

artiJun 24, 2010 10:29:41 AM
Ricardo -- Your story still continues to inspire! Si se puede!
Gregg SinnerJun 24, 2010 09:22:15 AM
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