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The Sandoval Education Plan - The Teachers Respond
The Sandoval Education Plan - The Teachers Respond

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AIR DATE: February 16, 2011

Gov. Brian Sandoval has called for a reduction of $270 in the state's per pupil spending. He's also called for a series of reforms to improve education. Much of it goes under the rubric of "do more with less." The Nevada State Education Association has rejected these proposed reforms and budget cuts as unworkable. Union leaders join us to make their case and we look at some ideas for making public education more efficient.

GUEST
Lynne Warne, Pres, NSEA
Gary Peck, Exec Dir, NSEA

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COMMENTS:
As a teacher, I should come home feeling exhausted because my students were engaged and learning, not because I have had to spend the day practically begging students to work and pay attention. Education is not valued and it is apparent by the proposed cuts. You can't do more with less, when the less takes you to nothing. Teachers are already expected to pick up the slack in the classroom for lack of supplies and such, with the cut in pay coming, we are not going to be able to. There are also a lot of two teacher families that are going to be doubly hit by the pay cut.
AnonFeb 24, 2011 10:34:40 AM
Everyone seems believe that it is mainly the fault of the teacher for our kids not making progress under NCLB. What about all the children who are enrolling into school as early as Kindergarten without the necessary skills to be academically successful? Major foundations of literacy and conversations are missing like reading a story to your child BEFORE they enter the doors of school. If we are holding teachers accountable for a childs learning then what about the people who created and/or adopted these small people. Shouldnt they also be held accountable? Children do not want to struggle in school, teachers make the necessary interventions and accommodations, when is someone going to keep the parents accountable for laying the necessary foundations for successful education.
AnonymousFeb 14, 2011 21:22:09 PM
I'm very familiar with Nevada's K-12 and university budgets, and I have no doubt that they could easily be cut by 30% or perhaps even 50% from current levels without eliminating classes or increasing class size. The waste, bureaucracy and mismanagement - much of it not evident to the casual observer - is beyond astounding.
Tom H.Feb 14, 2011 18:48:00 PM
I am a professor at the College of Southern Nevada. Each semester, I have students who cannot properly compose a paragraph, let alone put together an organized thought. Helping students at all levels, requires that we understand, care about, and invest in them as individuals. Instead, we are increasingly treating them as cogs in an industrial machine. We want mass education for minimal cost. It is a basic problem of time and money. It takes time to learn and teach. When when we spread that time accross many students, when we shorten the duration of classes, when circumstances make it impossible for students to invest their own time, education suffers. Time is money, and without the money, their is less and less time for education. Teachers are asked to do more with less, but ultimately it means serving more students with less time to attend to their needs.
Joshua LevinFeb 14, 2011 10:11:08 AM
Isn't there a worry that mixing money with education in the arena of merit pay that we would give indirect incentive to either (A) teachers teaching to the test, or (B) teachers rewarding themselves by grading less stringently? I don't see how these 'market forces' wouldn't lower standards, and I don't think this was adequately discussed.
anonymousFeb 14, 2011 10:04:12 AM
It is not only the amount of Education our teachers have. The students families and the culture of 'believing eduction has value' is a large part of the problem. Thisincreases the students lack of ability to pass the test for graduation. Plus teachers need to remember that they should not voice their incompetence or avoid teaching subjucts they feel unconfortable with. ( often math and science). This attitude provides an excuse for the students to fail. Maybe provide ' specialist for their schools. "
madelineFeb 14, 2011 10:01:57 AM
I would like to know how Paul would address merit pay for teachers who have drastically different classroom demographics.

The teacher teaching a 12th grade AP course load vs. the teacher who has a number of remedial students is going to have different outcomes that has nothing to do with teacher quality.

BillFeb 14, 2011 09:46:37 AM
GHood question. The ablest teachers should be put into these situations and paid the most. This should be at the discretion of the principal, who could offer an excellent teacher a higher rate for taking on a tough class. I am personally not in favor of having salaries set centrally, even with good value-added data. It is important to be able to put the ablest teachers into tough situations and to take account of the challenge they face. This is best done at the school level. of course, if a teacher takes on a challenge and fails the school should try something else, and let the teachers go back to normal duty -- and assess her performance there.
Paul HillFeb 14, 2011 12:46:30 PM
Please stop crucifying teachers. As a teacher with 30 years experience. I have seen The caliber of students steadily decline it's almost at rock bottom here in Nevada. Zero input from parents,lazy students with zip motivation. They are rude, crude, and totally self centered. Boot camp those student "drones" probationally(1 year)then let them back into the classrooms giving those who do wish to learn the opportunity. You cannot make silk purses from sows ears!! give teachers a break for once!no one mentions the apathetic students, teachers teach they cannot work miracles.Yours sad and disgusted.
Howard BergumFeb 14, 2011 09:39:34 AM
When talking about costs, it may be worth thinking that the meteoric rise of health care costs make any employee, including teachers, very expensive. I would like to know if Mr. Hill has taken this cost into account in his equations.
JustinFeb 14, 2011 09:25:51 AM
Health care is a big cost. Schools like other employers will have to pass on more costs to their employees. To date, districts have acted as if teacher benefits were sacrosanct. People who work for private employers know that all parts of a benefit package can change when times are bad. That's not a happy fact but it is a fact. Mt center has just put out a report on cafeteria plans for education employee benefits, at crpe.org
Paul HillFeb 14, 2011 12:51:52 PM
Hello, My name is Leo Murrieta, I'm the leader of Nevada Youth Coalition, we're a nonprofit organization here in Southern Nevada whose focus is to get and keep young people engaged in civics and community service projects. We're working to educate young people, high school aged youth, on the effects that the budget cuts will have on their education and their futures. My question for the guests is, what can student organizations and educator organizations such as yours (NSEA) do to work together to empower students to stand by their teachers and schools in the face of these budget cuts? I have a large group of engaged youth who would love to work together.
Leo MurrietaFeb 14, 2011 07:59:19 AM
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