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CCSD School Restructuring
CCSD School Restructuring

AIR DATE: March 25, 2011

The Clark County School District has decided to institute a restructuring plan for five low performing schools in the district. Under the plan, all staff members must reapply for their jobs and only half of them are eligible to be rehired. CCSD leaders say the five schools, Chaparral, Mojave and Western high school, as well as Elizondo and Hancock elementary schools, are long overdue for restructuring because of low performance. The restructuring is part of a federal grant program aimed at improving schools. We talk to the principal of one of the schools and a CCSD administrator about how restructuring will work.
Patsi Johnson, Area Superintendent, CCSD
Jerre Moore, Principal, Hancock Elementary School
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    I just heard you GLOSS over the parent's concern about disruptive children in the classroom. As a teacher, I can tell you that discipline is the number one reason that student achievement has declined. Children are not taught at home how to behave during the school day. Students think it is acceptable to constantly interrupt and make comments (not about the lesson) during instruction. I usually am not able to get through an entire lesson without major disruptions. Even using postive classroom management, I encounter these problems becaue there are students who are not coming to school to learn, but to kill time until the bell rings. Parents need to instill the importance of education and how to behave once their children are in a classroom. Teachers can only do so much when it comes to student behaviors. Please, let's have a real discussion about fixing the discipline problem in our schools. By the way, overcrowding a classroom makes the discipline problems worse. I have taught with 16 children in a room and 35 children in a room. When you have more children, they think the teacher won't see them misbehaving. That's the reality of larger sized classrooms.
    G. MayfieldMar 26, 2011 10:54:17 AM
    I have volunteered at Doris Hancock School for 15 years, my child also attended Hancock. We have an extremely high number of second language students. The Clark County District is setting these students up for failure and placing the blame on the teachers. If you are not aware of these facts you may be shocked to find that when a student comes to register they are placed in the grade which is age appropriate for them. There is no proficiency testing to determine their skill levels. Meaning an 8 year old child could be placed in the third grade when they can't read or speak English. How is the student or the teacher benefiting from this? Can you imagine a student sitting in a classroom the entire day not understanding one thing that is being said? How can a teacher be expected to teach when there is no communication? In my opinion,a student should be given a proficiency exam upon registration to find their skill level, this in turn could be used to determine which grade they are placed in. Also, we could have a required English class for these students before they are placed in the classroom. The English speaking student's education is being slowed to accommodate the other students.
    J. CastiglioneMar 25, 2011 08:42:43 AM
    I work at one of these schools. I am fine with having to change locations and am not looking to lose my job with the district. Honestly, though, if the teachers are ineffective and they are the problem, why would the district send them to another school? What does that say about our district and how they feel about the teachers? I think the real problem is that teachers are not valued or respected in this district. We are constantly being asked to try new initiatives and we never get to see if anything works because the following year it's on to something new. Yet it's our faults? Give me a break.
    JMar 23, 2011 19:20:45 PM
    I really don't see how you cannot see the direct correlation between teacher pay and students' grades. I tried to call in, but AT&T dropped the call (oh, joy!). Here's the thing, my wife literally makes half as much money as a third grade teacher here in Clark county than she made last year in Texas. We can't afford to live here and are already looking to move to another state and we only moved here last summer! One problem could also be that the school districts here are too big. In Texas they have Independent school districts based on city. They pay twice as much and they have much better results. Bottom line, I do not see how you can expect to keep the best teachers when great teachers like my wife can't make a living.
    Daniel BallardMar 23, 2011 10:14:05 AM
    I'd be willing to bet that these under-performing schools also have the least parent involvement. Although I do agree that the teachers should provide the bulk of providing our children's education (after all, that is their job), parents need to take responsibility and supplement what the teachers provide at school.
    JessicaMar 23, 2011 09:53:58 AM
    I agree with you regarding the parent participation. Once again, we need to address the language barriers in our district. The second language parents do not speak English. Therefore they cannot assist their own child with the school work. This also makes it difficult for the parent to volunteer or communicate with other parents at the school. We have some highly educated people running our district you would think they could come up with some better solutions. The No Child Left Behind Act, needs to be restructured to deal with unique situations within every district in the USA. So our teachers can do the job they were trained for TEACHING!
    J. CastiglioneMar 25, 2011 08:53:52 AM
    One of the needed conditions is the cooperation of the union. This is completely unclear: if the best interests of the children, the schools and education in general is what the union represents, then why do you have to solicate their cooperation? Maybe if they got out of the way it would be helpful, for they surely aren't leading.
    KirkMar 23, 2011 09:48:59 AM
    the school district is a monopoly, expecially the teachers union control over who can teach. when will there be a split in the district so real comparison and choice of quality education can be available?
    Wesley WaltersMar 23, 2011 08:06:41 AM
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