Las Vegas Sun

October 20, 2014

Currently: 87° — Complete forecast | Log in | Create an account

2020 Vision:

Superintendent Walt Rulffes: Schools need plan of action for success

Walt Rulffes

Walt Rulffes

Sun Coverage

Nevada needs to start looking further ahead. If I had the opportunity to help draft a blueprint, here’s what I’d do:

The Legislature, with extensive statewide input, would develop a long-term public education plan that sets goals for five and 10 years from now. The plan would include funding for appropriately carrying out those goals, monitoring and supporting schools and correction remedies for failing schools.

To better support those goals, Nevada would have a single state education agency, including K-12 and higher ed, as well as charter, vocational and private schools.

The academic year would be divided into three semesters, with the first two used for all required course work. Instead of using pullout programs for remediation, students would have the third semester to get the extra help they need. There would also be more opportunities for students to advance based on ability.

The instructional day would be longer, including standard full-day kindergarten.

Clark County would have in place an equitable merit pay system, including a teacher career ladder where effective teachers could earn as much, or even more, than administrators. The new third semester schedule would mean year-round employment for our most effective educators.

Students would have more choices about their own educational paths, not just in the separate career and technical academies, but also through theme and magnet programs at regular high schools.

These goals will require increased community involvement to meet our students’ needs. Expanding the empowerment schools model will be one way of developing those relationships, particularly with the business sector.

Over the next decade, Clark County will become known not for its size, but for the quality of student performance, its superior staff and its community partnerships.

Walt Rulffes is superintendent of the Clark County School District.

Join the Discussion:

Check this out for a full explanation of our conversion to the LiveFyre commenting system and instructions on how to sign up for an account.

Full comments policy

Previous Discussion: comments so far…

Comments are moderated by Las Vegas Sun editors. Our goal is not to limit the discussion, but rather to elevate it. Comments should be relevant and contain no abusive language. Comments that are off-topic, vulgar, profane or include personal attacks will be removed. Full comments policy. Additionally, we now display comments from trusted commenters by default. Those wishing to become a trusted commenter need to verify their identity or sign in with Facebook Connect to tie their Facebook account to their Las Vegas Sun account. For more on this change, read our story about how it works and why we did it.

Only trusted comments are displayed on this page. Untrusted comments have expired from this story.

No trusted comments have been posted.