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September 21, 2014

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Irked by prospects of pay freezes, teachers picket School Board meeting

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Christopher DeVargas

Teachers gather in front of the Clark County School District Education Center on East Flamingo Road on Thursday, Jan. 26, 2012, to speak out against the School Board, which was holding a meeting inside.

Teachers Rally

Teachers gather in front of the Clark County School District Education Center on East Flamingo Road on Thursday, Jan. 26, 2012, to speak out against the School Board, which was holding a meeting inside. Launch slideshow »

About 150 Clark County School District teachers picketed the School Board meeting Thursday afternoon, protesting proposed pay freezes and potential layoffs.

Local teachers union members — wearing their trademark red T-shirts — have packed School Board meetings in recent months, but Thursday was the first time this school year that members rallied support for teachers outside the Edward Greer Education Center, near East Flamingo Road and McLeod Drive.

Hoisting signs that read “Honk for Teachers” and yelling slogans such as “Let us teach,” educators sought public attention to what they perceive as poor working conditions: being “overextended, underpaid and underappreciated.”

The union chants could be heard at times from within the meeting room where dozens of more teachers sat.

The cash-strapped School District and its teachers union are currently undergoing arbitration after contract negotiations failed in August. To plug a $39 million budget gap this year and another $39 million next year, the School District is seeking concessions from the Clark County Education Association.

Proposed concessions include freezing salary and step increases, lowering salaries to pay for pension cost increases and changing teachers’ health insurance provider from the nonprofit Teachers Health Trust to a private insurer. Clark County Schools Superintendent Dwight Jones warned school principals last month that 1,000 teacher jobs could be shed if the union wins in arbitration. (Layoffs may result in increasing class sizes by three to four students, school and union officials said.)

On Monday, the Washoe County teachers union announced it prevailed in its arbitration hearing against the Reno-based school district, which sought a 2.5 percent pay cut to bridge a $10.5 million budget gap. The decision may force the Washoe County School District to cut staff or dip into emergency funds, according to the Reno Gazette-Journal.

This northern development seemingly emboldened its southern counterpart. The Clark County teachers union asserted during a news conference Thursday that the School District has the funds “to balance its budget without layoffs, increased class sizes or concessions from teachers.”

“A close analysis of the district’s $2 billion budget shows the district has hidden money in other budgeted line items, creating an illusion of a budget shortfall,” said union President Ruben Murillo in a prepared statement to media. “The Clark County School District has refused to be transparent and financially responsible, and is gambling with the lives of hundreds of thousands of students by making a false case that it cannot balance the budget without either concessions or layoffs.”

Click to enlarge photo

Vikki Courtney, who teaches second grade at Sandy Valley Elementary, offers words of encouragement to fellow teachers who assembled outside the County School District Education Center on East Flamingo Road on Thursday, Jan. 26, 2012.

Murillo pointed to an analysis of the district’s budget by Beth Kohn-Cole, an accountant hired by the union and a member of the Nevada Local Government Finance Committee. The accountant claimed to have found three sources of funding that could potentially balance the budget without teacher concessions.

School District spokeswoman Amanda Fulkerson disputed all the claims.

“We still contend it’s a difficult situation, but we remain committed to finding a sustainable solution,” she said. “We do not want to cut salaries. We just don’t want to give out raises when we can’t afford it.”

The union identified $16 million in federal stimulus money from the Education Jobs Fund that could be used to pay for teacher salaries.

Not so, Fulkerson said. The two-year funding allocation expires later this year, and the district cannot spend one-time funds on recurring expenses like teacher salaries, she said.

The union also identified $10 million to $27.5 million in district savings from keeping positions vacant and another $11.6 million in the Food Services fund that has been reallocated to the general fund. Fulkerson said both those funds have already been diverted to other needs to keep the district afloat, and thus aren’t available.

Finally, the union claimed the district used general fund dollars — which are used to cover operational costs — to pay for items that should have been paid for from the Bond Fund — which is used to pay for capital expenses such as building renovations and school construction. The union asserts that the district used $5.8 million in general fund money for what they see as capital projects: new school sound systems and classroom visual presentations.

An arbitrator will ultimately determine whether the union’s funding analysis is accurate, and whether the district’s proposed concessions are warranted.

In the meantime, Murillo called for a districtwide audit to determine if there are still budget-line items that could be trimmed. In November, the School District’ annual audit found revenues falling $113 million while expenses rose $13 million.

Teachers raised their concerns again during an hourlong public comment session, ranging from fears about the cost of changing health care providers and teaching students “to the test.” One teacher bemoaned the lack of adequate state funding for K-12 education in Nevada.

Click to enlarge photo

Teachers gather in front of the Clark County School District Education Center on East Flamingo Road on Thursday, Jan. 26, 2012, to speak out against the School Board, which was holding a meeting inside.

“Nevada politicians don’t want any new businesses here, only gamblers,” said Centennial High School English teacher Carolyn Myers, a 37-year veteran educator. “Nevada politicians don’t want an educated populace. They only want people to wait tables and count to 21.”

A new concern raised by teachers on Thursday involved the School District’ decision over the summer to lay off about 50 English Language Learner facilitators, who coordinated remedial English programs for non-native students. Union officials said the layoffs have caused the district to abandon its efforts to reach out to this challenging student population.

Clark County Schools Deputy Superintendent Pedro Martinez said the district was forced to cut the facilitators — who while licensed, do not necessarily teach students — to maintain class sizes amid multimillion-dollar budget cuts from the state. Superintendent Jones announced earlier this month during his State of the School District address that he plans to redouble efforts to reach out to English Language Learner students.

Perhaps the most poignant statement came from two young elementary school students toward the end of the public comment session. Madison Flick, a fourth-grader at Smalley, and Emily Huber, a third grader at Sandy Miller, went up to the lectern and asked, “What would happen to us if you took away teachers and supplies?”

“We are asking you to invest in teachers, schools and in our future,” they told the School Board to a standing ovation from teachers. “Because we are worth it.”

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  1. "Nevada politicians don't want an educated populace. They only want people to wait tables and count to 21."

    No more need be spoken.

  2. The ranting and raving by union thugs sort of puts to the lie that "it's all about the kids," doesn't it? While 170,000 Nevadans are out of work or underemployed, union thugs don't give a rats-behind as long as they get theirs. Well, I shed no tears for them. Let'em go out into the "real" workforce and see how they fare!

  3. There is a war on public education in this state. Big money has hit our state with a huge public relations campaign - elected politicians with their donations - and bought ALEC legislation to destroy public education and bust the teacher's union. Big money hates public education and the unions that protect teachers.

    Let me say this - public education is the protector of the community. It protects democracy by creating an educated populace - allows people without money to be literate. It is the protector of civil rights and social justice. Can you imagine our communities WITHOUT a public school? Where would your children become educated? Are you staying home to do it? Are you paying for a private school to do it?

    Those who blog and troll against public education - have bought into the groupthink that the Koch Brothers and outsiders pay for. They want to influence Nevada to kill their own schools. NPRI and other hyper-conservative groups employ around 30 full-time people to manipulate the media in Las Vegas - to influence people to hate schools. They need to take that hype back to the place they came from before they were imported here to attack schools.

    Teachers are standing up and fighting back. We are not the ENEMY. We did not manipulative the economy and bankrupt the state. We want to protect our contract NOW - which are promises everyone made to us for hanging in there when we could have enjoyed the boom years that most of Vegas enjoyed. Teachers will never make 6 figure salaries - we do insist in our small consistent pay and our health care insurance. We are fair with our communities and work hard everyday - stop kicking us in the neck - or listening to people who are bought to tell you to do it.

  4. Angie Sullivan...

    Well said!
    I bet your first grade students could teach a troll like Jerry FINK a thing or 3.
    Teacher Hating is like a religion to some Nevadans.

  5. "I'm sure you work 70 hours a week as many teachers do..."

    Please, lets be realistic here. Most teachers don't even work 40 hours a week without even counting for the "Staff Development" days.

  6. I am a big supporter of education and of CCSD teachers, but as a state employee whose salary has been frozen for four years, who has taken two pay cuts, and whose health benefits have been cut while becoming drastically more expensive, AND as the mother of CCSD children, I am getting pretty frustrated with CCSD and the teacher's union.

    Should my children have even larger classes so that our teachers get a fourth year of pay increases while state workers have been crushed? Bravo to CCSD and the teachers for advocating for education - but the students should not be paying the price with larger class sizes this time.

    And to everybody else in Nevada? State workers have born the brunt of an economic downturn we did not cause and which has given us vastly more work. The anger is deep.

  7. Kcm

    You know not of which you are speaking. Teachers will not have a "fourth year" of pay increases by any means. Teachers in CCSD have born pay cuts and salary freezes just as you have. Teachers each year for at least the past four have given concessions of some sort, all the while watching the district grow and front line teacher staffing shrink.

    You are right to be angry at the way state employees are taken advantage of, however remember that teachers are in the same boat. Every year it comes down to give backs and concessions from the true workers in the district, while administrators get raises and administration positions are added. The system is out of balance and the workers are losing their shirts because of it.

  8. NOTE: few teachers work bare minimums and most work WAY more than the mythical 40 hours. Anyone who says otherwise is clueless.

    Picketing when one cannot legally strike.....

    This is a malady shared by the State worker's union. It certainly won't increase the available money nor increase the legislature's inclination to throw money at teachers. Other parts of the budget are bare. Teachers are not helping their image with other governmental workers who have taken worse payroll freezes/cuts without ANY raises and more furloughs than teachers have.

    It will not bring forward a dialogue about increasing teacher competency/compensation which is a Nevada problem caused, in part, by the block funding of all school functions. Administrators get to influence where the money goes in their districts and then people are amazed that Administrators functions get more money than they need or deserve.

    Picketing won't shift money from useless PC programs, bloated Administrative staff and inefficient/costly maintenance functions to actual teachers support, training, and review.

    If teachers think picketing helps their image or situation they are deluded. This reinforces the idea that the union is ineffective at best and counter productive at worst. But then the national union is generally perceived as all about retaining it's leadership's bloated DC based perks.

  9. Seems like a good article. Finally, specific items in the budget were addressed.

    Something that I'd like to know...I've read a teacher commenting on these boards mention that the new health plan being proposed doesn't save the district ANY money, and actually might cost more money. Is there any truth to that? If so, that should be addressed. If that's just fear talking, without any real knowledge of the proposed system, then those types of comments should be eliminated.

    Unfortunately, there is inevitably going to be some pain. And unfortunately for teachers, the district has no choice but to implement major reforms, due to the district's poor performance record. The status quo is not acceptable, and certain people/groups do NOT like change. Tough bargaining position to be in, when student performance in the district is among the worst in the country. Not saying it's right, or that it's all attributed to teachers, but I think that's how a lot of the community views the situation. In hindsight, I wish the union was protesting when the county was actually in a good financial position, but still not paying good teachers what they deserve.

    I certainly hope both sides are able to resolve the issues without having a negative impact on the kids and their performance. They can't afford to deal with anymore challenges.

  10. I'm going to violate my first rule of commentary which is "Don't respond to trolls".

    Jerry, if you are so concerned with "union thugs" please take a look at the role od the administrators union and with [what I believe to be] the sweetheart contract signed with the District. It seems to me self-serving for administrators to be collectively engaged with the District. They have significantly more influence, information and relationships with the Board.

    OK, done with trolls!

    Tom, combining your comments and Jerry's "real" workforce comments, you both seem to suggest that teaching is not a challenging activity which requires full-time attention and dedication. I'm 65 and just retired. I started working in 1963 and have worked 40 plus years in the private sector from swamping bars to logging to running my own business as a mechanic and shop owner. My wife worked in food service...a euphemism for waitress in a diner.....for most of the 33 years we've been married. We know about hard work in the "real" world. For the past 4 years we have both been teaching in CCSD, me as an auto shop teacher and her as an English teacher. Teaching has been by far the most difficult and challenging job that I have had. I see my spouse bring home 40 to 80 papers a day to read and grade, each one with commentary and notes to guide students to achieve and succeed. Most teachers do work a significant amount of time over and above their contract time to prep, to grade and to counsel. I'm not gonna argue if it's 45 hours or 70 of some arbitrary number but I can tell you from experience that it's significant.

    It becomes very easy, when we are confronted with limited resources, to denigrate someone else's efforts so as to increase our own contributions and corresponding share of resources. After all, how hard can it be to run a taco shop or be a vulture capitalist?

    You are a business owner. CCSD needs folks with business experience to teach Career and Tech Ed classes in business. You're cordially invited to use your experience to prep a new generation of business leaders.

  11. "Teach them as you would teach your own. Treat them as you would treat your own." What does that mean? To classroom teachers, the answer is very simple. Treat every student in your classroom like the student was your child. We have a stake in their success. First and foremost, teachers have been entrusted by the parents, guardians and citizens of Clark County to educate the children of Clark County. They give us the most precious part of their lives and ask us to do the very best job possible to educate their children. They trust teachers to give their child the best possible opportunity for success. Those stakeholders trust the principals to give the teachers all of the resources the teachers need to be successful in teaching the kids. They also expect and demand the School Trustees provide the teachers the resources they need to be successful.
    Our class sizes have increased, with promises of even larger class sizes. We have the evidence in CCSD that smaller class sizes work. According to the CCSD report of the 2010-2011 school year, 18 of the 23 high schools shown under ESD made AYP. What do all of those schools have in common? Small class sizes, where dedicated teachers can make a difference for their students. Would any of us want our children or grandchildren to be in large classes that will likely get larger? Is that "teaching them as we would teach our own"? Teachers have more requirements placed on them with less time to do those requirements. Is that "teaching them as we would teach our own"? Teachers have fewer resources to use in the classroom, and that makes learning less effective for students. Is that "teaching them as we would teach our own"?
    "Treat them as you would treat your own." Do any of the adults in CCSD want our children to have less than the best possible quality education we can provide, and to not provide teachers all the resources necessary to support that quality education? To do anything less is not to "treat them as you would treat your own."
    When the citizens of Clark County think about education, who do they think about first? The face of education in Clark County is NOT the principals, it is NOT the superintendent, and it is NOT the Trustees. The face that the public sees is a teacher, it may be their child's teacher, or their grandchild's teacher, but it is always a teacher. It is the dedicated classroom teacher who sees their children, day in and day out, who knows their individual strengths and weaknesses, and helps and encourages them to be successful. The key element in education is the professional, hardworking, dedicated teacher in the classroom, with the resources necessary to do the job effectively, doing what professional teachers do better than anybody else, EDUCATING THE FUTURE, EDUCATING ALL OF OUR CHILDREN.

  12. wharfrat, I have no reason to doubt what you are saying. And it is folks like you and your wife that are the solution to the problems. I wish there were more teachers with the experience you two had. My wife worked for several years at an elementary school before going on to teach college. Most of the teachers at her school were a joke, it was disheartening to see.

    My complaint is not with teachers in general, it's basically with the unions that don't want to hold bad teachers accountable.

    I feel the unions have hijacked our eductional system. A former union president stated that he will start caring about the kids as soon as the kids start paying union dues. That is the mindsight we are dealing with and I find it unacceptable.

    One easy solution is to attach the yearly dollar amount allocated to each student to the student and let the parents decide which school to spend that dollar amount on whether its public or private schools.

  13. I have a wife that has been teaching at CCSD for 15 years and pours everything she has into her job. She is a few credits shy of a PhD yet she's never (ever) earned more than what I earn working in the private sector in business management. She has always complained of teachers that we would all refer to as "dead wood" just milking the system and doing the bare minimum, if that. As a business manager, the accountability lies in the administrators. Problem is, most of them have little to no experience in managing people or resources since the quick growth in Las Vegas meant just about anyone with a degree in Administration became a principal.

    The best solution now would be for the government to allow parents to opt out of public school and issue $$$ vouchers for private school. The government could offer 70% of it's per-pupil funding and most parents, I believe, would jump all over it. Win win for everyone! Parents get 70% to offset their costs for private school and CCSD still gets 30% for a student they don't even have. Less students require less public school teachers and administrators, which should force the union into agreeing to keep only the best teachers.

    We have to do something different if we expect things to change. I personally choose to pay 100% for private school education because I've seen first hand the poor state our public schools are in. Unfortunately, not everyone can afford to do that. Is that fair that my kids are afforded a better education because I have more $$$ than someone else? Of course not. However, we can't blame teachers. At some point, we have to hold the school board and the administration responsible. After all, when we get bad service from a company do we blame the employees or do we blame the company's management? Why don't we do that with education?

  14. @noindex. Please tell me how unions are working to protect bad teachers. I would call your attention to Section 36 of the negotiated agreement. It allows "bad teachers" to be termininated, but it requires administrators to follow certain procedures. If administrators are not willing to follow those procedures, it is the administrators fault that "bad teachers" are retained, not the unions.

    http://www.ccsd.net/jobs/gnrl/pdf/CCEA_A...

  15. @jfdiguy. Where are the private schools going to come from to use your vouchers. Will those schools accept students who are ELL, special ed, etc, etc, etc. The answer is that they don't exist in Nevada and they don't accept every student.

  16. Tanker, the procedures are so somplex and drawn out it could literally take years for a bad teacher to be fired. The procedure should be "fire as needed", period. Most decent teachers and principals know who the bad teachers are in their own schools.

    It's simply easier to move the bad teachers to the underperforming schools where the parents are not as nearly involved, usually because of a language barrier.

    Do you agree that bad teachers should be fired?

  17. @Noindex. Yes, bad teachers should be fired, but hopefully they will be identified long before the end of the probationary period. If they are not, how is the administrator not to blame? The job of the principal is to evaluate new teachers and make sure they should be teachers.

    I have serious problems with "fire as needed". What protections do I have that a principal who doesn't like me will "fire me because he doesn't need me?

    The fact that principals are not willing to take the time and pass the "bad teachers" from school to school is not the unions fault. It is a failure in leadership from the superintendent down to the principal to do their job to insure that the best possible teachers are in CCSD.

  18. Tanker (or other teachers), how long is the probationary period right now? How long do you think it should be?

    I keep hearing that it takes a few years for teachers to find their groove. It seems like 5 year probationary period is appropriate. If I'm a teacher, that sounds like a LONG time, but it sounds like it's necessary. The test score improvements can be measured, classroom evaluations should be required by principals (with grading criteria that's as specific as possible), and if students are consistently underperforming with that teacher, they should be fired. BUT...the problem should be identified MUCH earlier than that. Those teachers should be heavily scrutinized each year, and given tools to improve. Whether it's additional training, conferences, etc. The teachers union needs to acknowledge that money for these tools is limited, so I think you have to look for things where you get the most bang for the buck. And shoot! Hit some of the wealthy local guys up for private funding. I was just part of a group that worked with the district on teacher training programs and we funded the entire thing, but the district was a PAIN to work with.

    I acknowledge that I have limited information, so I'd welcome your feedback. But you're right, these principals need to be held accountable as much as, or even more than, the teachers that they "manage".

  19. One can be supportive of public education and still find it amusing that a union would protest pay freezes in this economy.

    Makes me wonder where, exactly, small business owners should have gone to protest the severe pay cuts many of them took when the recession took hold.

    Please.

  20. This is for those who do not understand what teachers are fighting for:

    The district HAS money, but its so called leaders want to spend it on SOMETHING ELSE, and they want to take what is rightfully the teachers' so they can cover the shortfall.

    THAT IS WHAT we are fighting for and we are not asking for anything else but to keep what is rightfully ours.

    You people who constantly attack teachers must do some research before you even start talking because you really HAVE NO CLUE how the district operates. I have been in this district from a parent volunteer to administration and I KNOW!

    Thank you very much for your support.

  21. Improve LV:

    Look at the current initiatives that the district is pulling over everybody's eyes and which our esteemed board and administrators praised to high heavens:

    Growth Model: It is simply reporting data in a different manner, but it has nothing to do with helping teachers and students perform better. How much money is being spent in this model?

    Studies done about how the district spends money. How much money is paid to consultants to do this study? Does it help student performance? NO.

    Hiring of Ombudsmen, consultants, talking head, etc. etc. ad nauseam. Do these people help student performance? NO.

    Hiring of consultants to study what positions can be cut so the district can save money. Does this help student performance? NO.

    Are there studies done how the district can help teachers help students improve performance? NO.

    Are there studies done how the district can help parents help their children at home to improve their performance? NO.

    Are there studies done how the district can trim top heavy administration and increase staff who directly help children improve their performance? NO.

    Try attending a board meeting. The all- encompassing topic they talk about is MONEY. There has never been a meaningful discussion on how to improve student performance or how to support teachers to help them improve student learning.

    Here's an article about teacher attrition. Maybe when there aren't anymore teachers left, the public and the powers-that-be will be happy:

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/08/11...

  22. Improve LV:

    First. I am not advocating for more money. The money the district has now SHOULD just have to do and it should if the leadership would just focus on educating children. That is not the main concern of the leadership, although they claim it is. Their main concern is how to get more and the way they are going about it is wrong. You do not save money by spending it on things that do not directly affect student performance.

    Let us look at a very simple analogy. The district is sick. The illness is poor student performance. When a child is sick, you take him to the doctor who prescribes medicines and you administer it so the child gets better. What is the growth model doing? It shows "look, last year the child was sick with the same disease and his temperature was 102. This year he has the same illness and the temperature is only 101.8. The child is handling it better now." The growth model simply shows the same performance but reported in a different configuration to look good. Does it come with more resources and help for the teacher? No. It gives teacher less and less time to plan lessons and prepare materials because more time is spent on assessment and data gathering. Instead of spending that money to look good, we should give teacher more time to collaborate and design laser-like interventions specific to each child's deficiencies and the time during the school day to implement it. We have six hours to teach reading, writing, and math. We have to integrate science, social studies, health, computers, and other vital lessons because we do not have enough time in a day. One to one intervention is the only way we can help struggling students. We do not have that luxury. They fund after-school tutoring, but any kind of intervention that is not laser-like is simply ineffective.

    This is what I am harping about: Student performance is largely dependent on the teacher AND that is where the focus should be. Initiatives to reform education should focus on TEACHERS - How to help them become better at what they do. Instead of carrying a big stick, we should ask them: What can we do to help you?

    Now, is that too much to ask? How much does it cost?

  23. "I understand what you're saying, Nancy, but I do think it's necessary to gather concrete data so that we're not just throwing money at different ideas when we don't know if, or how well, they'll work. I don't know the details of how the district is using the data, or if/how they plan to address problems or to spread successful concepts, but the data needs to be available before they can do anything with it. I'll admit, I'm a sucker for data analysis since I've been heavily involved in that during my professional career. If used properly, it's an absolute necessity, in my opinion."

    The growth model does NOT "diagnose" what works and what doesn't in terms of effective teaching strategies. It is simply a tool to report student performance. In the analogy I presented, it simply tells the child's 'temperature.' The mother already knows the child is sick and what caused it. After all she is the one who knows what happened and she knows how to deal with it. Mothers have been caring for children a hundred of years. Now, what the powers-that be are doing is "pay consultants a lot of money to do a whole lot of other studies BUT not about making the child better, or helping that mother get the medicine that the child needs. I repeat there is NOTHING that ACTUALLY helps that mother help that sick child.

    We do not need to be told by 'experts' how our students are performing. We KNOW! We do not need to sit in endless 'professional developments' where 'experts' tell us "do this and that." We know what to do and if we don't, we collaborate amongst ourselves. If no one amongst us knows, we should be able to ask our administrators for help or other teachers from other schools. This way, the help we get is very specific to what we and the children need. Specific is the key here. Each child is unique thus each approach for each child must be specific to the child's deficiency.

    The approach the people in leadership positions are using is THE SAME since as far as I can remember. It is just given a different name. We have been hiring consultants; we have been creating fancy positions, and we have been buying commercially prepared materials and programs as if they are magic salves to cure the ailing AYP, yet we are still in the same boat we were five superintendents ago. Isn't doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results INSANITY?

    Would someone please start thinking and say, "Maybe we should ask the teacher what they need to help the children." Change can only be successful when you involve those who will implement the changes in planning them. Top-down initiatives can only get compliance without the commitment, and we know how that has been working.

    Going back to my analogy, please allow me to be flip: "The children ain't gonna be happy when Momma ain't happy!" (This is actually a quote from a book by Parker about teaching as the work of the heart.)

  24. Right Bob, except the people of the United States has the right to vote on who they want to put in power. Teachers DO NOT have that luxury.

    The people of the United States can 'Occupy Wall Street,' while teachers are NOT allowed to strike. The powers-that-be made sure of that and included it in the Nevada Constitution.

    The people of the United States have rights. The teachers are told what to do and they better do it or else.

    The people of the United States are NOT evaluated by administrators who, because of their being 'human' have human faults such as biases and prejudices and their decision literally can break or make a human teacher spirit.

    That is what teachers have to contend with in their daily professional lives and the continued bashing and denigrating do not help those who are truly working hard for the children.

    Thank you.

  25. I remember listening to Dr. DuFour's introduction on Professional Learning Communities: The parents are the customers. If you are a customer at Starbucks and you order a Macchiato, you got black coffee, and this happens every time, wouldn't you wonder? Angry even? You would demand to see the MANAGER!

    What is going on with education in our nation?

    Why aren't customers demanding what they deserve?