Las Vegas Sun

October 25, 2014

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Letter to the editor:

Possible solutions for packed schools

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The overcrowding at Clark County schools is a major problem but has several solutions.

The proposal by the Clark County School District to go back to a year-round school schedule is a partial element in solving overcrowding.

The second is to encourage home-schooling via the Internet, which would be beneficial to learning and ease pressure on on-site facilities.

The final solution is to have more portable classrooms available for instruction, considering that further school construction won’t happen anytime soon for budget reasons.

Overcrowding of the School District, which is one of the largest nationwide, isn’t an easy crisis or one that will be solved quickly. But by using a combination of all the above solutions, it can be done.

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  1. 3 suggestions for Clark County School District AND NEVADA: Homeschooling, charter schools, and school vouchers. Nevada is the last in the nation in education of students. When you are last, at the bottom of the heap, what do you have to lose.

    CarmineD

  2. All sensible ideas. It makes little sense to build additional multi-million dollar schools while multi-million dollar schools sit idle for three months of the year. Portable classrooms do not detract from the education experience and you don't need additional real estate to support them. Internet instruction would bring education into the twenty-first century. There are elements of our current nineteenth century model that require a campus and fixed times of instruction that are expensive and no longer work well.

    To these I would suggest adding twenty days of instruction to the school year.

  3. Homeschooling via the Internet? Many of the parents of these children never made it through high school. That's just what we need in this state. "Education through the Internet."

    If this state wants more well-to-do people moving here the quality-of-life metrics have to be improved. The hospitals are in trouble, a major cancer center just closed, violence is sky high, and our young people do not have the requisite education to provide a decent labor pool.

    If the letter writer believes you can get this through portable classrooms and the Internet he sorely mistaken. It takes quality schools with good teachers and motivated students.

  4. The above commentators obviously don't have any children. When children are sitting in front of the computer they are looking at nothing but garbage. High-tech devices are the reason American kids are lacking in education. They are definitely not the solution.

    Bill Gates only allows his kids on the computer a few minutes a day. If high-tech devices could educate children, Gates would have figured out a way to accomplish this.
    http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,2533...

  5. If overcrowding, not a teacher shortage, is the main problem change the attendance criteria. Put these overcrowded grades/classrooms on a three and one-half day shift and the teachers on a four day 40 hour week with all of the overlaps occurring on either Saturday or Sunday. This keeps the parents from screaming about their child not staying in their local school.

  6. BTW, homeschooling only works when the parent can be at home and is already better educated than the child. This also assumes that the parent is actually capable of teaching.

  7. You are an adult in your mid-40s. We are talking about children here. Not college-age adults. Adults may use computers to facilitate business activities and education. Children use them for porn, social networking and music.

    Put a bunch of 10-year-olds behind computers and see how much productivity you get. I had very tough, excellent teachers when I was growing up in Santa Monica. That education enabled me to get into UCLA and study economics. Had computers existed in the 1960s I would've probably spent all of my time looking at porn and never made it through high school. As I stated above that's a big problem in Nevada.

    Aggregate costs are very high today. Many families are two income families. Mom and dad are working all day and the kiddies are going to educate themselves on computers. Good luck with that one!

    Schools also care for children while the parents work. They act as surrogate babysitters. Without brick-and-mortar schools many parents would not be able to be part of the workforce. Schools and after school programs are a lifesaver for many working parents.

  8. Great suggestions offered here and in the above letter. Sounds like many do not know of the ONLINE educational programs in Clark County and throughout this state. It has existed for over ten years now. When you drive past the PBS/CCSD building (on the north side of the road) on East Flamingo Road, try stopping by and checking it out. Very state of the art, full of the lastest technology and qualified teachers there to serve our online student population. You would truly be impressed!

    As Commenter Victor Eismine pointed out, home schooling is NOT for everyone. There needs to be a supportive learning environment, committed students and parents, who, usually will subscribe to a particular curriculum for delivery of services. Online education provided by school districts, most often provide a delivery of services that has content that is aligned to standards and students are supervised by qualified teachers. Both require a commitment of integrity to study and willingness to purchase items necessary to do project based learning curricula and meet agreed time deadlines for it to be successful. Online does not necessitate the parent having an extensive education, only that they assume the position of supporting their child through the process, getting/providing for whatever their child needs for projects, and doing whatever transportation needed for mandatory meetings.

    Year-round schooling is far more effective for Middle School and High School students. After doing year-round schooling at the elementary school level, I observed children becoming obsessed about what their families (while they missed yearly family reunions) and friends were doing during the summer, while they were forced to attend school during the summer. Typically, there is little motivation, great rebellion, and minimal positive student outcomes.

    IF you have to do year-round schooling, it should be implemented with the older, more mature students, to be most effective.

    Blessings and Peace,
    Star

  9. Ref...Do you have any kids? I do. My conclusion comes from experience.

    Nearly 40% of children are being born to single moms. Probably more in Nevada. They have to have schools to take their kids to so they can work and put bread on the table. Homeschooling and internet schooling is not an option for the vast majority of families in this country.

  10. Deal with the cause of overcrowding: ILLEGAL students moving into Nevada, sanctuary Nevada. Arizona and elsewhere has said no to free handouts, welfare, housing, food banks, UMC-type to illegals so they're running in droves to Nevada where everything is free for them.