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November 23, 2014

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Letter to the editor:

Education is being sorely neglected

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Oh, gee whiz, the schools are overcrowded and in disrepair. When will the powers-that-be discover that the most important product of any society is children?

They can give millions of dollars to some half-baked bum to run for office but when the schools need more funds, they cry like babies. “Not us, we are the job creators.” Don’t raise taxes on the mining industry. Don’t raise taxes on the casinos. Just sit back and watch the education system fall apart. See what that does to the younger generation.

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  1. Haven't you heard Bruce? Obama was re-elected so we don't have to worry about jobs and the economy. We live in a handout society now. In the future, children won't need an education to get in line for free stuff. A large segment of the population can now party, sleep in, surf the net all day, pick up their handouts and harass & laugh at the working class on blogs and article comments. Sorry, Bruce, this is the new America.

  2. Yes, Obama was reelected. Also reelected was a GOP controlled house of representatives, insuring partisan gridlock for the next two years. Despite the complaining of Mr. Garner and Future, that is the real situation. There is no free lunch, and I see no facts to back up the assertions mentioned in their comments.

  3. Bruce Karley, you should run for office. You and Beverly Frase [letter and author above] would be a dynamic duo in DC. We need more leaders in DC, and frankly everywhere in the USA, who think like you both do.

    CarmineD

  4. Nevada has cleverly designed its tax structure to assure that non-residents of the state pay much of it. Visitors generate much of the gaming tax, room tax, rental car taxes, and sales taxes. Maybe because of this we have a surprising reluctance to invest in ourselves. If I were betting on Nevada's future "ANY CRAPS" looks promising.

  5. "When will the powers-that-be discover that the most important product of any society is children?"

    Karley -- you've obviously swallowed the "it's for the kids" excuse hook, line and sinker. Education is just another bloated bureaucracy hiding behind a warm and fuzzy facade. Like nearly every other government agency, no matter how much money is poured down that rathole, it's never enough.

    "The child is not the mere creature of the State; those who nurture him and direct his destiny have the right, coupled with the high duty, to recognize and prepare him for additional obligations." -- Pierce v. Society of Sisters, 268 U.S. 510, 535 (1925)

  6. The immanent demise of what is left of the middle class is what has created income inequality. If someone makes so little that they pay no taxes who's to blame? Is it the individual who drops out of school or cannot afford a higher education? Is it the greed head corporation that pays subsistence wages and recommends that the employee should take advantage of Medicaid for their medical "insurance"? Is it the a**hat employer who lays off his employees because he can't "afford" Obamacare? Is it the multinational corporation, beholden only to shareholders and the "bottom line", that yanks the rug out from under employees in order to ship their jobs overseas? ALL OF THE ABOVE, and more.

    A "good education" is obviously important for the student's future. Ensuring that education is incumbent upon the teacher, the student and the parent(s). Apathy seems the order of the day on all counts. Dumping more money down the "rabbit hole" of the CCSD is not cutting it.

  7. "With spending per student at its highest levels ever I don't think the students are being neglected by the taxpayer. Whats being neglected is the inabilities of the district and the teachers union to put together workable plans."

    chuck -- the real inability is our outrageously expensive school districts to graduate classes who can actually read, write and do their sums. This is nothing new. In the 70s the Navy required all recruits to be able to read at a 9th grade level. To meet their recruiting quotas many recruits had to go to remedial reading classes. So this is nothing new.

    I started first grade in a rural 3-room schoolhouse with all 8 grades. I'm better educated than either of my children, a lot due to my first grade teacher instilling the love of reading.

    "I think TV is very educational. Every time someone turns on a TV, I go in the other room and read." -- Groucho Marx

  8. Remember the days when students were encouraged to select either a trade track, or college bound track in school? Reality is, not all students are college material, either due to their IQs or its not their passion. Many individuals who go into the trades, do very well for themselves and their families for a lifetime, and dare I say that more often their families are more stable and have a greater sense of work ethic.

    There is a trend to constantly "assess, evaluate, and test" children, thereby placing extreme pressure on them at a very early age to "perform to standards" so when they have been "identified" (and stigmatized) with being "under performing, struggling, emerging" it does take a toll on their self esteem and motivation starting at a very early age. Such children usually have very sketchy home life support that our current educational system (thanks to political kick the can down the road politics) can do little about.

    With all my heart, I believe education/learning is developmental, and that we all grow and learn at our own rate. The "lights" go on at differing times, and for most, we all "get there" by our senior year to graduate with a high school diploma.

    Any new funding and efforts need to go towards improving parent/home/family involvement. THAT is what has been "sorely neglected" and we would truly see a greater return on our taxpayer dollar "investment" of money, time, and energy. Bring it on!

    Blessings and Peace,
    Star

  9. Mr. Lind says: The immanent demise of what is left of the middle class is what has created income inequality.

    Mr. Lind I believe the word you are looking for is imminent, not immanent. They mean different things and in your context imminent is correct.

  10. MotorSports is bashing the GOP for our failing education system. An education system that is "owned" by the liberals in our country but it is somehow the GOP's fault.

  11. As KillerB (8:52) notes, Nevada's spending per student is at record levels. Now, the rest of the story:

    1. In 2010 Nevada ranked #43 in the country for spending per student, so that "record level" is actually an unfavorable comment, nationwide, not a favorable one.

    2. In 2010, of the 34 developed countries (the OECD member states) the US was ranked at #4 in spending per student, yet our high school graduation rate was ranked at #26. That's about the same as the rate for Poland - which spends HALF our rate per student. There goes the significance of that "record spending" again.

    3. Why 2010? That's the latest comparable data available.

    As is true in health care, the US cost is well above average while the performance we receive for our money is far below average. Could it be that our extreme fragmentation in both fields has something to do with that? Perhaps there are economies of scale that we are missing?

  12. No MotorSports liberals are in control of our education system. Of coarse you knew that but it is much "cooler" to be snarky. Liberals, you know, people that like to stomp on our flag and say "It is just a piece of cloth". As a veteran I find this really offensive.

    Star: Western European countries still have the trade school/college prep type curriculum. Around junior high school they are evaluated and counseled to provide them a positive direction based on their individual abilities and interests. In the Netherlands they have legislation in place to make loans easy for individuals to start their own business. One or two man companies are very common. So people that go the trade school route can borrow money to buy equipment to start a business as a painter, bridge welder etc. The government strongly supports this type of enterprise because it has less people on the dole.

  13. Money won't fix a broken K-12. Recent coverage of a Henderson school with EXEMPLARY RESULTS--so funding isn't a problem. Nevada spends about average per student--and more than $1,000 more than Arizona per student. Yet Arizona gets GRADUATES who can read and write. Nevada gets 51st results. Let's see what's different here--Nevada pays teachers too much more than Arizona. In Arizona they get results for less pay. Nevada spends several $Billion every year with NEGATIVE RETURNS.

  14. Karley,

    Pick a dollar number per pupil that should be spent. Then, double it. Implement your plan. Wait five years. Then, the United States will still have the smartest 1st graders in the Western world and the dumbest 12th graders in the Western world.

    That should be self-evident.

    Purgatory

  15. renorobert: Your stats are wrong. You need to take TOTAL spending per student. Nevada ranks 24th to 27th depending on year. We pay teachers MORE THAN average. True, there is slightly less spent for student supplies and text books--because the teachers union takes it all. Add in DSA AND LSST AND school bond after school bond after school bond. Add in federal funds....and keep adding.

  16. Commenter Tanker 1975 asks you consider this about MINING in Nevada: "The 2011 Barrick Mining annual report is out. This is a link to the Barrick Annual Report for 2011.

    http://www.barrick.com/theme/barrick/fil.................................

    Barrick Mining either owns outright, or is a partner in a joint venture in 7 gold mines in Nevada. To determine my estimate a profits for 2011, I assumed the price of gold at $1500 per ounce, or less. The current price for gold is in excess of $1750 per ounce. The first four mines listed are totally owned by Barrick Mining. In 2011, according to their own figures, Barrick Mining produced almost 97 TONS of gold from their Nevada Mines. That is same weight as 16 full size, original HUMMERS. Barrick Mining has reported record profits and dividends in both 2010 and 2011. Barrick paid a total of $47,300,000 in local and state taxes last year.

    The Cortez Hills Mine produced 1.42 Million (44.375 tons) ounces of Gold at a cost of $245 per ounce. If you assume a conservative profit of $1000 per ounce, you get a profit for the Cortez Hill mine of $1,420,000,000.

    Bald Mountain Mine produced 93,000 ounces (2.9 tons) at a cost of $558 per ounce. Assuming a profit of $900 per ounce for the Bald Mountain Mine, you get a profit of $83,700,000.

    The Gold Strike mine produced 1.09 MILLION ounces (34.0625 Tons) at a cost of $511 per ounce. Again assuming a profit of $900 per ounce for the Gold Strike mine, you get a profit of $981,000,000.

    Ruby Hill mine produced 127,000 ounces (3.96875 tons) at a cost of $334 per ounce. Assuming a profit of $1000 per ounce for Ruby Hill, you get a profit of $127,000,000.

    Barrick Mining is involved in three joint ventures in Nevada.

    Barrick owns 33% of the Marigold mine. Barrick's share of production was 51,000 ounces (1.59675 Tons) at a cost of $761 per ounce. For the Marigold mine, assume a profit of $700 per ounce. The total profit would be $35,700,000.

    Barrick owns 50% of the Round Mountain mine. Barrick's share was 178,000 ounces (5.5625 Tons) at a cost of $612 per ounce. Assuming a profit of $800 per ounce for the Round Mountain mine, we get a total profit of $142,400,000.

    Barrick owns 75% of the Turquoise Ridge mine which produced 135,000 ounces (4.21875 Tons) at a cost of $569 per ounce. Finally for the Turquoise Ridge mine, assume a profit of $700 per ounce. This would give a profit of $ 94,500,000.

    Barrick is actively exploring in the Carlin Trace in Nevada. The Carlin Trace is one of the richest gold deposts in the world. Barrick's annual report shows that 44% of the companies income comes from North America. Don't forget that Barrick is also mining silver along with the gold in Nevada. If you add all of the projected and conservative profits, the total is $2,884,300,000. The mining industry in Nevada is also actively mining silver, copper, lithum and many other minerals."
    Part 1 of 2 by Star Mistriel

  17. Part 2 of 3 (sorry, I had to change it) by Star Mistriel
    When the Nevada Constitution was first written, MINING was there, every step of the way, to insure their interests were protected at as small a price to them personally. Tanker1975 provides that glaring facts that the State of Nevada, the People of Nevada, receive a pittance in return for MINING industry's taking of our nonrewable, precious resources. Most of our Nevada LAWMAKERS are supported by MINING and GAMING. Follow the money, folks. Follow your community's Lawmaker Representative's record: is it more favorable to those who elected them, or is it more favorable to the industries that support their campaigns? There is a saying that "You cannot serve two masters: you will love the one, and hate the other." This February, the Nevada State Legislative Session begins for its 120 day mad dash to address the needs of this state. If you have a concern with education, please contact your Representative/Lawmaker.

    Let's get it straight here, those Commenters who are at least 5 decades old can speak from life experiences that span a half century in regards to education. Your parents were actively involved when the school contacted them, and they attended school community meetings to talk about what's going on and ways to address it. If you gave your teacher grief, your parents not only were contacted, they stood with the school's discipline plan, and carried out the consequences/punishment in the home. There was nowhere to run and hide. Students were ACCOUNTABLE and so were their parents.

    We remember well when the USA was a world leader. We have experienced education and our country going from segregation and lack of equity to aggressively across the board implementing EQUAL OPPORTUNITY for all in the USA. What happened? The USA went from being a productive, "United We Stand--Divided We Fall" nation, to one that is not only very divided, but one that no longer is the most productive nation in the world. What happened?

    Blessings and Peace,
    Star

  18. Part 3 of 3 by Star Mistriel

    The lines between right and wrong have become fuzzier. The American society has undergone a shift from knowing the difference between the two, to a feel good, warm-fuzzy, be positive all the time, it's all about ME mentality. There is no "ME" in "TEAMwork". People say about issues of the day, "It's not MY problem." From everyone doing their part and pulling together, we now have become fragmented and divided to the point of our society and government being dysfunctional, even at times, NONfunctional. What happened?

    It starts with us individually performing our responsibility, and exercising and extending that responsibility with our own children, as the saying goes, "Show your child the way he/she should go early in life, and he/she shall not depart from it." Education MUST include (if need be, enforce the requirement) of parent/family participation. Lawmakers need to have the courage to address the bottomline reason why children are not performing to their potential.

    Yes, "Education is being sorely neglected," and it starts with each individual taking their share of responsibility, and performing it to the best of their ability, then asking for help if they need it. It is up to each one of us to be present to share helping each other out. Only as a last resort, when all avenues have been explored and net no meaningful results, then our American society's safety net (via government programs) should be implemented. People have to at least TRY, and yet, we witness many don't even do that much, they look to government to take responsibility for them before trying. That is where the shame is, if it is to be assigned.

    On CBS Face the Nation, a new movement in government called, "No Labels," has been rapidly forming to stop the bipartisan bickering and come together and get the work of government done. There is hope, and it is called being responsible, coming together as a team, working out our problems together. YAY Team USA!!!

    Blessings and Peace,
    Star

  19. Roberta: My stats are wrong? They are not MY stats. They are from the US Census and are widely available and covered. For an example of local coverage from 2009, see:

    http://www.lasvegassun.com/news/2011/jun...

    For more detail for 2010 than you ever wanted to know, see:

    http://www2.census.gov/govs/school/10f33...

    If you have personal access to information not otherwise available, you would do all of us a service by sharing it with us, with the local and national news media, and with the Bureau of the Census.