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April 24, 2014

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Paul Takahashi

Education Reporter

Paul was born in New York City and grew up in a New Jersey suburb, exit 163. He studied journalism at Northwestern University because he loves to tell stories about issues affecting the everyday lives of ordinary Americans. Previous to joining the Sun in 2010, Paul helped cover Barack Obama's election night rally from Grant Park for a Chicago TV station, and filed video stories from South Africa.

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Story Archive

Nevada teachers paid slightly less than national average
Tuesday, Dec. 17, 2013
Nevada school teachers get paid slightly below the national average, according to a DePaul University professor’s analysis. The average annual salary for a Nevada schoolteacher is estimated to be $55,957, about $400 below the national average.
Metro Police investigating 'suspicious death' near South Point
Monday, Dec. 16, 2013
Metro Police are investigating a a homicide at the South Point tonight.
Laughlin man dies from injuries sustained during fight with friend
Monday, Dec. 16, 2013
A homeless man accused of beating a man to death in Laughlin last week was reportedly in town to celebrate his birthday with the man and his wife, according to Metro Police.
Pedestrian killed, driver injured when van crashes into utility pole
Monday, Dec. 16, 2013
A woman was killed Monday after a van crashed into a light pole and it struck her, according to Metro Police.
Breaking the code: District hopes to change perceptions about computer programming
Saturday, Dec. 14, 2013
The students, brows furrowed, stare intently at their computer monitors. At first glance, it looks like the sixth-graders are playing a computer version of Angry Birds, the popular smartphone game. But instead of aiming aviary trajectories of piglet destruction with the flick of a finger, these Findlay Middle School students are using lines of computer code to navigate a red Angry Bird through an intricate maze to capture the green Bad Piggie. Welcome to Hour of Code, a national campaign that hopes to entice millions of students across the country to pick up a new language: computer coding.
Higher-than-expected student enrollment boosts CCSD funding
Thursday, Dec. 12, 2013
The Clark County School District is receiving more state per-pupil funding than it expected after its student enrollment figures came in over projection.
Nevada Education Department fills deputy superintendent posts
Thursday, Dec. 12, 2013
Nevada Superintendent Dale Erquiaga on Thursday announced two deputy superintendents and a new director for teacher effectiveness.
CCSD seeks money to add portables for kindergarten classes
Thursday, Dec. 12, 2013
The Clark County School District is applying for $13.5 million in state funding to lower kindergarten class sizes and purchase 105 double-wide trailers for portable classrooms.
A UNLV stadium should be covered and feature 'social spaces,' consultant says
Thursday, Dec. 12, 2013
A stadium consultant says an on-campus UNLV football stadium should seat at least 50,000 and have a Teflon-coated inflatable cover. And it should do without a giant video screen.
UNLV president to take over Feb. 3 at University of North Texas
Thursday, Dec. 12, 2013
UNLV President Neal Smatresk was confirmed today as the next president of the University of North Texas and will begin his new job Feb. 3.
Clark County’s charter schools continue to chart strong growth
Wednesday, Dec. 11, 2013
Clark County charter schools have among the fastest enrollment growth in the country, according to a national report released Tuesday. For the past eight years, the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools — a nonprofit charter school advocacy group — has issued an annual report looking at student enrollment in charter schools across the country. In its 2012 report, the alliance found that Clark County had the highest growth in charter school enrollment of any metropolitan region in the country.
UNLV engineering students put program to practice
Design competition a requirement for graduating seniors
Tuesday, Dec. 10, 2013
A metal collecting rover and a clothing iron inspired by a hair-straightener were some of the unique inventions showcased at UNLV's engineering design competition this semester. To graduate, all Hughes College of Engineering seniors must design and build a prototype for a new product with real-world applications.
District wants ‘lots of results’ from Zoom schools
Monday, Dec. 9, 2013
The Clark County School District has wholeheartedly embraced a new statewide initiative to help Nevada’s large population of non-English-speaking students, according to officials.
Nevada's Hispanics work to boost representation on education boards
Monday, Dec. 9, 2013
Hispanics students represent nearly half of all Clark County public schoolchildren and nearly a quarter of all students in Southern Nevada colleges and universities. Yet, Hispanic membership on Nevada’s K-12 and higher education boards historically has been lacking.
Tina Kunzer-Murphy first woman to head UNLV athletics
Friday, Dec. 6, 2013
Nevada regents today unanimously approved Tina Kunzer-Murphy as UNLV’s permanent athletic director. Kunzer-Murphy, appointed interim director in July, is the first woman and the first UNLV alumna to head UNLV athletics.
CCSD board chooses state BOE member to fill vacancy
Thursday, Dec. 5, 2013
The Clark County School Board today unanimously appointed Stavan Corbett to fill a vacancy on the seven-member board. Corbett, who has served on the Nevada Board of Education since 2010, will be stepping down from his post to represent District D, which encompasses the central Las Vegas Valley and has nearly 49,000 students feeding into Clark, Desert Pines, Rancho, Silverado and Valley high schools.
Cabinet official wants nation, Nevada to examine commitment to education
Education secretary pays daylong visit to Las Vegas
Thursday, Dec. 5, 2013
U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan, Wednesday during a visit to Las Vegas, urged Nevada to invest more in education. The nation’s top education official was in town to speak at two national conferences, one for financial-aid officers and the other for career and technical schoolteachers. In between his speaking engagements, Duncan visited a local elementary school and high school. He also participated in a panel discussion and town hall about the state of education in the United States.
Education secretary stays busy on whirlwind day in Las Vegas
Thursday, Dec. 5, 2013
U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan was in town Wednesday to promote a wide range of education initiatives, including a new financial-aid website, higher academic standards and more collaborative career-technical education.
Student borrowers in Nevada have among lowest debt in U.S.
Wednesday, Dec. 4, 2013
Nevada’s college graduates have among the lowest student loan debt in the country, according to a national report released Wednesday.
Education secretary to address president's initiatives, federal programs during visit
Tuesday, Dec. 3, 2013
U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan will promote college affordability and higher academic standards during a visit to two Las Vegas Valley schools Wednesday.
5 high schools being sanitized after Norovirus outbreak
Tuesday, Dec. 3, 2013
The Clark County School District is cleaning five high schools after an outbreak of the highly contagious Norovirus sickened dozens of people attending a youth football tournament last week. Five local high schools hosted about 7,000 students and parents attending the National Youth Football Championship from Wednesday to Saturday. During the four-day event, about 100 elementary school students and parents visiting from California fell ill. Some of them were transported to area hospitals and later released.
Federal funding allows UNLV, community partners to continue Healthy Homes Program
Monday, Dec. 2, 2013
UNLV received more than $2.3 million from the federal government to continue inspecting older homes in Henderson for lead-based paint.
As UNLV contemplates new stadium, valley has other venues of all sizes
Monday, Dec. 2, 2013
What size should the UNLV stadium be? That’s one of the key questions the UNLV stadium authority board must answer in its interim report to state lawmakers in September 2014. A UNLV-commissioned stadium consultant found earlier this year that Las Vegas was among a few major cities nationally that lacks a stadium that can seat 55,000 people or more. The study did not consider the Las Vegas Speedway, which seats more than 140,000 people.
Think college tuition is expensive? Try day care for a toddler
Sunday, Dec. 1, 2013
A national study found that Nevada has among the highest child care costs in the country. The Silver State is among 31 states nationally where child care costs could exceed the cost of college tuition and fees, according to a 2013 report from the advocacy group Child Care Aware of America.
Parents warned about high school students piercing each other
Wednesday, Nov. 27, 2013
Spring Valley High School students have been using sewing needles and paper clips to pierce fellow students’ ears, navels and nipples at home and at school, Clark County School District officials said.
More TB tests ordered at Coronado High after lab error
Tuesday, Nov. 26, 2013
A second round of tuberculosis testing is underway at Coronado High School today after an out-of-state laboratory botched nearly 80 tests taken last week from students and staff.
Outgoing president proud he's leaving UNLV 'stronger than ever'
Tuesday, Nov. 26, 2013
In the week after UNLV's Neal Smatresk announced plans to become the president of the University of North Texas, the Sun spoke with Smatresk about his decision, his legacy and his hopes for the school he leaves behind.
Poll finds most Sun Youth Forum participants rate their education above average
Monday, Nov. 25, 2013
The vast majority of Las Vegas’ top high school students has a positive view of their education but said the Clark County School District needs much improvement, according to a Las Vegas Sun survey of 200 students attending the Sun Youth Forum earlier this month.
Work of advancing an on-campus stadium project continues without Smatresk
Thursday, Nov. 21, 2013
One day after news came out of Neal Smatresk’s impending departure, a campus improvement board met to discuss how it hopes to carry on the UNLV president’s legacy project: an on-campus football stadium.
Charismatic Smatresk leaves legacy of bold ideas for UNLV
Thursday, Nov. 21, 2013
When Neal Smatresk took the helm of UNLV four years ago, Nevada’s largest university was embroiled in turmoil. Yet despite adverse conditions that included the recession, Smatresk dreamed large and created a transformative vision that many say gave the university and Las Vegas a reason to hope.
With 30 years under its belt, Thomas & Mack slated for $60 million in upgrades
Thursday, Nov. 21, 2013
Since it opened, the Thomas & Mack Center has become one of the most storied and successful collegiate venues in the country. As the Mack celebrates its 30th birthday, UNLV officials are taking stock of their arena, celebrating its successes so far but also looking toward its future.
Popular UNLV President Neal Smatresk named sole finalist for University of North Texas job
Wednesday, Nov. 20, 2013
Neal Smatresk, the well-liked and popular president of UNLV, has been named the sole finalist for the job of president at the University of North Texas, officials announced this afternoon.
UNLV, UNR on 'A-List' of nation's top colleges based on academics, economics
Wednesday, Nov. 20, 2013
UNLV ranks among the top 25 best-value colleges in the country, according to On Tuesday, – a higher education website – released its “A-List” college rankings, which looked at 100 universities nationally and ranked them on three factors: academic quality, accessibility and affordability.
Four candidates emerge to fill Clark County School Board vacancy
Tuesday, Nov. 19, 2013
Four candidates have applied to fill the Clark County School Board vacancy that was created when Lorraine Alderman resigned unexpectedly last month.
Clark County sees decline in child deaths
Monday, Nov. 18, 2013
Child fatalities in Clark County have steadily declined over the past five years, according to a UNLV report released Monday.
$10 million gift to bring Black Mountain Institute into 'new era of progress,' donor says
Saturday, Nov. 16, 2013
Former Nevada higher education chancellor and TV mogul Jim Rogers and his wife, Beverly, are donating $10 million to UNLV’s Black Mountain Institute. With the gift, the university’s literary institute, which hosts authors and writing programs, will be renamed the Beverly Rogers, Carol C. Harter Black Mountain Institute.
School Board seeks $11 million to reduce kindergarten class sizes
Friday, Nov. 15, 2013
The Clark County School Board approved an $11 million state grant application Thursday that would allow the School District to meet a new mandatory class size cap for kindergarten.
Hundreds of students, dozens of controversial issues and one enduring quality: Mutual respect
Friday, Nov. 15, 2013
Nearly 1,000 Las Vegas high school students gathered this week at the 57th annual Las Vegas Sun Youth Forum to discuss hot-button issues such as abortion and gay marriage. It was not the chaos you might have expected. Instead of displaying vitriol and rancor, these students debated one another with courtesy and respect.
CCSD continues to OK pay raises, this time for school cops
Thursday, Nov. 14, 2013
Nearly 170 police officers are getting pay raises after the Clark County School Board unanimously approved a new contract between the district and its police officers union.
School Board appoints new vice president, clerk
Thursday, Nov. 14, 2013
The Clark County School Board has a new vice president and clerk.
Las Vegas veterans groups plan chili contest as benefit for slain Sparks teacher's family
Wednesday, Nov. 13, 2013
The Le Cordon Bleu Las Vegas Student Veterans club is partnering with Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 12119 in Las Vegas to stage the chili contest Saturday. All of the proceeds raised from the event will go to the family of Michael Landsberry.
Officials confirm case of tuberculosis at Coronado High School
Tuesday, Nov. 12, 2013
The Southern Nevada Health District confirmed a case of tuberculosis at Coronado High School on Tuesday. A ParentLink message was sent to the families of Coronado students and staff members.
Answering questions about a proposed new medical school in Las Vegas
Tuesday, Nov. 12, 2013
Nevada’s higher education leaders announced plans last week to open a medical school at UNLV. The news immediately generated buzz on campus and around Las Vegas. Unlike other major campus proposals recently – such as a football stadium or apartment-style dorms – the UNLV medical school represents a largely academic endeavor. Supporters believe such a school will transform the university and Southern Nevada.
Special-needs teacher turns to crowdfunding for her special needs
Friday, Nov. 8, 2013
The standup wheelchair Elizabeth Allen is looking to purchase would cost $25,000. And unlike her current wheelchair, which can be stowed away in her car, the new wheelchair would require outfitting Allen’s 18-year-old GMC van with special restraints, hand-controls and a ramp. Modifying the van could cost upwards of $10,000. Even with insurance, Allen estimates she needs at least $20,000 to pay for the wheelchair and van. And that’s excluding the cost of the surgery Allen plans to wait until June to treat a nagging pressure sore. Faced with thousands of dollars in potential new medical costs, Allen turned to a crowdfunding website for help.
Officials ink deal to create medical school in Las Vegas
Thursday, Nov. 7, 2013
Nevada’s university leaders have signed a partnership agreement to begin establishing a new M.D.-granting medical school in Southern Nevada.
Nevada students register gains on 'nation's report card,' but results remain well below average
Thursday, Nov. 7, 2013
Only a third of Nevada fourth- and eighth-grade students are proficient in math and reading, according to a federal report released today. The National Assessment of Educational Progress — also known as the "nation’s report card" — tests students in those grades every two years. Test questions cover a variety of math and reading areas, including geometry, algebra and reading comprehension on fiction and nonfiction texts.
UNLV, UNR close to plan that would create medical school in Southern Nevada
Tuesday, Nov. 5, 2013
The presidents of UNR and UNLV are close to signing a preliminary partnership agreement that could lead to a school in Southern Nevada that would mint medical doctors.
CSN students can now register for classes with smartphones
Monday, Nov. 4, 2013
Long registration lines may soon become a hassle of the past with the launch of the College of Southern Nevada’s new mobile application.
UNLV forum to explore impact of M.D.-granting med school in Southern Nevada
Monday, Nov. 4, 2013
The economic impact of creating an M.D.-granting medical school in Southern Nevada will be the topic of a public forum Tuesday at UNLV.
Nevada's premature birth rate is one of the nation's worst, report says
Saturday, Nov. 2, 2013
March of Dimes looks at three main factors to determine a state’s grade: the percentage of uninsured women, the premature birth rate and the percentage of women who smoke.

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