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Sunday, July 10, 2011

ATTEMPTing to educate

At Basic High School in Henderson Nevada there is no such thing as false advertisement - you get a basic education. Um, well, at least they ATTEMPT to give you a basic education.

Take a look at this screen shot of a letter from the Basic High School Principal. They "will continue to ATTEMPT to fulfill our mission of preparing all students for post-secondary education." Ah gee, that's swell. It's as if they've never succeeded in actually educating students to begin with...and that may actually be true.



Nevada spends just over $10,000 per pupil when you include capital costs and debt repayment, graduates 44 percent of students according to Education Week (56 percent according to the U.S. Department of Educationand fails to get more than half of minority and low-income 4th grade students to read at grade level.

At least Basic High School is ATTEMPTING to educate.... They should get an A for effort...



As for some of the principal's claims in the letter: K-12 Education in Nevada appears to be facing its first real budget cut in many years...so yeah that is historic! Yes the budget cuts in 2009 and 2010 were all cuts from imaginary dollars the school districts had never before spent in their entire history. Facing a real budgetary decline, CCSD administrators, principals and teachers don't know what to do (it's called innovation and learning to do more with less...it is what the private sector has been doing for years!!!).

Next, I don't know if Basic will really have class sizes that average 35 students as the principal claims. However, I do know that the Nevada Department of Education states that Basic had 2,557 students in 2009-10 and the Basic website lists 104 teachers. That is 24.6 students per teacher - above the Nevada average of 20. But what this means is that teachers have a lot of non-teaching time in school if their classes average 35 or more students. Thus if you want smaller class sizes have TEACHERS TEACH MORE!

It is also unlikely that teachers will be responsible for as many as 300 students. That would require a teacher to work all day with only a lunch break and still average 43 students per class. Since most teachers have a lunch break plus one or two "duty periods" the average teacher at Basic will probably have only 175 students they are responsible for throughout the year.

1 comment:

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    ReplyDelete