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LETTERS: School district needs math makeover

To the editor:

I’ve been involved in the fields of math and science instruction for more than 60 years, and I feel the need to speak out. Math instruction is in a sorry state in our schools. I suggest two things that might be done to improve this situation.

First, get Nevada out of the Common Core train wreck. From my perspective, Common Core math was hastily designed by Washington bureaucrats to increase their control of American schools. I believe it makes math tedious and distasteful for students, teachers and parents. This has led Bill Hanlon, of the Southern Nevada Regional Professional Development Program, to offer sessions designed to help parents understand the math that their kids are being asked to learn.

Nevada should do what Indiana has done — and what other states are working on — by rejecting Washington’s takeover and bringing decisions about what and how math should be taught back to a more local level.

The second step applies more to elementary school students than to middle school or high school students. Most elementary students are in self-contained classrooms, meaning that the teacher in a given room teaches all of the core subjects: reading, math, social studies and language arts. It is a sad but inarguable fact that many elementary teachers are neither good at math nor enthusiastic about teaching it.

At the same time, there are teachers in nearly every elementary school who like math and have the necessary background to effectively teach it. I feel that every student has the right to learn math from a teacher who knows math and will teach it with enthusiasm. Every elementary school should do whatever it takes to bring about a situation where this happens.

OWEN NELSON

LAS VEGAS

CCSD’s money mess

To the editor:

The front page of Saturday’s Review-Journal had a story headlined, “CCSD comes up $5.4 million short.” In the same paper in the Nevada section was a story headlined, “School Board, administrators agree on contract with 2.79 percent raise,” to the tune of $5.29 million, for a whopping total of 1,300 administrative personnel. And this doesn’t include perks such as cellphones, cars, spending and credit card accounts.

Is that what we used to call the new math? And why do they need 1,300 administrative staffers? I’m so tired of the Clark County School District whining for more public funding, when the district consistently abuses what it gets, and it’s still never enough.

DANA GREEN

LAS VEGAS

Republican takeover

To the editor:

It’s been two weeks since the election and the massive Republican victory, and I’m still hearing and reading tales of woe from the Democrats, who blame everything and everyone for their loss — except themselves. I am a registered Democrat in this state and voted for almost every Republican running in our area. Why? Because I’m disgusted with President Barack Obama and Sen. Harry Reid, both of whom I previously voted for.

Pass more gun laws that don’t work, while the Justice Department refuses to enforce current immigration laws. Our passive-aggressive foreign policies still put our young military members in harm’s way fighting terrorists, while we send billions of dollars to the countries that harbor said terrorists. A president makes personal comments about a murder case in Florida before a trial, then sends the Justice Department to investigate a local shooting by a police officer in Missouri, while at the same time not uttering a word about the dozens of young black people killed in Chicago.

I am also thoroughly disgusted with the superior attitude shown by many government employees when questioned by Congress regarding the scandals within the General Services Administration, the IRS, the FBI, etc. Apparently the Obama administration believes that it is above being held accountable for its actions, since there have been no major policy changes for these departments.

If you don’t want to answer any more questions about your scandal, you can just resign, collect your generous government pension and go write a book or work for a lobbyist. These were only a few of the frustrations that led to my vote, and unless the Democrats make some substantial changes, my 2016 vote will also be Republican.

DIANNE CANNIS

HENDERSON

Clinton no role model

To the editor:

Anne Hawkins’ letter tried to make a case that President Bill Clinton is a suitable role model (“Presidents as role models,” Nov. 13 Review-Journal). In my opinion, she left out a few important facts.

First, he was impeached, he lied to Congress, and he was a serial adulterer not only as president, but also when he was governor of Arkansas. If he had any integrity, he would have resigned from office.

Second, regarding his contributions to the U.S. economy, he inherited it, he didn’t create it. In fact, he raised taxes and put in place policies that jeopardized the strong economy. Strong economies don’t just happen overnight; what Clinton inherited was actually created by the policies of Ronald Reagan.

JIM OLSEN

NORTH LAS VEGAS

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