Award about more than just popularity

I applaud the Review-Journal for taking the time to acknowledge and commend teachers in Clark County with the Heart of Education Award. That being said, it is a misguided attempt because — in all honesty — it is a popularity contest.

When the list of educators was posted, I looked for the names of people I previously taught with or knew through friends, family or professional networking. I was pleased to see the names of former colleagues who I believe are excellent teachers.

I saw the names of people I would gladly vote for because I know how they conduct themselves professionally as educators. These teachers are excellent at their jobs and make sure students are taught the required curriculum and receive remediation when they struggle. These professionals provide a classroom environment in which each child has a voice to ask and answer questions. These educators make sure to actually teach and engage the students in meaningful and relevant ways.

But there are quite a few names missing from the list of nominees. Because, you see, some of the best teachers are hardest on themselves.

These are men and women who, when asked to evaluate their performance, see room for improvement or ways to increase student achievement. These are educators who don’t just give out A’s to keep parents and administrators off their backs. These are educators who are firm with students and expect them to take education seriously. These are educators who make sure their lessons are not busy work to keep students occupied — assigned work is necessary for learning, not just for giving a grade or to have something pretty to hang on the classroom wall. These are educators who would be honored, humbled and possibly embarrassed by a nomination.

The vast majority of votes will be from friends, family members and social media acquaintances regardless of teaching ability. The Heart of Education awards should not be based on social media savvy but on actual evidence of being an effective educator.

Kellie Ryan


Wrong Angle

Politics and personalities aside, I found the April 11 article on Sharron Angle offensive (“Nevada’s Sharron Angle is the same candidate in different times”). Not because of her political views or her headline-grabbing, but because you chose to put this article on the front page together with a photograph. At best, this should have been in the Nevada section.

By publicizing her in a front-page article, you have essentially endorsed her. Maybe you should headline the other eight candidates in future publications. I seriously doubt this will happen, but one can always hope for objective, noncommittal journalism regardless of a newspaper’s political leanings.

Michael Stilley


Net metering

NV Energy officials say that regular customers were subsidizing net-metering (rooftop solar) customers. That’s why the utility asked for and received net-metering changes that drove up costs substantially for rooftop solar owners. Those changes also drove the rooftop solar business out of Nevada. Those departed solar companies took thousands of good-paying jobs with them.

NV Energy says the poorest users were hurt the most by rooftop solar and the subsidies they receive. I don’t believe it.

Surely, the ones who are subsidizing the poorest — and the middle class, as well — are the state’s biggest electricity users. Large-building owners, hotels, casino operators and the like pay enormous sums of money for power. When they pay as much as they do, they help the little guys — homeowners and renters alike. With fewer than 18,000 rooftop solar owners in Nevada, they are but a drop in NV Energy’s bucket.

What’s the bottom line? We need to bring back solar. Everyone wins when we use the best power source on this planet.

Byron Phillips

Las Vegas

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