Board not meddling with superintendent

To the editor:

An editorial in Thursday’s Review-Journal incorrectly makes the assertion that the Clark County School Board seeks to undermine — or otherwise limit the autonomy given to — Superintendent Dwight D. Jones.

The editorial, which makes reference to reports by the Nevada Journal, took board comments out of context and is not reflective of the board’s point of view.

Most disappointing, the Review-Journal neither verified the accuracy of Nevada Journal’s claims, nor sought clarification from the trustees, which would gladly have been provided.

With district leadership that features a new superintendent as well as several relatively new trustees, it is essential to clarify the measures upon which the superintendent will be evaluated. Because the superintendent is evaluated on the board’s executive limitations, as well as its ends, it is important that the board and the superintendent engage in clear dialogue about expectations.

Discussion about modifying board policy is not directed at limiting the superintendent’s autonomy, but rather it is about ensuring that expectations are clearly established and communicated effectively. In short, for the Board of School Trustees, failure is not an acceptable option, especially when it comes to evaluation measurements that need to be as precise as possible.

The Review-Journal’s conclusion that the board is attempting to restrict Mr. Jones’ ability to reform the district is completely inaccurate and unfounded. The board remains committed to the reforms proposed by Mr. Jones, as evidenced by its record of unanimous support for all of his initiatives.

Trustees whole-heartedly support allowing our superintendent the freedom to use his reasonable interpretation of board policy and lead the necessary reforms to improve student achievement in Clark County School District.

Carolyn Edwards

Las Vegas

The writer is president of the Clark County School District Board of Trustees.

Suspicious shootings

To the editor:

In response to Joe Molinaro’s Monday letter criticizing the Review-Journal for broad coverage of police shootings:

I would like to thank the Review-Journal for its stance on police shootings. Why do Las Vegas police officers find it necessary to shoot their victims multiple times? If one officer shoots, they all shoot to kill. They are apparently trained to do this.

With so many shootings in the first seven months of 2011, and the police union’s unwillingness to participate in the new inquest process, doesn’t any logical person see a suspicious Police Department?

Tom Lane

Las Vegas

Blame the GOP

To the editor:

I wonder if House Speaker John Boehner and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (following directions from the tea party activists, who in turn seem to follow orders from the Fortune 500), in their refusal to seriously compromise on debt limit legislation, remember the old saying about “throwing the baby out with the bath water”?

Their actions and those of their party are already having effects on financial markets. Are they willing to let our country default in order to get their way? Still another old saying comes to mind when reading the various financial projections presented by both sides in this debate: “Figures do not lie, but liars figure.”

Our only real hope will be that voters remember this political stalemate in the next federal election.

Jack Corrick

Boulder City

Left behind

To the editor:

Tina Hamilton’s letter in Sunday’s Review-Journal concerning the overemphasis upon testing in school districts says it all. Teachers are forced to follow mandates that stifle creativity and turn off students. Kids who were once eager to learn now are not.

Instead of exploring the richness of Shakespeare or discussing social and moral dilemmas, students are now memorizing facts and formulas. Every hour spent testing is an hour with no instruction. And we wonder why our country is falling further behind other countries?

Many of us in the teaching profession call the No Child Left Behind Act “No Child Moves Ahead.”

Rob Gardner

North Las Vegas

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