Boulder City Magazine is a monthly publication full of information about Boulder City and Southern Nevada. Boulder City Magazine features the Boulder City Home Guide, a real estate guide to Boulder City and Southern Nevada.

Lessons Learned
by Jim LaBuda
Assistant Professor of Education
Nevada State College

The Right Teacher

We often over analyze things in education. We give too many tests, place too high of an emphasis on the results, invest too much money in computer systems that track student progress and are constantly searching for answers to slumping test scores. The real success factor comes down to something parents have always known, it’s the teacher.

MParents want their children to be in a classroom with a skilled teacher, who genuinely cares about the students.

As the budget unfolds in Carson City for the 2011-13 biennium, I worry about the focus of funding and educational reform.

There are certainly improvements which need to be made within the Nevada educational system and necessary budget cuts. However, as we make changes the focus needs to remain on providing our students with the best teachers.

So what will Nevada do to attract high quality teachers? According the ideas currently circulating, the following may be included in our employment ad intended to attract these high quality teachers.

5% pay cut

Larger class sizes

Reduced pension benefits

Reduced health benefits

Fewer classroom supplies

Increased tuition fees for advanced degrees

No pay increments for advanced education credits

The slower growth rate for Nevada has lowered the demand for teachers. No longer does the Clark County School District need 2,500 teachers a year. We can be more selective in the teacher selection process.

But what will we do to attract the best students into education and what will our state do to attract the best teachers?

Most of us will let these questions be debated between elected officials and those in high administrative positions. But when the school year starts, our main question will be: Does my child have a skilled teacher, who genuinely cares about the students?

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