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May 4, 2015

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Senate passes education reforms in sign that budget deal is near


AP Photo/Cathleen Allison

Senate Majority Leader Steven Horsford, D-North Las Vegas, and Minority Leader Mike McGinness, R-Fallon, talk on the Senate floor Monday, May 30, 2011, at the Legislature in Carson City. Lawmakers continue to work with the governor on the state budget, including talks to extend taxes that were set to expire June 30.

Click to enlarge photo

Nevada Senate Republicans work in a caucus Monday, May 30, 2011, at the Legislature in Carson City as they faced a final bill deadline.

Sun Coverage

CARSON CITY -- In the final minutes before a key deadline Monday night, Senate Democrats passed large-scale changes to the education system, a compromise with Republicans and Gov. Brian Sandoval that brought the Nevada Legislature closer to an end.

The bills, as amended Monday night, would put teachers who receive two years of negative evaluations back on probationary status; it would also require school districts to consider factors other than seniority when laying off teachers. The Assembly still needs to consider and approve the education bills before they go to the governor’s desk. Sandoval indicated he would sign the bills in a tweet sent Tuesday morning.

Democrats in the Assembly also passed a key collective bargaining reform bill that changes the way disputes between governments and unions are mediated and requires local governments and school districts to report estimated costs of newly bargained agreements.

The reform bills on Republican priorities were seen as a good-faith effort by Democrats who continued into the early morning hours to negotiate a budget compromise with Sandoval. The Republican governor had demanded such reforms in return for lifting the sunsets on tax increases passed in 2009 that are scheduled to expire on June 30.

“There was no point in doing these reforms with the magnitude of the cuts that we (had been) facing,” said Assemblywoman Debbie Smith, D-Sparks, indicating an agreement was near on how to fund education at the level Democrats had been pushing for, triggering their acquiescence on his some of Sandoval’s reforms.

Sandoval and Democratic leaders had reached an impasse on the budget late Sunday night, disagreeing on the overall spending number. But they appeared to have found a way to bridge the $313 million gap between the governor’s proposed spending and Democrats' spending by early Tuesday morning. No final deal had been reached, but Democrats were looking for a budget mechanism to fund education at their levels while keeping overall general fund spending at the level recommended by Sandoval.

Democrats also are seeking a tax increase on mining, either by closing some deduction loopholes or capping the overall deductions the companies are allowed to take.

Changes to the way the payroll tax is assessed also were being negotiated. Education reforms had been a priority of Sandoval, as well as Democratic leadership, but are also a key bargaining chip in negotiating spending and taxes.

Assembly Bill 225 and Assembly Bill 229 drew some heated debate on the Senate floor.

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Sen. Mike Schneider

Sen. Mike Schneider, D-Las Vegas, railed against the bills as “a joke.”

“We’re dinking around with education, because we’re experts,” he said sarcastically. “Because we went to school. Some of us even went to college.”

He predicted the reforms were going to “screw it up more. This is just another half attempt at trying to do something.”

He said poor funding for Nevada schools was the real problem.

“This is a joke. I realize this is tied to budget negotiations. But this is a joke,” he said. “We failed our system. We failed our kids, so we can save a buck.”

Schneider ultimately ended up voting for both bills. He said after the vote that he understood it was part of the budget “endgame.”

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Sen. Michael Roberson

Sen. Michael Roberson, R-Las Vegas, also complained that the reforms didn’t go far enough. He made the assertion, not for the first time this session, that the “teachers' union” controlled the Democratic majority.

The Nevada State Education Association, which represents teachers, opposed portions of the bill, and has said that extending sunsetting taxes is insufficient to fund schools.

Three Democratic senators, Sen. Ruben Kihuen, D-Las Vegas; Sen. Shirley Breeden, D-Henderson; and Sen. Mark Manendo, D-Las Vegas; voted against Assembly Bill 225. Sen. John Lee, D-North Las Vegas, voted against Assembly Bill 229.

Democrats closed the budget with significant cuts to K-12 funding, though less than Sandoval had proposed. Instead of a 5 percent salary cut, Democrats passed a 2.5 percent cut for teachers, administrators and support staff. The bill also institute a new four-tiered evaluation system.

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  1. One teacher might work for some students and another for other students. What is a good doctor or good attorney? A doctor or attorney who takes tough cases may have a lower success rate. Likewise, teachers in low income areas may have more failures than someone out in Summerlin.

    Look at Sandoval, he avoids consequences of his failures by job-hopping before the ---t hits the fan.

    It also might take a few years before someone knows their job in any profession.

  2. May the negotiations continue.

    With very guarded breath, do I commend both the Governor and the Nevada State Lawmakers for now talking and meeting in the middle, coming to a compromise. No one will be perfectly happy with the piece meal give and takes at the very last minute. IF they were being evaluated by the new teacher evaluation form, this type of lesson/lawmaking session practicing would not have earned them the best of grades.

    There still needs to be sweeping and major MINING TAX REFORMS AND RESTRUCTURING, that would put the rate that MINING pays in taxes as they do (say, the average tax they pay in the other 49 USA states). This takes changing the Nevada Constitution by the Nevada State Lawmakers, and about 6 years. This act will really help put Nevada on the track towards fiscal responsibility-getting paid for precious minerals that are taken out of Nevada for a fair price. Positive REVENUE/INCOME!

    Because we live in a world that is uncertain, it would seem prudent to have a RESERVE. Nevada needs to be forward-thinking and plan for a reserve, so when there are times of disaster, or in the bust cycle, there is that reserve to help out the people. We should be learning from what we see and hear on the news, and be more prepared.

    Because of Nevada's myopic vision of just a few anchor industries, we really need to embrace the upcoming GREEN POWER INDUSTRIES that are breaking ground and sprouting throughout the state. Nevada is the place. Nevada has the SUN, WIND, GEOTHERMAL, NATURAL GAS, and even trash (to make trash to energy). Let's nurture it, let's develop those possibilities for our state and its citizens.

    May God, the Saints, and all the Angels be watching and guiding the balance of the Nevada State Legislative Session.

  3. Sen. Mike Schneider, D-Las Vegas, railed against the bills as "a joke."

    "We're dinking around with education, because we're experts," he said sarcastically. "Because we went to school. Some of us even went to college."

    He predicted the reforms were going to "screw it up more. This is just another half attempt at trying to do something."

    He said poor funding for Nevada schools was the real problem.

    That Mike Schneider... He's a pretty bright guy.
    He hit the NAIL ON THE HEAD.

    I couldn't have said it better myself...


  4. Politicians have noted that the Von Ryan Express plan to end Medicare have scared off voters in many parts of the country.

    Politicians now see the teapottery demographic as a losing proposition. Sarah Palin's numbers have tanked with independents. People like George Will call her a nut.

    Sean Hannity, Glen Beck and Rush Limbaugh have seen their ratings drop 30% in the last year. All three have shunned interviews about their declining ratings. Rush Limbaugh bragged "he was not going to be part of this recession.." really Rush? how come your ratings are down?

    Not only that, talk shows used to advertise Cadillacs, and Fortune 500 companies, now they advertise "work at home" schemes and "credit protection" services that are under scrutiny by the FTC.

    The Republicans, like Sandoval, have figured they better raise taxes, rather than see their rating tank like that of Florida Governor Rick Scott.

    Let the talk radio blowhards blow, they don't command much of an audience, particularly in Vegas, they are not mainstream.

    Look at Sharon Angle, she was irrelevant, they thought she was a big deal.

    It's like Limbaugh, they wouldn't let him be into an NFL team, he is simply not mainstream.

    Nevada is returning to mainstream politics.

  5. Most of the reforms passed so far amount to a joke. No real tenure or seniority reforms are a major problem - especially if you're a low-income minority. Putting teachers back on probationary status is a joke. First, the process of getting a teacher back on probationary status will suffer from the same "due process" nonsense that keeps public schools from getting rid of bad teachers and child molesters in the first place. Second, Nevada actually fires more tenured teachers than non-tenured teachers - according to the Center for American progress.

    The teacher pay cut is very minimal as well. Teachers received a major salary increase when the salary schedule was renegotiated back in 2009. The overall increase was about 10 percent between 2007-08 and today plus individual step increases. We could save more than $100 million in the biennium by rolling the pay schedule back to the 2007-08 school year and even more if you roll back all the non educators and administrators that work in the districts

  6. Gmag, Senator Schneider is incorrect about spending. Spending isn't the problem and it never has been... in fact Nevada spends over $4 billion a year on K-12 education

    I don't believe anyone should be taken seriously that suggests we should keep throwing more money at education...especially if that person wants to eliminate any measures of accountability as Schneider always advocates.

    He's a likable guy and I believe he cares about education, but he really seems more concerned about what the teacher union thinks and that means focusing on jobs for adults not students.

  7. Hey Pat,
    "Blah, blah, blah."

    Don't you ever get sick of "Propagandizing"?

    You are a One-Trick Pony, Pat.
    How's that Wranglin' business goin', anyway? You raking in the "big bucks" trying to dissuade people from doing the RIGHT THING, Pat?

    Considering that NOBODY AGREES WITH YA, I have to wonder about your calling in life, Pat... you may not be best-suited for this "Wranglin'" business. I'd wish you good luck, but... well, you know, I am PRO EDUCATION. You, on the udder hand, are ANTI-TAX, and ANTI-ANYTHING that requires tax money.

    You can claim til' the cows come home that more money is not the answer, Patrick...

  8. Gmag,

    No repeating stuff doesn't make me right...but the evidence I keep repeating does.

    And, as for irony, you keep repeating the same stuff over and over (spend more, spend more, spend more), think you're right, but never provide any evidence other than feelings, emotions and anecdotes.

  9. HEY, Las Vegas Sun!
    Can we ALL come on here like Patrick R. Gibbons, with our wares to hawk, and post links to our businesses, like Pat?

    FREE ADVERTISING, right here under the SUN!

  10. Evidence:,3746,e...





    and more and more and more: spending more money on public education does not produce greater student achievement...

    Your selected propaganda links? The links to "like minded", ANTI-TAX, ANTI-EDUCATION RANTERS?
    And, for the record, I've NEVER ONCE SAID "spend more, spend more"... there's a BIG DIFF between PROPERLY FUNDING EDUCATION and your goofy, illogical, "CUT! CUT! CUT!" mantra...
    Wrangler, Shmangler!!!

  12. Gmag, if you bothered to read my stuff (you don't because, I assume that would contradict your blind faith in everything government), you'd notice I have no advertisements, no services offered, nada. Its just a blog where I post findings, research and commentaries. I make exactly $0 from this blog.

    You just want to suppress information that you disagree with because you're a paid union thug and bully.

  13. Oh right, the National Center for Education Statistics and the Organization of Economic Cooperation and Development are anti-tax and anti-education organizations.

    Seriously, is this the best you can do? All you do is badmouth other organizations - even GOVERNMENT RUN ORGANIZATIONS - if they post facts that disagree with your theology. Your one-trick-pony tactic is to stigmatize anything that you disagree with and bully anyone that references anything that you disagree with.

    Give it a rest Gmag. I'm starting to think all the crow you've been eating is making you even more of an angry bitter partisan ideologue.

  14. The Cato Institute...
    The Western Wrrrangler...
    VERY unbiased, neutral stuff, Pat!
    "EVIDENCE", Pat calls it...

    Do you have anything from NPRI today, or do they forbid you from associating with them now?

  15. gmag strategy - stigmatize, attack, ignore

    Notice how the Gmag never addresses the evidence presented. Top researchers here at Animal Planet are unsure if this occurs because it is intellectually incapable of weighing evidence and using critical thinking skills or if it is simply too lazy to make the effort.

  16. Pat could take the BIBLE, and argue that "The Apostles were in cahoots with Pontius Pilate".

    It's ALL IN THERE! You DARE challenge the BIBLE!?!"

  17. Notice above how the Gmag selectively ignores evidence from the U.S. Department of Education and the Paris based Organization of Cooperation and Economic Development in order to attack the one source from the Cato Institute, a libertarian think tank which drew its chart using data from the U.S. Department of Education.

    This is a typical strategy of a partisan nut and political bully. The goal is to attack and stigmatize certain evidence or sources in order to keep that evidence out of the debate.

    Now watch what happens when the Gmag is presented with evidence from a respected Harvard University based academic journal:

  18. Yeah, everyone here should spend their valuable time arguing idiocy ENDLESSLY with Patrick R. Gibbons...
    Because "he's an expert"... and quotes "many other experts"...
    Your problem, Patrick, is that you insist that people AGREE with you... because you are a "Professional" at this propaganda stuff.
    Real life experience beats academic theory EVERY DAY OF THE WEEK, Pat.
    Graphs, charts, studies, THEORIES, academic papers, etc, are ALL MALLEABLE, Pat...
    Surely you've heard the saying "Lies, damn lies & statistics".
    Was that your college MAJOR?
    Furthermore, Pat, when you are called out on your propaganda, you pout like an insolent child and act even sillier... not exactly the best qualities for a would-be "Wrangler", Pat.

  19. ...notice how Gibby has spent ALL THIS TIME disparaging little ol' ME?

    "Well, that gmag, what does HE know...he doesn't DARE refute my MOUNTAIN of evidence! I have empirical data, and he REFUSES to listen! Well, that just shows ya, don't it? He's ALL BLUSTER! I, on the other hand, am an EXPERT! How DARE HE disagree with ME! You all SEE IT, don't you? I MUST BE RIGHT!"


  20. rejecto...
    really stupido.
    And, without merit.
    You think only TEACHERS got Memorial Day off?
    How silly your take is...
    Did you know, before THIS COMING SUMMER, many CCSD schools were YEAR-ROUND schools? Of course not.
    Real Job?
    You couldn't hold the pencil of an Educator and not get lead poisoning.

    HEY, PAT!
    I'm hearing CRICKETS AGAIN, PAT!

  21. Gmag, I'm not disparaging you, I'm disparaging the way you debate - which is not at all. But thanks (again) for proving my point; you're a bully and a paid union thug.

    Shannon - I don't bother clicking over to the untrusted comments but to answer the alleged question you have, the pay schedule saw a massive jump between 2008 and 2009 - that alone was 4 percent to 15 percent depending on rank. Additionally, add in the fact that teachers get paid extra for each year they age.

  22. Did you notice how Gmag flails, kicks, screams, bites and then ignores when presented with info he doesn't like?

    Take a Harvard University journal: and he goes right back to his personal attacks and ignores that you ever posted the evidence he dislikes...

    This is typical behavior from an irrational political wingnut (right or left).

  23. "joe lamy" (this is not your real name) I've noticed you're prone to misquoting people and or building straw men.

    In regards to your intellectual dishonesty above, I've merely quoted research from the experts which shows:

    *teacher quality does not grow significantly after 3-5 years of teaching.

    *certified teachers are no better than uncertified teachers

    *teachers with advanced degrees are no better than teachers with regular bachelor degrees

    *teachers with 30 years of experience may actually be worse than a first year teacher (likely due to burnout).

    *class size reduction programs are expensive but ineffective as most studies show students neither benefit nor are harmed from class size reduction.

  24. I did a nice article on this subject here:

    complete with references for your reading enjoyment.

  25. Pat thinks we're ALL HANGING ON HIS EVERY POST...
    to get his "expert opinion"...
    Thanks for the laughs, Pat... Wrangle on, dude!!!

  26. Not only do the libertarians want to kill seniors by scrapping Medicare, now they don't want to help Missouri tornado victims.

  27. Why do these pompous #@#$es think that "THEY" are the only ones with an education, and that what "THEY" learned trumps what EVERYONE ELSE learned... and DISCOVERED, over the course of a career?
    "Well, by God, it says RIGHT HERE on page 34 of my VERY INTERESTING THESIS"... "I have a HARVARD study RIGHT HERE...ARE YOU CHALLENGING HARVARD, MAN?" "I've got some Government statistics handy...I WILL DO THE INTERPRETATION, not YOU! They must BOLSTER ONE OF MY WEAK HYPOTHESES!" ... "You don't KNOW anything, otherwise, you would SPEND HOURS UPON HOURS OF YOUR VALUABLE TIME DEBATING ME!"... "In fact, I'll email your PERSONAL ACCOUNT, SO WE CAN CONTINUE THIS"....

    Pat is THE MAN!!!

  28. Hey, Ref...

    You sound JUST LIKE PAT!!!

  29. I think most reasonable people would agree that CCSD in particular and Nevada in general needs to reform education policies. The problems that we see can not be solved just by throwing more money at them.

    That said, there is little doubt that some aspects of our schools are woefully underfunded (books, pencils, paper, etc.)

    Anything that can help shift more funding into the fundamentals and away from administrative costs is probably a step in the right direction.

    Anything that aims at retaining or improving the quality of our educators is also a step in the right direction.

    Simply saying we have to spend more money on people is ignoring our real problems.

  30. Hi, boftx...
    you are typically a voice of reasonableness from somewhere on the right...
    Of COURSE the answer lies somewhere in the middle of "more money" and "teacher-bashing/budget slashing...
    You are correct, sir.
    That said;
    I have not read a single post from anyone claiming simply that spending "more money on people" is the answer.
    Otherwise, a very solid take.

  31. Hi, gmag,

    I don't consider myself to on either the right or left, but above the aisle, so to speak. At the same time, I don't think I have my head in the clouds as some Libertarians do. (Please note the distinction between "Libertarian" and "libertarianism".)

    Though it might be true that no one has specifically said the answer is to pay higher salaries, that has been the general thrust of many who post here and various advocacy groups in Carson City.

    My position is that public education is a legitimate and vital function of government. I maintain that we can not improve our education system until we know exactly why it is failing so miserably. Many have pointed to our spending per pupil as being a measure of how effective (or rather, ineffective) our eduction system is, but it seems to me that the increased spending being called for is mainly for higher pay. Granted, those teachers who buy basic supplies for their students out of their own pockets probably need more pay, but if those fundamentals were properly addressed teachers would not feel compelled to so that in the first place.

  32. The kids not doing anything useful in school half the time, and coming home with no homework to do, can't be fixed with more money. Besides, if CCSD can spend a million bucks on iPads, it can't be that bad.

  33. I have said this before, the primary job of a teacher should be to instill a love of learning in children, followed by teaching children how to learn (which of course involves giving children the basic tools to learn: reading, 'riting, and 'rithemtic.)

    Parents, such as myself, need to instill in children a desire to succeed. Parents need to teach children that they should expend every effort to gain the knowledge that will allow them to do so.

    But sadly, in my opinion, too few teachers and parents are fulfilling that duty.

  34. ShannonK,

    It pains me as a parent to say this, but there is some merit to what rejecto says.

    I will give rejecto the benefit of the doubt and assume he is talking about social promotion. My wife and I actually suggested that one of our children be held back in 5th grade last year because we were unhappy with her progress. We were eventually persuaded by her school that she was capable and went along with her promotion to 6th grade. This year she has done horrible in some classes and will most likely fail.

    We failed our daughter to the extent that we did not fight harder to have her held back sooner. But the school also failed her in arguing that more harm would be done in holding her back that holding her to strict standards.

    I should point out that her 5th grade teacher agreed with us, but the administration didn't.

    I should also point out that our daughter's problem is not that she is not capable, but does not seem to care. I count this as a failure of both my wife and me *and* her teachers. This was not a problem that caught us by surprise, but one that we had been concerned about for a long time.

  35. "I married an Asian" - Joe Lamy

    Lol. Well, I guess you know everything then. :P

  36. Joe, it is intellectual dishonesty - you're also lazy. You are purposefully misquoting my statements to delegitimize the points at hand without you ever having to logically, rationally, or empirically prove them wrong.

  37. This video will explain why advanced degrees for teachers don't make teachers better:

    but the answer is really simple: not every teacher can teach to begin with. Learning more stuff does not mean you know how to impart that information to other people - ie teach.

    Getting rid of advanced degree bonuses would the state and school districts some $160 million (or more) in the biennium.

    Rolling back teacher pay schedule back to 2007-08 (last school year before everything collapses) would save $100 million +

  38. ShannonK,

    I have more first-hand experience that you would suspect since our youngest daughter was born deaf. and last year suffered a stroke because a doctor mis-diagnosed a serious sinus infection as an ear infection. (Yes, she is recovering, but there is still a long way to go.) That is why I can understand to a certain extent what rejecto was talking about.

    My wife and I have had intimate dealings with the school system for a long time now. I mention our problems not to gain sympathy, but to show that when I complain about the system I am doing so after weighing many factors.

    I am upset about many things. Teachers should not feel compelled to spend their own money to buy basic supplies for students. I commend those who do, but I see it as condemnation of the system. I think that many parents have failed their kids by not raising them to see the value of education. I think the system has failed children by not being an inspiration to achieve as much as they can.

    I recall as a child (in the late 50s and early 60s) being in a very competitive environment at school. I think the current doctrine of placing emphasis on equality rather than on achievement is misguided. That is not to say that we are not created with the same opportunity, but each person is different in their capabilities. In any event, the school system, and teachers in particular, should help students reach full potential and not just meet arbitrary standards.

    How can we progress if our children are being taught that it is okay if you are mediocre?

  39. "Joe" every time you pull a "Fred Conquest" I have to stop and laugh; especially since you're now coming across as a jerk, bully and a liar.

    I was given a job in special education because No Child Left Behind (NCLB) did not require special ed teachers to be state certified. You needed to be state certified to be a history teacher under NCLB law.

    Any teacher (which you are not) or expert (which you are not) or anyone who has read to comprehend anything I've written (which you have not) would know the law.

    Next, certified and qualified are two seperate things. As I've pointed out, and as the research demonstrates, there is no difference in student outcomes between a certified and uncertified teachers.

    Examine this chart from the Brookings Institution (a left-of-center think tank, in fact the owner of this newspaper is a board member)

    Of course you know this, you're just an intellectually dishonest (and perhaps incompetent?) bully. The only thing you know how to do is stigmatize rather than rationalize. You show all the signs of being an irrational partisan wingnut (like Gmag above who uses the same one-trick personal attack and never bothers to address the evidence or points at hand).

    Aside from the fact that you just make up information to mislead people, I also notice that you make all sorts of grandiose claims about yourself including your most famous declaration "I married an Asian" but you use a fake name and we can't verify anything you say. :P

  40. Tanker,

    first, K-12 education in Nevada faced $0 in real budget cuts until 2010 when it had its first REAL decline in revenue. All prior budget cuts were decreases in imaginary spending - money they wanted to spend but never actually had.

    Kind of like how I had to cut my Aston Martin budget again.

    Next, CCSD SIGNIFICANTLY increased the teacher pay scale in 2009 the results have been about an average of a 10 percent increase per rank on the schedule. Add on top of that the step increases and the fact teachers have been earning advanced degrees and pretty much no teacher in Nevada has had a real pay cut. In fact, it now seems very likely that almost every teacher (at least in CCSD) is earning as much or more than they earned when the recession first began. (data comes from CCSD).

  41. Mr. Lamy,

    You are a truly awful person. It is pretty clear now that you misquote, misinform and mislead in an effort to tear down your political opponents.

    Patrick has taken time to explain his position and provide supporting evidence and yet you continue to make personal attacks and avoid the real issue.

    Please stop this disgusting attacks, you only embarrass yourself.

  42. Mr. Gibbons,

    Your time will be better spent avoiding talking with the paid political operatives like the ones above. It is pretty clear they do not want to engage in a rational discussion since all they are capable of doing is partisan smears and personal attacks.

    I think some of these people are professional unionistas so, you're right, they're just bullies. Mr. Lamy may actually be deranged owing to the fact that he claims to do everything from run million dollar businesses to teach inner city pregnant high school students in a charter school and impoverished children in Africa. In reality he's just a teacher from Reno pretending to be an expert on everything (sorry Joe, but this is what it looks like, I'd be happy for you to prove me wrong).

    Just ignore the nuts.

  43. Gibby writes:
    "No repeating stuff doesn't make me right...but the evidence I keep repeating does."


    Your"evidence is suspect, your methods flawed, your presentation laughable at best. I followed each and every link you posted: two refered to official reports that list numbers only and NOTHING to do with ANY conclusion (unless it's in your deluded brain), dealing with spending versus education outcome; one goes to a FOR PROFIT organization peddling their ideas world-wide; one goes to a useless graph from the Cato institute (known to push for limiting education to those who can pay); and the last leads, laughably, to YOUR OWN SITE!!

    How lame can you get? You actually think that you can create a site, espouse your addle-minded drivel, and then expect to use THAT as a source?!?!

    I thought you were laughable when you got pimp slap at the Grant sawyer building. Now I just have pity for you. Maybe we should reconsider our education system. After all, it produced you and your substandard crap.

    You lose. Game Over, Get a life, Get Bent.
    Have a nice day...

  44. Hey Pat...
    Is jtrenchard your MOM?

  45. That stgrock...
    Backer of Shermy Frederick, John Ensign, Gym Gibbons & Pat Gibbons...

    How funny is that!!!!!

  46. Patrick Collins,

    that's right, The U.S. Department of Education, OECD, Harvard, Standford, NYU, Chicago, Northwestern and left-of-center think tanks such as Brookings, Center for American Progress and Urban Institute are all suspect.

    Sorry but you're outside the mainstream. There is a large consensus on these education reforms.

  47. Mr. Collins, if anything its the teacher union that is pimp slapping the Democrats into screwing children (not literally but figuratively in terms of education quality).