Las Vegas Sun

May 5, 2015

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Letter to the editor:

Look in-house for a superintendent

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Before we start this mess all over about a new school superintendent, will any of the people who picked the last superintendent please sit down and shut up? We already are hearing what a great job Dwight Jones has done, but he didn’t finish the job.

Now we have to spend thousands of dollars and start a new search, and what are we going to get this time? Your guess is as good as mine. Maybe we will score big, or maybe we will go backward.

Since we are talking about education of the children of Las Vegas, has anybody ever thought of reaching into the pool of our schoolteachers and asking one of them to lead this district?

I’m not in the know of the teachers, but somewhere in Clark County there is a teacher or many teachers with a great deal of knowledge of what’s going on, and I would expect they could steer the Clark County School District back to education and not politics.

This time, let’s stay at home, save money, pick a superintendent out of the ranks and give them a chance to lead this school district.

The past picks have not worked and have cost the taxpayers a bundle.

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  1. Now's the time to consider breaking up Clark County School District into 2 or more school systems. Divide and conquer. The superintendent's salary can be divided too. Then, the resulting systems will more easily have the ability to promote from within.

    Carmine D

  2. What does the public want to see in a new Superintendent? What goals and objectives need to be addressed and met? What outcomes do you want? Until the Board understand where and why it is going it will have no idea how to get thee or how to select a leader. The change from Rulffes to Jones was drastic to the point of disruption. Are the goals and objectives set by Jones worth pursuing? Did he set in place a chain of authority with people who understood those goals and objectives? If the answer is yes on both counts then the Board needs to seriously consider a qualified in-house candidate as an outsider would muddle things up more than they are currently. Jones was a divisive figure, good on preaching PR but poor at management and relationships. No doubt he believed that drastic change was necessary to conform with the education reform agenda. Unfortunately that came at a cost. Witness the sigh of relief from many segments of the community as he took his leave.

  3. @Carmine...I'm not convinced that breaking up the District will result in any significant improvement. Most likely is that the 'burbs and rurals would go off on their own leaving the central and east side as separate districts. That would pull the feds in quick with a segregation lawsuit.

  4. Dave,

    Amen! No more 50 K to 100 K 'searches. If the board can't find a qualified candidate to promote from within, something is seriously wrong.


  5. "That would pull the feds in quick with a segregation lawsuit."


    Sad isn't it that the Feds in Washington have such sway over what should be a locally controlled and governed matter: School zoning. Do you think the Feds are too big and wield too much power on this matter? I do. It's none of their business.

    Carmine D

  6. Some of you may remember the old song that goes, "You Picked a Fine Time to Leave Me, Lucille." The timing of all this is UNfortunate. The school district needs representation right now at the 77th Nevada State Legislative Session. There is no school district superintendent there to fend for CCSD. Left, are all these nearly implemented programs that are now being planned to be cut for the fall, and others that will be shuffled from one school to another...a one year wonder. So much started and not continued due to LACK OF FUNDING.

    The concerned public should demand that any institutional leadership, be stable in habits and nature, not have a resume' of a river of career ladder manuevering. A school district the size of CCSD, requires a committed, qualified person, who is willing to STAY for the long haul of ten or more years, so taxpayers and the public, sees a return on investment----how long has it been since that happened? Recent history points to the school district spending money on recruitment, housing, vehicle allowance, and multiple perks on individuals who come, program, and leave in an average of five years.

    Programs cost millions of taxpayer dollars, as does all the enticements. You don't see the same mentality in treating other employees in the district the same way. And THOSE are the people who stay, do damage control on a never ending continuum. No reward for the loyal, efficient, faithful worker who is the lifeblood of the organization. There are some of the finest people you would ever want to meet, working for years, decades, giving beyond what is expected, that seem to be passed over every time a leadership crossroad takes place.

    Maybe politics was a part of the UNSUSTAINABLE programs left by resigning Superintendent Jones. And just maybe, for that reason, selecting a superintendent candidate from within the organization, or within NEVADA, may be the ticket towards OBTAINING FUNDING for education. That is my take, now that the dust is beginning to settle.

    Blessings and Peace,

  7. "To break up CCSD into smaller districts would require an amendment to the State Constitution. that would take at least 4 years. How would you divide the assets of CCSD into smaller districts."


    Put it on the voting ballot. Site based management on the school budget and asset issues.

    Carmine D

  8. The letter writer is correct in his idea of promoting from within the CCSD.

    The CCSD ranks at the very bottom of the list for public education in our country.

    We keep going outside the district for someone to correct this,but we never see any improvement.Could it be that outside forces have no idea of how to deal with such a mess.Perhaps if our own school officials were given a shot at the job of permanent supertindent they could turn things around for the district. Who better qualified then those in the trenches with every day events that the CCSD faces on a daily basis.Time to look in and outside of the box for a fix.