Las Vegas Sun

May 5, 2016

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Emily Richmond

Story Archive

K-12 reform could leave Nevada behind
Friday, April 16, 2010
The past year brought a shift in the way the federal government funds schools — away from automatically allocating dollars based on enrollment and toward competitive grants like the new “Race to the Top” program.
Wanted: right fit for superintendent
Despite the economy, Clark County School Board may discover it’s an opportune time to recruit a leader to succeed Walt Rulffes, who is retiring
Thursday, April 15, 2010
The want ad to replace Clark County Schools Superintendent Walt Rulffes could read: Leader needed for school system dealing with historic budget cuts, a track record of uneven student achievement and facing a contentious legislative session.
UNLV junior’s leadership noted with prestigious scholarship
Monday, April 12, 2010
UNLV junior Michael Dakduk is one of 60 college students nationwide recently chosen as a Truman Scholar, winning a $30,000 scholarship for graduate study based on his academic excellence and demonstrated leadership.
Clark County teachers face peer pressure on furloughs
Washoe educators agree to concessions. Should their local counterparts follow?
Friday, April 9, 2010
Clark County’s teachers, resisting calls for wage concessions, may now start feeling pressure to buckle from an unlikely source: their colleagues in Washoe County, home of the state’s second-largest teachers association.
Charter schools feel weight of down economy
Thursday, April 8, 2010
In their hope to find the best education for their children, some parents turn to charter schools — campuses that rely on public funding but which, governed by a state-approved charter, operate more independently than mainstream public schools.
47 employees minus 24 staff members, 1 principal = More federal funding?
The math is simple in the view of the U.S. Education Department: Serious changes must be made for low-achieving schools to qualify for ‘Race to the Top’ money
Thursday, April 8, 2010
In its attempt to win millions of dollars in federal money, the Clark County School District has to show it is serious in its effort to make dramatic changes at its most beleaguered campuses. The district is replacing a principal and at least half its staff and bringing in new leadership and fresh rank-and-file workers.
Charter school families find they have little say over company
Friday, April 2, 2010
On paper, charter schools are supposed to give parents more of a voice in their children’s education. But families at Imagine in the Valle, one of two Clark County campuses operated by a private Virginia company, say they are finding it difficult to make themselves heard.
As senior population grows, UNLV may cut gerontology
Program on chopping block to help budget, but some wonder if university is going in the wrong direction
Tuesday, March 30, 2010
With senior citizens expected to make up the fastest-growing segment of Nevada’s population over the next decade, it might make sense for the state’s public universities to offer academic programs and training in elder-care issues.
School Board rejects moving schools to nine-month calendar
Friday, March 26, 2010
Citing concerns about the potential impact to students, families and staff, the Clark County School Board voted today to hold off on converting all 76 year-round elementary campuses to nine-month calendars as a cost-savings measure.
Memo: School District plans to cut 90 administrative positions
Friday, March 26, 2010
To help make up a massive budget shortfall, the Clark County School District plans to eliminate 90 school-site administrative positions – 50 elementary assistant principals, 22 secondary school principals and 18 secondary school deans.
Rulffes — a legacy of more power for those he led as superintendent of schools
Friday, March 26, 2010
Walt Rulffes’ retirement as superintendent of the Clark County School District will throw the fate of several major initiatives into uncertainty, but he’ll leave a legacy of giving principals more power, students more choices and teachers a boost in teaching math.
Clark County schools superintendent announces retirement
Thursday, March 25, 2010
Clark County Schools Superintendent Walt Rulffes announced tonight he will retire in August, after five years at the helm of the nation’s fifth-largest district. The announcement, which follows several months of speculation as his contract is up for renewal in August, came near the close of the Clark County School Board's regular meeting. “Life is short and it’s getting late,” said Rulffes, who has been with the district 13 years. “Intellectually I believe this is the right thing to do. Emotionally it’s going to be very difficult to give up a job I love.”
After years of explosive growth, schools to feel economic pinch for years to come
Thursday, March 25, 2010
No public entity has been affected more by Southern Nevada’s explosive growth than the Clark County School District, which used soaring enrollment to leverage a $3.5 billion capital campaign to build more than 100 campuses, while adding dozens of programs and thousands of employees.
Rory Reid’s reform plan: Boost education, boost economy
Tuesday, March 23, 2010
Gubernatorial candidate Rory Reid unveiled an education plan Monday calling for extensive reform in a K-12 system he says is failing Nevada’s children. The plan would give more control over daily operations to school principals.
Regents umbrella will help shield higher education from budget cuts
Oversight body has final say on budget cuts
Saturday, March 20, 2010
Because the Silver State is unique in how it oversees public colleges and universities through the Nevada System of Higher Education, it is better positioned to respond to the budget crisis than other states.

Recession sends workers back to school
Thursday, March 18, 2010
After being laid off from his job repairing industrial machinery, 40-year-old Las Vegan David Dewees found himself in the unemployment line for the first time in his life.
Year-round schools could face calendar shift to save money
Rulffes says the move would save millions annually
Tuesday, March 16, 2010
More than 20 years ago, when the Las Vegas Valley began swelling with thousands of young families moving here for the bounty of plentiful jobs, the Clark County School District realized it couldn’t build new campuses fast enough.
Seize this opportunity to change higher education, regents told
Sunday, March 14, 2010
Nevada businessman Bruce James knows something about inefficient bureaucracy. He was appointed by President George W. Bush in 2002 to run the General Printing Office and to stop the flow of red ink. Two years later he succeeded.
Private schools: Fending off an exodus of students
Educators offering financial aid as families struggle to pay tuition amid the grinding recession
Tuesday, March 9, 2010
Even as public schools are reeling from state budget cuts, private and parochial schools in the Las Vegas Valley are confronting their own financial struggles, with recession-slammed parents struggling to make tuition payments. One high school will close its doors for want of students, and other schools are holding on to their families by offering financial aid, or by recruiting students from pricier campuses.
Gibbons’ new ideas for education have a familiar ring to them
Saturday, March 6, 2010
On Thursday, Gov. Jim Gibbons unveiled his plan for “an entirely new way of thinking” about how the state’s colleges and universities are funded — with the words italicized in the news release for emphasis.

Jim Rogers gets chancellor emeritus title at Regents meeting
Thursday, March 4, 2010
Jim Rogers -- philanthropist, businessman and retired chief officer of Nevada's higher education system -- picked up a new title at today's Board of Regents meeting: chancellor emeritus.
Gibbons outlines six-step plan for higher education
Plan calls for increase in tuition, less reliance on state money
Thursday, March 4, 2010
Calling education “the intellectual infrastructure of Nevada’s future,” Gov. Jim Gibbons today proposed sweeping reforms of how the state’s public colleges and universities operate, including granting more control over finances to individual campuses and the Board of Regents. The plan is based on “flexibility, autonomy and modernization,” Gibbons said.
Clark County students make gains on annual math exam
Wednesday, March 3, 2010
Clark County students showed improvement on a January math exam given to measure their mastery of the first semester’s material, with the biggest gains at the middle school level, the district announced today.
Even UNLV’s nursing school steels for budget cuts
Wednesday, March 3, 2010
Of all the deans at UNLV whose schools may face painful budget cuts, you might think Carolyn Yucha would get a free pass. Her School of Nursing is one of the most successful on campus. In a state starved for more nurses, nearly 96 percent of UNLV’s nursing students passed the national certification licensure exam in 2009, 7 percent better than the national average.
Education cuts may never be healed after special session
Tuesday, March 2, 2010
History suggests that Nevada’s public schools may never recover from the budget cuts being required of them. Superintendent Walt Rulffes wonders whether the district will ever be able to restore what is being lost.
Clark County schools report decline in dropout rate
Friday, Feb. 26, 2010
For a second consecutive year, the Clark County School District is reporting an improvement in its dropout rate – to 4.6 percent in 2009, from 5.8 percent in 2008. The improvement is the equivalent of about 1,127 students, equal to the enrollment of the district’s average-sized middle school.
Zoning issues rear their head again for School District
Assigning students to different campuses is gut-wrenching for administrators, communities and especially families
Tuesday, Feb. 23, 2010
For all the hot-button educational issues debated at school board meetings, nothing is as sure to bring out a crowd of parents than to tell them that their children might be assigned to a different campus.
To what degree does college help the public?
Sunday, Feb. 21, 2010
Dan Klaich faces a huge marketing challenge as chancellor of the Nevada System of Higher Education.
Special session politics might be at play in ‘Race to the Top’ approach
Wednesday, Feb. 17, 2010
Although qualifying Nevada for the “Race to the Top” education initiative doesn’t appear on the governor’s preliminary agenda for next week’s special session, a spokesman for Jim Gibbons said Tuesday that making Nevada eligible for as much as $175 million in federal education funding remains a priority.
CSN police chief at helm during theft probe taking UNLV post
Monday, Feb. 15, 2010
At a time when UNLV is braced for deep budget cuts and potential layoffs, the campus police chief has hired a former colleague to become his deputy assistant, a post that pays $103,000 annually.
UNLV surpasses goal, raises $537 million in campaign
Thursday, Feb. 11, 2010
The UNLV Foundation announced this morning it has received more than $537 million in gifts to its first-ever capital campaign, surpassing the goal of $500 million.
School reform plans scaled back in face of budget cuts
Budget crisis aside, district committed to innovation goals
Thursday, Feb. 11, 2010
Among the school initiatives facing significant adjustments as a result of the state budget crisis is the empowerment program, which gives Clark County principals greater autonomy while holding them more accountable for results.
UNLV students let their voices be heard on proposed education cuts
Organized walkout of classes joined by president, chancellor
Wednesday, Feb. 10, 2010
Sitting on a bench inside UNLV’s Student Union, Jennifer Cruz watched as several hundred other Rebels — many carrying banners and signs — hurried to a rally in protest of proposed budget cuts to higher education.
Hundreds rally to protest governor's proposed budget cuts
University official: Students should tell lawmakers how cuts would affect them
Tuesday, Feb. 9, 2010
Cloudy skies and a chilly drizzle did little to dampen the enthusiasm of the estimated 700 UNLV students who turned out for a campus rally today to protest proposed budget cuts to higher education.
In throwback to 1960s, students plan walkout today to protest budget cuts
UNLV provost cautions students, faculty
Tuesday, Feb. 9, 2010
Taking a page from earlier generations of Southern Nevada campus activists, UNLV students plan a walkout today to oppose Gov. Jim Gibbons’ proposed budget cuts.
They may have to dust off their protest manual.
Nevada treasurer on prepaid tuition program: It’s a ‘win-win’
Monday, Feb. 8, 2010
Last week, President Barack Obama commented about the need for people to save for college tuition as opposed to throwing money away on, well, other diversions.
School districts seek greater autonomy on belt-tightening
Friday, Feb. 5, 2010
Lawmakers listened Thursday as school officials described the effects state budget cuts would have on their districts. Their almost universal message: Leave to us the final decision on what is cut — and what is saved.
Budget crunch puts shorter school year, teacher pay cuts on table
Thursday, Feb. 4, 2010
Shortening the school year, cutting teacher pay and delaying textbook purchases were among the options floated at today’s meeting of the Interim Finance Committee, which met to review a potential $167 million hole in the state’s budget for K-12 education.
Regents’ options to cut higher education are all grim
Closing colleges, wiping out athletics among ways to slice millions in costs
Wednesday, Feb. 3, 2010
This is how bad the news is getting for Nevada’s already-pummeled higher education system.
Chancellor: Budget cuts would undo 'decade of significant progress'
Tuesday, Feb. 2, 2010
The proposed cuts to Nevada’s public colleges and universities represents an “unwinding of almost a decade of significant progress in higher education,” Chancellor Dan Klaich said at today’s budget meeting.
Higher education faces greatest financial state of emergency in decades
Tuesday, Feb. 2, 2010
For the first time in nearly 30 years, the Board of Regents today will consider declaring a financial emergency that could lead to pay reductions, furloughs and layoffs of faculty and staff.
Too crowded to get to the top
More students in Advance Placement classes, but passing scores declining
Sunday, Jan. 31, 2010
Having sold thousands of students and their families on the value of college prep classes, the Clark County School District is wrestling with a problem of its own making: How to deliver the goods. District officials are concerned that some of the most challenging classes have become too crowded.
Deaf students learn about a college option just for them
Saturday, Jan. 30, 2010
It could have been a visit from any college recruiter to a Clark County high school, were it not for the question and answer session being conducted entirely through nimble fingers and hands.
At Liberty High School this week, the queries came in rapid succession for Nick Gould, a recent graduate of Gallaudet University, the world’s first higher education institution for the deaf.
With state cuts, how long can teacher salaries be spared?
Tuesday, Jan. 26, 2010
Two years of steep budget cuts have left the salaries of Clark County School District teachers untouched. But the latest numbers from Carson City might bring that to an end.
What’s needed is a lesson on time for midnight classes
CSN's inaugural twilight times were interpreted three ways by students
Saturday, Jan. 23, 2010
Students attending inaugural midnight classes at the College of Southern Nevada this week have faced their first test: Could they show up at the right time? Turns out the course catalog’s “Tuesday 12 a.m.” start time for some classes was interpreted three ways by students. And it further turns out the college contributed to the confusion. Ditto for the Wednesday 12 a.m. classes.
More teenagers depressed, engaging in risky behavior
Pressures of recession having effect on kids’ home lives, experts say
Sunday, Jan. 17, 2010
A growing number of Nevada high school students say they are using drugs and alcohol, having sex and struggling with depression — troubling trends that experts say are a direct reflection of the Silver State’s hard times. A comprehensive biennial survey by the Nevada Education Department shows that after eight years of steady declines, the percentage of teens who say they smoke cigarettes, use marijuana and have had sexual intercourse increased over the past two years.
A disturbing picture of life for middle school students
One in five students surveyed in 2009 admit to intentionally hurting themselves
Saturday, Jan. 16, 2010
When it came time for the biennial statewide survey of middle school students, the Clark County School District added questions to dig deeper into students’ overall health and welfare. The findings are tantamount to a cry for help.
Sandoval's plan: Can bond money be used to run schools?
Sandoval would tap construction funds for operational expenses
Friday, Jan. 15, 2010
Republican gubernatorial hopeful Brian Sandoval’s plans for filling the state’s budget gap include redirecting proceeds from the Clark County School District’s construction campaign to cover operational expenses.
Superintendent Walt Rulffes gets national recognition for leading School District
Tuesday, Jan. 12, 2010
Four years ago, the decision on who should lead the beleaguered Clark County School District came down to two men who offered distinctly different styles: Walt Rulffes, who had run the district’s finances and was holding the top job on a temporary basis; and Eric Nadelstern, a veteran educator lauded for his innovative approach to accountability in New York City Public Schools.
District hungers to feed students
Number of low-income students eligible for breakfast, lunch rises as participation stalls
Monday, Jan. 11, 2010
The share of Clark County School District students receiving free and reduced-price meals is expected to hit 50 percent by spring, and that’s thought to be an all-time high. The numbers have climbed as the Southern Nevada economy continues its decline

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