Tuesday, May 17, 2011 | 2:01 a.m.
I would like to thank state Sen. Steven Horsford for his efforts to more properly fund our educational system and for his recognition of the critical importance of education to all citizens and businesses in our state.
Though few would argue that improvements can be made to our K-12 and higher education systems to ensure better training of the next generation of Nevadans, the “all sticks and no carrots” approach by many (if not all) Republicans — leading all the way up to Gov. Brian Sandoval — cannot logically succeed and will further decimate an emaciated system that will only serve to encourage Nevada’s best and brightest educators to leave this state.
What is truly needed are a few more carrots to reward the best educators’ performances and to publicly demonstrate that our leaders support education by compromising and doing whatever it takes to find the means to fund it at the proper levels to guarantee excellence.
Most of the world’s best and brightest minds were encouraged by excellent teachers without whom many (who came from modest backgrounds) would not have realized their natural potential. The contributions made by these geniuses are incalculable.
Efforts to reduce education to mere numbers, treating it like a for-profit business and cutting funding for it without compromise, send the wrong message that many legislators and the governor just don’t care for education and don’t want it to improve. That message also doesn’t recognize the critical and incalculable role that educators have in encouraging our society to achieve its natural potential.
The writer is a physics professor at UNLV.