Fans of the Clark Clownish School District have had a lot to laugh about lately. First, there’s the number 150. Then, there’s another number: 15,000. And a disappearing board member added to the recent run of humorous hoopla in our schools:
<strong>The 150:</strong> I’m told that’s the official human resources number of “bad teachers” in the district. Out of 18,000 local teachers, 150 unsatisfactory ones represent less than 1 percent, which probably ranks teachers, for quality, as high as or higher than most professions. Why is this funny? Well, for the past decade education reformists (politicians, businessmen, editorialists) have successfully chanted the “bad teacher” mantra to help corporations keep from paying their fair share in taxes to support education. Consequently, teachers here have received a mere 16 percent in cost-of-living increases for the past 13 years (while the actual cost of living has gone up nearly 47 percent). Whiny teachers on their way to the poorhouse are kinda funny, don’t you think?
However, the district, due to a lack of centralized records, has been unable to locate two-thirds of those “bad teachers.” Furthermore, teachers can be written up as “bad” for either their classroom performances or disciplinary issues. In other words, some of the “bad teachers” actually may be very good teachers who simply have called an asshole principal, well, an asshole. Hence, the whole “bad teacher” propaganda thing becomes relatively moot and, given the intellectually unwashed reformists who habitually overuse this phrase, hella-funny.
<strong>The 15,000:</strong> That would be $15,000 — according to Clark County’s website, the amount of money given in 2008 by the teachers union to help elect fatuous Board Trustee Deanna Wright. But the union and Wright are no longer political dancing partners. The union has accused her of anti-teacher antics for aiding Superintendent Dwight Jones with his attempts to undermine the union. To retaliate, in an awkward display of bile at the 2012-2013 final budget board meeting, Wright blurted out: “I’m really disappointed in the teachers! I would love to look at their [union] budget! Show me your budget and that shows [me] your priorities! What about the children?!”
Yet $15,000 of the teachers’ union budget went directly to Wright in 2008. What was that about the children?
<strong>Disappearing board member:</strong> This was businessman/reformist Trustee John Cole. Eighteen months ago he replaced businesswoman/reformist Trustee Terri Janison after she abruptly quit the board — and Clark County’s students — halfway through her term. Now Cole has resigned, too, before his (and Janison’s) term has expired. Why funny? Because Cole often has preached to students appearing before the board about the importance of returning to and remaining in Nevada after finishing college elsewhere, to keep their skills permanently “within our wonderful state.” Punchline: Cole reportedly is leaving Vegas for Colorado. Perhaps our gambling culture became too rough for him to tough it out — you know, for the kids.
Yes, when it comes to the Clark Clownish School district, the comedy never stops.