Nevada State Board of Education, District 2
October 17, 2016
David W. Carter
Occupation: Retired school district controller
Record of service: I have never held elective office. I retired as the Executive Director of Fiscal Services, at Capistrano Unified School District (Orange County, California), a district of 53,000 students, in 2012. My service totaled thirty-three years in accounting/budgeting; including twenty-five in California school districts. My service included working at small districts (2,000 students) and large (53,000 students), and financially strapped as well as wealthy school districts. My time included working with school budgets, school construction accounting, and projecting future school housing needs.
Last year I worked as a non-paid lobbyist at the Nevada Legislature. I testified on education and tax issues (I opposed the tax increases ultimately passed and signed). I was too young to be drafted for Vietnam, but applied to the Navy after college (failed the physical due to partial hearing loss from birth).
Education: Orange Glen High School (Escondido, CA, 1974); University of California, San Diego (La Jolla, CA) 1974-1975; Mission for LDS Church 1975-1977; Brigham Young University (Provo, UT) 1977-1978; Palomar Community College (San Marcos, CA) 1978-1979; Brigham Young University 1979-1980 BS Accounting, minor in Business; Pepperdine University (Los Angeles, CA) 1983; National University (Los Angeles, CA) 1984-1985 MBA Financial Management
A brief statement about your platform
I have been told that the only role of a trustee of the Board of Education is to vote on implementation of Board policies and procedures based on recently passed NRS. However, I wish to work to get legislation that will:
1. Get the state out of the Common Core program. I believe in standards, but I feel the Common Core program dumbs down standards. Under the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB), by now every child was to have been rated Proficient or Advanced. The only way that would be possible is to lower the standards. Common Core is a continuation of NCLB. The most recent federal education legislation (Every Student Succeeds Act) continues encouraging the use of Common Core, but does allow for states to opt out.
2. Allow the trustees of the State Board of Education to have a role in oversight of the 17 school districts. Included in this would be legislation addressing Administrative Expenditures (salaries, number of upper administrators, etc). I feel that it is embarrassing to have Superintendents making more than the governor.
3. Ensure that we reward our best teachers over and above the salary schedule.
What's the biggest issue facing K-12 education in Nevada and how do you solve it? How do we increase graduation rates in Nevada?
I believe not every student is destined for a college degree. Currently, high school students who are college-bound are able to work at the local community college, and are able to earn enough credits that they can graduate with a diploma and an Associate Degree, saving two years of university level costs. When I was in high school, we still had shop/home econ classes. There are some community college programs for non degree-bound students; I would like to see more. We need more support from the trades so that a student could potentially be at or close to journeyman level when he/she graduates from high school. This would include culinary programs; construction programs (all levels); manufacturing programs (think Tesla); the Arts; how to start a business; and any other program that a student and high school/community college could agree on a program. If we look at what careers have developed over the past thirty years, is there any limit except the mind of the student in what new career is waiting to be developed?
I believe part of the graduation rate problem is a lack of interest in the classes students must take to graduate. I would like to see a two track system: one for college bound, which would include foreign language, Trigonometry/Calculus, Advanced Placement courses, and other college prep classes; and one for non college-bound, which would include Algebra/Geometry (useful in many trades), English/Writing (being able to write clear reports is also useful in trades), Money Management (how to write a check, balance a checkbook, and learn how to handle home finances), and trade programs.
Occupation: Owner of a small family business. Former Nevada Assembly Minority Leader. Former reporter, columnist, and editor with various Nevada media outlets. Current Adjunct professor in the Political Science Dept., UNR. Former journalism instructor, Western Nevada College. Current Co-Chair, Nevadans for Responsible Drug Policy. I also serve as a substitute teacher in order to better understand Nevada's educational challenges.
Record of service: I served in the Nevada Assembly for four terms (1996-98, 2010-2016) including as Assembly Minority leader and various committee chairmanships on both education and finance committees. I was the Original Assembly sponsor of Charter School legislation in 1997, and currently serve as a founding trustee of Doral Academy of Northern Nevada, an arts-integrated public charter school. Gov. Brian Sandoval appointed me to serve out the term of former District 2 Board of Education member Dave cook, upon his unfortunate passing.
Education: Born in Carson City. Graduate of South Tahoe High School. B.S. degree in sociology from the University of the State of New York (Albany), and a master's degree in journalism from the University of Nevada, Reno.
A brief statement about your platform
I was an early advocate for education reforms in the Nevada Legislature in the 1990s. I have also supported and voted for greater revenue for K-12 and higher education in Nevada, especially when those reforms were enacted, as in 2015. In the Legislature, I supported the implementation of higher academic standards that Nevada has been working on since 2010. However, I do support the new direction of the "every Child Succeeds Act" (ESSA's), which returns back to individual states the responsibility of implementing new academic standards that work best for Nevada.
What's the biggest issue facing K-12 education in Nevada and how do you solve it?
Career and workforce readiness. A basic academic foundation must be grounded in reading, practical math skills, and the kind of basic life skills–like responsibly completing tasks in the classroom that can translate into success in career and life. In Nevada, we have to overcome a "culture of low expectations," where college and career readiness" were not always seen as necessity to a large a segment of our population. Future successful careers for Nevada's graduates will at the very least require degrees and certifications from our Community College system. Higher ed degrees in math, technology, engineering and math (STEM), will ensure Nevada's graduates will fill the jobs in the advanced manufacturing and high-tech sectors that companies like Tesla's and Switch are offering Nevada graduates. Nevada's students need to be exposed to more career and technical education (CTE), that can inspire them to strive for good-paying and satisfying careers in a future economy that shapes the "new Nevada." We also have to inspire and incentivize more Nevada graduates to go into the teaching profession in the Silver State.
How do we increase graduation rates in Nevada?
By inspiring students from a young age that there are ample opportunities (and pathways) to a satisfying and productive life. The goal of education is to not only to "prepare" students for a future of career possibilities — but to teach them how to ready themselves — by classroom visits hearing the success stories of Nevadans (like them) that have succeeded because of committing themselves to do well in school. For instance, I appreciate programs like "Jobs for America's Graduates" (JAG), that identifies those 100-or-so students in a high school — who might otherwise not be successful and graduate. With an emphasis on "getting a job and graduating" these kids are provided life-coaching, role models, and a strict academic discipline — that results in most of them graduating and getting a job. We need a revolution of parents, teachers, members of our business and civic communities —making a new commitment to not accepting failure from our students. Great expectations, and the daily consistent work to see them thorough — are what "adults" in Nevada need to commit too. If we care enough — our students and children will as well. We're in this together folks. If we want a better Nevada — we should each find ways to get involved with schools, like I'm trying to do as a Board of Education member.