Column: Superintendent to answer questions on Carson schools

This column ties into a community TV talk show, Another Point of View, which will be telecast live tonight on Public Access Television, Channel 10 in Carson City at 8 p.m.

I have wonderful news for unmarried ladies. My guest tonight is single, good looking, retiring (more time for play and travel?) has even done some modeling and prefers to be married. He's "looking"!

Of course this was told to me on the QT, so don't breathe a word of it! No, this isn't a local version of The Dating Game. I just like sharing important news. The real topic of tonight's show is education, and enlightening us on that subject will be the aforementioned eligible bachelor Jim Parry, Carson City School District superintendent.

He will be retiring next year after 33 years in education. All but five of those years have been spent in Carson City. The beautiful mountains lured him to our fair city from Chicago, maybe because some of his hobbies include skiing, mountain biking, golf and physical fitness. Heads up, girls - couch potatoes need not apply.

So why is he retiring? He says, "I'm blessed in working with great people, and 33 years is adequate."

When my three children were attending Fremont Elementary School, Jim was the principal. I have many fond memories of that period in my children's lives, and of Fremont School. It was and is a year-round school - in essence, a single-track multi-track. There was a strong sense of community and the parents were closely involved with the school, the students and the activities.

I'm sure parental involvement played a part in the school's success. But the mood and the agenda of any organization always trickles down from the top, and Principal Parry did an excellent job of sending down positive trickles.

Tonight we'll talk about the educational practices of "yesteryear" as compared to today's system. Charter schools are gaining popularity. A new charter high school is starting up in Carson City for troubled teenage boys. As a frustrated parent, can you pick up the phone and enroll your son or do they only take referrals from the court system? Find out tonight.

Is social promotion happening in our school district? That's the practice of promoting a student on to the next grade even if they haven't successfully completed the course study for their current grade level. Are the higher educational standards established by the legislature working or are they too strict?

Why do teachers receive permanent status after three years? Tenure used to be something that was awarded to university professors. Now most teachers receive tenure after three years and sometimes even sooner. How does the school district get rid of an incompetent teacher?

We'll discuss legislative mandates requiring class size reduction that often result in two teachers to a classroom. According to Parry, some teachers might do team teaching "on their deathbed."

In November, we'll be voting on an $18 million bond issue. In spite of numerous news articles, many people still have concerns. Last year students and parents complained about a shortage of textbooks. Will the $18 million eliminate that problem?

You can ask questions or provide comments for tonight's program by e-mailing me at until 6 p.m. or call the show between 8 and 9 p.m. at 882-2839. Questions can be addressed personally on the air or our sound technician will relay them to us during the show. The Republican Women's Club will also provide a panel discussion on the bond issue at their luncheon meeting Tuesday, Sept. 19 at 11 a.m. at the Carson Nugget.

Tune in at 8 p.m. on Channel 10 as Jim Parry and I discuss education - past, present and future. We'd like to hear from you - especially if you have Another Point of View.


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