Carson City School District seat 3 | NevadaAppeal.com

Carson City School District seat 3

James Hukari
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James Hukari

Age: 48

Hometown: Carson City

Family: Married for 25 years to Susi Hukari; 3 children; 3 grandchildren

Political background: Served on Carson City School Board for past four years

If you could get state legislators to do something to help improve public education, what would you ask from them?

The Legislature is primarily the distributor of funds. Rather than just spend more money, I would like us to examine what works and what hasn’t.

We have spent a lot of money over the past 25 years on educational reform that has failed to produce results. We need to prioritize preschool programs and full-day kindergarten at every school.

We also need to pay teachers better. We need to attract the best people we can and then spend the money to retain them. Another priority I would like to see established is extending the school day and extending the school year by at least 20 days.

Tiger Woods is the world’s greatest golfer because he spends the most time on the golf course (and he got a very early start).

How would you help students meet the mandates of the federal government’s No Child Left Behind Act? What’s the biggest deficiency in this district’s program?

The most important thing we can do to meet the challenges of NCLB is to start sooner. We need to support full-day kindergarten for all our children. Ninety percent of a child’s brain is fully developed by age 5.

We should not miss the opportunity to maximize their potential to learn. Eight out of our 10 schools have met the requirements of NCLB and they will continue to do that as the board continues to support the excellent teachers and administrators we have.

Contact information:

(775) 841-0241

jhukari@sbcglobal.net

Joe Enge

Age: 43

Hometown: First came to Carson City in 1972 at the age of 9

Occupation: Education policy analyst, advocate, and writer

Family: Wife, Airi; daughter Triin, 11, son Henry, 6

Political background: First time to run for office

If you could get state legislators to do something to help improve public education, what would you ask from them?

The one-size-fits-all factory approach to American public secondary education isn’t working. The ship of education has been operating without a rudder, blowing in the wind of methodology fads. Remember the “whole language” and “fuzzy math” craze? The damage done by these educational fashions of the day is magnified by the across the board implementation in large schools and districts while ignoring results.

To address this problem, I will be asking lawmakers to require accountability by focusing on objective result measures (Value Added Assessment) in content instead of subjective “process” measures of methodology.

Legislators can also address the high remediation rates by raising the passing class percentage above the current 60 percent level and raise the current levels needed to pass high school proficiency exams.

The high dropout issue can be addressed by decentralizing high schools and making them more relevant. Dr. William Ouchi, a UCLA management professor, did a landmark study and wrote “Making Schools Work” that addresses the problems of the large, factory approach in American secondary education. Dr. Ouchi testified to the Nevada Interim Legislative Committee on Education recently, and I hope they follow his sage advice.

How would you help students meet the mandates of the federal government’s No Child Left Behind Act? What’s the biggest deficiency in this district’s program?

We have too much pretended accountability and reporting without the real substance of accountability. For example, the current Carson City School District papers over in its District Improvement Plan the decreasing graduation rate, it decreased 10 percent in a few short years, by stating, “We are above the state average.”

Being above the state average is not the issue or worthy of applause given Clark County drives the state average. The issue, which has been ignored, is why was there a steep decline in students graduating from Carson High School? Ignoring the problem to avoid embarrassing school officials as with the current District Improvement Plan is a prime example of putting the interests of the school system over the students.

The burdensome complexity of NCLB has fueled the ability to further confuse and mislead the public. The school district has not been perfectly candid by only reporting the Annual Yearly Progress “classifications” while failing to mention their official Annual Yearly Progress “designations” released recently. The “designations” they have failed to mention are the district as a whole is In Need of Improvement and six out of 10 Carson City Schools are still rated as In Need of Improvement.

Contact information:

Telephone: (775) 884-4605

E-mail: enge@sbcglobal.net

Web site: http://www.joeenge.com