Carson City School District seat 4 | NevadaAppeal.com

Carson City School District seat 4

Ann Bednarski
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Ann Bednarski

Age: 60

Hometown: Cleveland, Ohio

Occupation: Educator, Free Lance Writer

Family: Two adopted sons, age 31 and 29; two brothers, two sisters (one is my twin).

Political background: Conservative, Midwest values, pragmatic and Republican

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

My suggestions to the legislators:Stress accountability in the funding of education. Address the serious lack of checks and balances in the system. Manipulated figures and incomplete information are indicative of the need for transparency.

We continue to see steady decline in the quality of education our young citizens receive. Our lawmakers have a responsibility to taxpayers regarding results – the end product of the education system, particularly in this global, competitive society.

The need for remedial studies after high school graduation and the increasing dropout rate demonstrate good reason to raise standards and requirements as the University of Nevada already has. Consider educational options, merit pay and reevaluate tenure.

The funding of all-day kindergarten must be explored. There are studies that indicate it is an expensive proposition without measurable results.

The State Board of Education reported that of $92 million allocated among all 17 school districts by the Nevada Legislature “…$80 million was, in the very best scenario, wasted” (Dr. John Gwaltney, State Board of Education). A problem exists.

Many children of illegal immigrants attend our public schools. The Legislature could negotiate with the federal government for reimbursement of costs associated with educating children of non-citizens.

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?

Students could achieve the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB) mandate, adopted by the State of Nevada, if school officials would simply stop complaining about it.

It is the greatest excuse for the failures and inadequacies of schools, teachers, administrators, and students. There are schools in Nevada that have embraced it and meet or surpass the mandate.

Children observe and copy the attitude modeled by their teachers. I often compare NCLB to the mandate to wear seat belts. Resisted initially, but seatbelts save lives and I believe NCLB will improve the overall education of all American children.

The defiance the schools display only reduces the standing of Nevada schools nationally. Teaching “to the test” instead of concepts and manipulating standards has hurt the student success rate.

By ignoring the average and gifted students meeting individual potentials is diminished. Combined, these practices yield a growing population of special education students. Labeling students is on the increase; I compare that to tattooing early on in the education experience. This practice often becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy.

NCLB could be amended by communicating with the federal government for further modification. This is a valid suggestion; they are amenable to changes.

Contact information:

882 3854

abednarski@sbcglobal.net or ann@annbednarski.com

Robert L. Crowell

Age: 60

Hometown: Tonopah

Occupation: Attorney at Law

Family: Married to Susan A. Crowell; Children: Caroline, Brad, David and Todd.

Political background: Served on school board since 1997; current president

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

Our district employees are professionals and their compensation should be increased accordingly. I would ask the legislature to provide professional compensation for professional services including performance pay.

The positive educational benefits of full-day kindergarten have been demonstrated. As such, I support the goal of extending full day kindergarten to all schools as a means of improving the academic foundation upon which the education of our youth rests. I would ask that the legislature extend and fully fund all day kindergarten for all schools, not just those schools that are “at risk.”

No Child Left Behind is an under-funded mandate imposed on local school districts. I would ask that the legislature fully fund the requirements of NCLB.

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 pressing problem in the Carson City School District surrounds compliance with the criteria established by the federal No Child Left Behind Act and its Nevada counterpart.

For 2005, all six of our elementary schools, both middle schools, and both high schools were either on the watch list or had failed to make adequate yearly progress in one or more of the rating criteria established by NCLB.

This year, eight of our 10 schools made adequate yearly progress and Mark Twain Elementary School was declared a “high-achieving” school. As a result, Carson City School District as a whole made adequate yearly progress for this past rating year.

The individual site improvement plans adopted by the district appear to be having the desired ameliorative effect. Carson City needs to continue its emphasis on getting all population groups to make adequate yearly progress in all rating areas to ensure that we have fully “turned the corner” on NCLB compliance.

Contact information:

Telephone: (775) 882-1311

E-mail: rcrowell@kkbrf.com