Rory Reid releases plans for education | NevadaAppeal.com

Rory Reid releases plans for education

SANDRA CHEREB
Associated Press Writer

School districts, administrators, teachers and parents should have more freedom to develop educational programs and be held accountable for results under an education reform plan unveiled Monday by Democratic gubernatorial candidate Rory Reid.

Reid said “The Leading Edge” plan would lead to higher student achievement and prepare Nevada’s work force for new technologies to spur economic development.

The plan includes rewarding teachers and principals who move to underperforming schools, using technology to give rural schools access to programs otherwise unavailable, giving parents choice in the schools their children attend and partnering with the private sector for innovation and financial support.

Reid also proposes a constitutional amendment revamping the state Board of Education from a fully elected board to one with some elected and appointment members.

“We need to give teachers the freedom to teach and principals the freedom to innovate,” Reid said in his 22-page plan. “We need to give them the responsibility to produce improved results – or leave the job to others who will.”

Fourteen schools in South-

ern Nevada’s Clark County have adopted “empowerment” programs that have attracted private sponsors, providing at least $50,000 in annual support, Reid said.

Gov. Jim Gibbons released his own education reform plan earlier this year that involves giving school districts more flexibility from state mandates and replacing the state Board of Education with an advisory board appointed by the governor and legislative leaders.

During a special legislative session in February, lawmakers agreed to temporary waivers from class size, full day kindergarten and textbook mandates.

Gibbons, a first-term Republican facing strong opposition from former federal judge Brian Sandoval in the June 8 primary, last week announced formation of a 29-member task force. Led by Las Vegas casino executive Elaine Wynn and higher education Chancellor Dan Klaich, the panel was charged with recommending ways to make Nevada students the “intellectual infrastructure” for the future and coordinating the state’s application for federal “Race to the Top” grants.