Thanks To Unions, CCSD Lays Off 1,015 Teachers

Posted by on May 18th, 2012 and filed under Government, Nevada. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.

(Victor Joecks/NPRI) – CCSD Superintendent Dwight Jones warned that an unelected, unaccountable arbitrator from California rewarding the Clark County Education Association’s stall tactics would lead to 1,000 pink slips, and here they are. Via the Las Vegas Review-Journal:

Class sizes will increase and more than 1,000 teachers will be laid off if the Clark County School Board adopts its proposed budget tonight.

The School District must cut $60 million in spending. Officials had planned on saving that money by freezing teacher pay. But the Clark County Education Association, the teacher’s union, fought that plan. An arbitrator ruled in the union’s favor.

As a result, according to a memo sent out Wednesday, 1,015 teacher positions will be eliminated. This will result in classes increasing by about two or three students each.

Now, as Agenda co-host Elizabeth Crum noted today when I was a guest on her show, 1,015 layoffs doesn’t mean that those 1,015 employees won’t have a job in CCSD next year. Pink slips will be given to 1,015 CCSD workers, but after teachers retire or leave, some or all of those teachers will be hired back, although there will be 1,015 fewer positions next year.

This led to a couple of unintentional hilarious tweets from the Nevada State Education Association, including this one.

This is funny, because emphasizing the number of layoffs and ignoring vacancies and unfilled positions mitigating those layoffs is exactly what union bosses do during legislative sessions to ratchet up pressure for increasing education funding.

Also, NSEA has just said or at least implied that reducing 1,015 positions is a scare tactic, even though eliminating 1,015 positions means larger class sizes! The implication being that NSEA thinks there’s no reason to be scared of larger class sizes.

And on this, NSEA would be right — even though I don’t think that’s what the NSEA union bosses intended — because eliminating CCSD’s 1,015 worst teachers would be a boon to student achievement.

Why?

Because a teacher is the most important school-controlled factor in student achievement. Students with an excellent teacher learn 18 months of material in one year; students with an ineffective teacher learn 6 months of material in one year. Some people want “smaller classes,” but the most important school-controlled factor in student learning is teacher quality, not class size.

Unfortunately, CCEA union bosses prevented this from happening, because they ensured that after 32 teachers were laid off for disciplinary reasons, layoffs will occur based on seniority.

So CCSD’s seven best new teachers will be rewarded with pink slips, students will lose two to four months worth of learning next year and the dance of the lemons will continue. All because union bosses succeeded in protecting ineffective teachers that harm the learning of your children.

If you like this system, thank the union bosses at the NSEA and CCEA.

If you want a better system, the need to eliminate or, at least, seriously reform collective bargaining for public-sector unions and to offer school choice for all parents has never been clearer.

1 Response for “Thanks To Unions, CCSD Lays Off 1,015 Teachers”

  1. laurie lower says:

    Point one: Mr. Shade the Truth, yes we know that the classroom teacher is the most important (in school) factor in regard to student achievement. But you do not state the fact that parental level of education, socio-economic, and cultural factors play as large a role in student achievement success as does the classroom teacher. Students that come from supportive functioning households where educational success is valued almost always achieve the standards needed to meet no child left behind criteria. Don’t blame teachers for the social problems that exist and that are many times exhibited in the success or lack of it expressed by our nation’s off-spring. Our village has crumbled and needs repair. When that happens you will see children again reach their potential.
    Point Two: If administration would collect the data required to fire inferior teachers, the problem would be solved using a more uniform and precise mechanism for termination. The school district does and will continue to fire teachers who cannot perform the job at hand. The one hundred teachers that are classified per evaluation as sub standard should be let go via the regular channels now in place. If, the district can lay off teachers without regard to seniority many fine senior teachers may suddenly start receiving low marks on evaluations just to save money. The two issues should be separate so that children can receive the best instruction from the most qualified regardless of the issue of salary savings. In addition, if the district is so concerned about class size, why did the new budget passed Wednesday include additional funding for the central office and administration to the tune of $9,000,000?

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