(Chuck Muth) – Gov. Jim Gibbons’ new Education Reform Blue Ribbon Task Force is long on public education apologists and short on true reformers. It’s been loaded up with “professional” status quo bureaucrats and teachers union shills. So expect another generation of kids getting screwed out of a better future once the task force completes its “work.”
The task force has been charged with the mission of “Facilitating a statewide dialogue on reform of our public education delivery system.” But just take a look at the membership of the committee, and you’ll see that dialogue, not action, is the best these folks will ever come up with.
Although commission chairman Elaine Wynn is highly regarded by all sides, the task force itself includes only two well-known school choice advocates: Sen. Barbara Cegavske and Ray Bacon of the Nevada Manufactures Association.
No representation from the Nevada Policy Research Institute.
No representation from the Nevada Innovative Coalition for Education (NICE).
No representation from the Business Educational Alliance for the Children of Nevada (BEACON).
No representation from Nevada’s private schools.
No representation from Nevada’s home-schooling network.
The task force does include the university chancellor, Dan Klaich – who has done nothing but complain about budget cuts since taking the job last July – as co-chair.
Assemblywoman Debbie Smith, who single-handedly blocked a bill to give vouchers to the parents of autistic kids back in the 2007 legislative session, but not Assemblyman Ed Goedhart, who introduced the most sweeping universal school voucher bill in Nevada’s history last year, only to never even get a hearing on it, let alone a vote.
Keith Rheault, superintendent of Nevada’s public schools.
“Rob” Roberts, head of Nye County’s public schools. Heath Morrison, head of Washoe County’s public schools. John Soderman, head of Douglas County’s public schools.
Jill Derby, former university regent and the teachers union’s Democrat candidate for Congress in CD 2 the last two election cycles.
The wife of Democrat Senate Majority Leader Steven Horsford.
Cherri Luna, a public school teacher from Clark County. Diane Sumner, a Washoe County public school teacher. And Karen Pedersen, a public school teacher from Lyon County.
Ronald Montoya, a Clark County public school principal.
Alison Turner, president of the Nevada PTA.
And the absolute worst possible appointment, guaranteeing this task force will do nothing to seriously change the current failed public school system: Lynn Warne, head of the teachers union.
There are some other members of the task force, but again, none are known for advocating serious, meaningful school choice options and dramatic education reform.
We wish Elaine Wynn well, but can’t help but predict that this effort will be nothing short of another colossal waste of time. We know what needs to be done: break the public school monopoly and take the power to control education away from the professional bureaucrats and teachers union. This commission will do no such thing.
Expect the Legislature to put this task force’s report right up there on the shelf next to the SAGE Commission’s report.
P.S. If you want to learn about REAL education reform, check out NPRI’s 2nd annual Education Policy Summit this Friday at The Orleans in Las Vegas featuring:
• Helen Littlejohn, representative of the U.S. Secretary of Education
• Dr. Howard Fuller, professor at Marquette University
• Dr. Matt Ladner, vice president of research at the Goldwater Institute
• Anthony Colón, managing partner of the AVANTI Strategy Group
• Dr. Paul Peterson, senior fellow at the Hoover Institution at Stanford University
• Leslie Hiner, vice president of programs at the Foundation for Educational Choice
• Dr. Jay Greene, chair of the Department of Education Reform at the University of Arkansas
For more information, go to: http://npri.org/events/education-policy-summit-2010