Fighting SpringBoard an idea for a platform
January 4, 2011
I applaud the letter (R-C, Dec. 29) from Mr. Bradley J. Fiene regarding his displeasure with his 11th-grade son’s SpringBoard English class curriculum at Douglas High School.
A May 23, 2010, Record-Courier article reported the strenuous objections of several teachers to the adoption of SpringBoard by the Douglas County school board. SpringBoard, which the article reported as costing $46,000 per year, essentially substitutes pop culture and social commentary for the rigorous study of literature, grammar, and writing skills. Material from television shows, movies, popular music and the like dominate the course of “study”, though one novel per year is required reading.
The follow up story (R-C June 10, 2010) reported the Douglas County school board’s 5-2 vote to adopt SpringBoard after receiving input from teacher advisory panels. The story didn’t say that the panels were rigged, but some teachers got more than one vote while others got none. Oh, and the cost for adopting SpringBoard reported in this article increased to $62,000 per year. Nevada’s board of education was so impressed with Douglas County school board’s research, it voted 8-1 in October to adopt SpringBoard for the whole state.
Among the snarky comments on the R-C website about Fiene’s letter, the most pointed one berated him for not having researched Douglas High and SpringBoard prior to enrolling his son. Yes, what’s with these slackers who relocate to Douglas County and just assume the government school system will take their kids’ education seriously? They probably think their hard-earned tax money won’t be wasted on some frivolous social program posing as pedagogy.
In 2005, Karl Rove and the supposedly illiterate President George W. Bush made a bet on which of them could read the most books in a year. They were each able to average one book per week, pretty good for guys with full-time jobs. But that challenge would be too stiff for Nevada kids, whose academic gold standard is one book per year.
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The Las Vegas Review-Journal ran an editorial cartoon recently with a sign on the far side of a canyon saying, “Welcome, businesses, to low-tax Nevada.” The dilapidated rope bridge across the canyon was labeled “Nevada’s public schools.” The next sucker who’s thinking about relocating to Douglas County and maybe buying one of those vacant homes we’re used to seeing should know that his taxes and fees will buy his kids a world class education about the likes of Rihanna.
Ayn Rand? Dude, who’s that?
Anybody who is thinking of running for school board will never have a better platform.