The public school system’s grading system in Las Vegas’ Clark County School District (CCSD) has become so relaxed that even a teacher’s union is offering public criticism.
National Education Association of Southern Nevada (NEASN) President Vicki Kreidel spoke during the district’s Thursday school board meeting to speak against grading policies, teacher workloads, and “restorative justice” policies as some of the reasons teachers are leaving employment with the district in increasing numbers.
Local reporting indicates that CCSD began the current school year with full teacher staffing in only 92% of the district’s classrooms.
The NEASN posted a tweet detailing Kreidel’s list of concerns and warned that if the issues “are not addressed, you will lose even more educators this year.”
This evening, NEASN President @vix_kreidel provided the following public comment at the CCSD Board of Trustees Meeting regarding the top reasons our educators are leaving CCSD. If these issues are not addressed, you will lose even more educators this year. #TimeFor20 pic.twitter.com/j2UKRX5y41
— NEA-SN (@NEASNV) December 9, 2022
The district’s new grading system was highlighted among Kreidel’s concerns. She said it is “making educators’ jobs increasingly harder” and noted that “students across the district are taking advantage of it.”
Kreidel added that letting students “pass with very little effort is not setting them up to succeed in the workforce, especially in high school.”
Last summer, the CCSD school board voted to remove attendance and class participation from the factors that can be included in grading decisions. New grading policies also gave students more leeway to revise assignments and retake tests.
The board also set a minimum grade for all tests and assignments of 50%, meaning students would receive that grade even for work they failed to submit.
Kreidel also lamented the CCSD’s lax approach to controlling unruly student behavior. She warned ominously that it is “only a matter of time before very serious incidents happen.”
“Some schools don’t feel safe for staff or students,” she added.
Another local report found that there were more than 5,000 known incidents of violence at CCSD schools in the first six months alone of the 2021-2022 school year. Those included more than 1,400 fights and 66 cases of sexual assault. The district’s “restorative justice” policy does not allow students to be expelled for fights that do not involve possessing weapons.
Kreidel also told the board that teachers are struggling with “little to no preparation time” at school because they are being regularly called on by administrators to fill in for classes without a substitute.
She also said teacher compensation is being outpaced by inflation and surging healthcare costs.
Finally, she cautioned the board that failure to address “the issues that concern your educators is a way to hurt CCSD beyond repair.”