Las Vegas Sun Op-Ed: Proposal would rightly give more power to Clark County principals

Proposal would rightly give more power to Clark County principals

By Joyce Woodhouse

Thursday, July 21, 2016 | 2 a.m.

 Like many Clark County residents, I have been closely following the work of the committee considering plans to reorganize the Clark County School District. I believe the plan that committee has recommended will ultimately have a positive impact on the district and its students.


This model will empower individual school principals with more localized decision-making authority over the schools they work in every day. It encourages teachers, parents and administrators to work together to identify needs within their schools, and it makes schools more responsive to parents by reducing the bureaucracy that individual school administrators have to navigate to respond to parents’ concerns.

In 2007, along with then-state Sen. Steven Horsford and others, I was proud to sponsor legislation to pilot the empowerment school model in Nevada.

Working with our Republican colleagues, we unanimously passed a bipartisan plan that opened the first four empowerment schools in Clark County that fall.

 Over the course of several academic years, empowerment schools showed positive results, including significant increases in student performance relative to schools that were not in the program. For example, empowerment schools saw a 10 percent increase in the number of students proficient in math. Further, student attendance rates exceeded the school district average, and surveys showed higher overall parent satisfaction.

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