Those who know me would say that speechlessness is rare in my world. Well, this question was recently posed to me, and I was speechless. There is no plan B.
As Colorado’s Commissioner of Education, Jones initiated and fought for bipartisan bills that changed the system and made it work for kids. The bills prioritized measuring the effectiveness of teachers and principals, and instituted relevant, rigorous standards. It was this track record that got Jones hired in Clark County in November, 2010.
Since then, he has done more for our kids than anyone in decades. His most recent innovation is the School Performance Framework, which grades schools on a five-star scale, allowing us to know which are doing their jobs well and which are letting us down. That kind of thing ruffles feathers in a school district.
Jones’ detractors—including elements within the teachers’ union—would be happy to send him packing: They know the future must include firing incompetent teachers, and they’ll do anything to protect a teacher. Jones’ future is safe as long as the School Board continues to support him—but as tensions burble beneath the surface, it’s time for Valley families to signal their support of Jones and his agenda.
In Colorado, support from businesses, parents and the state was essential to Jones’ success. We can replicate that support here:
• Ask your employer to make education—and support for our superintendent—a priority. After all, that’s what it will take to grow a talented workforce in Southern Nevada. One way for companies to get involved is to join the Las Vegas Chamber of Commerce—the group has been a strong supporter of education reform.
• Get involved. Tell your school’s principal that you support the superintendent and expect excellence from your school.
• Show up at a School Board meeting and speak. Even in the digital age, there’s power in actually being there—taking that extra step makes a difference.
• Use your vote. Those School Board races at the bottom of your ballot may be the most important contests of all—they’re your chance to support members who have endorsed the superintendent and have the track record to prove it.
is an education activist and director of the Dream Fund. Send your education questions to QuizzingEducation@WeeklySeven.com.