In his Feb. 6 column (“This is how you fix education in Nevada), Victor Joecks advocates school choice alternatives to public schools. These promising approaches are best viewed in the larger context of all factors that impact learning outcomes, some beyond the control of teachers and the Clark County School District.
A key determinant of learning outcomes, even in private schools, is parental engagement or lack of engagement. Effective learning outcomes are a “team sport,” and better outcomes are more likely if parents value education, are educated themselves, and are available to help with homework. Unfortunately, some well-meaning parents are too busy working and commuting to provide effective parenting.
Also, other external factors such as poor nutritional, sleep, and motivational habits do not distinguish between public, private, and home schooling.
These external factors help explain how CCDS national rankings remain low even though few teachers receive poor performance evaluations. Paradox resolved. Correcting these external factors will position both the CCSD and the school choice alternatives to realize their full potential.