(The Center Square) – A Nevada teacher’s union criticized the Clark County School District’s lax grading system, “restorative justice” policies, and excessive teacher workload during a school board meeting Thursday.
National Education Association of Southern Nevada President Vicki Kreidel presented the remarks as part of fifteen reasons teachers are leaving the district.
CCSD started the 2022-2023 school year with only 92% of classrooms staffed with teachers, according to the Las Vegas Review-Journal.
The union later shared the full public comment on Twitter.
“The new grading system is making educators’ jobs increasingly harder,” Kreidel said. “Students across the district are taking advantage of it. Allowing students to pass with very little effort is not setting them up to succeed in the workforce, especially in high school.”
During the summer of 2021, the school board voted to eliminate factors like attendance and participation from grades and to allow students to revise assignments and retake tests. Additionally, it changed the minimum grade to 50 percent, meaning teachers can no longer assign a grade of zero for missing work.
The NEA-SN also took issue with the district’s inability to control student behavior, warning it is “only a matter of time before very serious incidents happen.”
“The Restorative Justice facade doesn’t help,” Kreidel said. “Students are struggling with behavior and mental health but we have no support to offer them. Some schools don’t feel safe for staff or students.”
There were over 5,000 incidents of violence on district campuses between Aug. 2, 2021, and Feb. 9, 2022, alone, according to public records obtained by 8 News Now. These include 1,358 incidents of assault or battery, 1,416 fights, and 66 incidents of sexual assault.
Under CCSD’s “Restorative Justice” policy, students can only be expelled for the possession of weapons, not for incidents like fights, according to KTNV Las Vegas.
Beyond student concerns, Kreidel said teachers are given “excessive and often unreasonable” workloads.
“Some administrators add more and more to educators already overfilled plates,” she said. “Far too many meetings that could have been an email.”
In a separate point, Kreidel emphasized that teachers receive “little to no” prep periods because administrators constantly ask them to fill in for classes without a substitute.
“The Sub shortage is adding a HUGE additional burden to educators,” Kriedel said.
Other reasons outlined by NEA-SN for teacher departure include pay that “isn’t keeping up with inflation rates,” unaffordable healthcare, unmanageable class sizes, overtesting students, hostile school environments, lack of professionalism, an unfair sick day policy, and frustrated parents.
“If these issues are not addressed you WILL lose even more educators this year,” Kreidel concluded. “You have some time to fix them, but the window is closing by the day. Not addressing the issues that concern your educators is a way to hurt CCSD beyond repair.”