The two candidates running for State Board of Education, District 1, are Tim Hughes, who works for an education non-profit, and Angelo Casino, a middle school teacher at a local charter school.
Mr. Hughes is well-spoken and well-versed in education jargon. He believes the state board needs to help “create the conditions where districts can adjust to changing and evolving needs of educators.” He also would like to tweak Nevada’s teacher licensing laws to help increase the number of teachers.
He doesn’t support retaining students who have fallen behind academically, even as a stopgap measure to help students who’ve lost months of instruction because of the coronavirus. He is somewhat supportive of charter schools, supporting non-profit operators, but not those run by for-profit companies. He expresses skepticism of using testing data in teacher evaluations, calling it a snapshot in time.
The focus of Mr. Casino’s campaign is bring the perspective of a teacher to the board. He contends the state board is too often not aware of the impact their directives have in the classroom.
“There is no one way to measure student achievement,” he said. He believes projects, presentations and videos are acceptable alternatives to measure academic growth for children who struggle with tests. He doesn’t want to tie evaluations to student testing “until we can find a better way to assess student growth.” He believes that “charter schools are a good fit in the current model. We have to accept each other’s existence.”
Mr. Hughes is an eloquent defender of the education establishment’s perspective, and Mr. Casino has the passion of a frontline worker. But i’s doubtful either would advocate to hold the system accountable or otherwise rock the boat, which continues to run aground. The Review-Journal offers no endorsement in this race.