Teachers’ Union Complains About Nevada School District’s Lax Grading

The Clark County School District’s approach to education is under heavy criticism as a Nevada teachers’ union has stated it is below par.

According to the National Education Association of Southern Nevada President Vicki Kreidel, teachers are having a hard time in the district due to its lax grading system as well as its “restorative justice” policies.

These factors, coupled with the excessive workload teachers are burdened with, are some of the reasons teachers are leaving the district, according to Kreidel. A Las Vegas Review-Journal report stated that only 92% of the district’s classrooms were staffed with teachers at the beginning of the 2022-2023 school year.

“The new grading system is making educators’ jobs increasingly harder,” Kreidel said, explaining that students are taking advantage of it.

During the summer of 2021, the school board voted to change the minimum grade to 50%. It also decided to allow students to retake tests and revise assignments and to eliminate factors like attendance and participation from students’ grades.

With the change, a student can no longer get a grade of zero even if they miss work. They can also get away with poor performance and non-participation.

The NEA-SN warned that allowing students to pass with very little effort will prove detrimental to their success in the workforce. The union also criticized the district’s lax approach to handling student behavior, saying that “very serious accidents” are bound to happen if the district does not do better at controlling its students’ behavior.

The student concerns are made worse by the excessive and “unreasonable” workload placed on teachers. The educators say their job at the district involves a lot of hassle, like being constantly asked to fill in for classes without a substitute, getting pulled into meetings on messages that could have been communicated via email, having to “overtest” students, and having to deal with “unmanageable class sizes.”

All they get for these difficult conditions are pay that “isn’t keeping up with inflation rates,” unaffordable healthcare, and an unfair sick day policy. They also have to constantly deal with frustrated parents.

Kreidel also took issue with the district’s restorative justice policies, which it calls a “facade.” Under CCSD’s Restorative Justice program, students cannot be expelled for incidents like fights. They can only be expelled for the possession of weapons.

“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,” Kreidel stated.

Kreidel concluded with a warning that the district will lose more teachers if they do not address the issues highlighted. “Not addressing the issues that concern your educators is a way to hurt CCSD beyond repair,” he stated.