Empowerment Schools

One bright spot on the Clark County School District horizon is the concept of empowerment schools. Pilot programs have proven very successful.

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Consultants @ $300/hr

The Clark County School District pays $300 per hour for advice. Details here.

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Performance Pay For Teachers

From Science Daily:

Teacher performance pay is a frequently discussed and controversial topic among kindergarten through 12th-grade educators. Recent findings by economics professors at the University of Missouri-Columbia and Vanderbilt University suggest that states and school districts in the United States begin developing programs that examine the effects of linking teacher pay to student achievement.

The study was a collaborative effort between Michael J. Podgursky, professor of economics at Mizzou’s College of Arts and Science, and Matthew G. Springer, research assistant professor of public policy and education …

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Local government reports we’ve hit two million people in Clark County.

Clark County’s two millionth resident simply showed up sometime in the last three months, and no one — not even the milestone newcomer — noticed the difference.

However, a sidebar for the story revealed the methodology that government uses to forecast population:

The county’s annual population estimate is rooted in a simple formula: the total number of housing units times the occupancy rate (generally around 95 percent) times the number of people per household (about 2.5).

To get …

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Harvard: The Age of Friedman

Here’s a must-read paper published by Harvard.

The last quarter century has witnessed remarkable progress of mankind. The world’s per capita inflation-adjusted income rose from $5400 in 1980 to $8500 in 2005.Schooling and life expectancy grew rapidly, while infant mortality and poverty fell just asfast. Compared to 1980, many more countries in the world are democratic today.

The last quarter century also saw wide acceptance of free market policies in both rich and poor countries: from private ownership, to free trade, to responsible budgets, to lower taxes. …

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Global Economic Impact

This has little to do with Nevada – it’s global and worldwide. But it sure is cool.

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Gaming Taxes

Gaming Taxes article needs developing here.

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Prevailing Wage

“Prevailing Wage” refers to a government practice of paying more for construction workers than any other employer. It’s great for construction companies, which apply their profit percentages to the total cost of each project, and great for construction workers, of course. It’s not so great for taxpayers, who have to pay extra to get government buildings built. Some say that if prevailing wage law was repealed, our school districts could build five schools for every four they build today.

The US Department of Labor describes the …

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Nevada Per-Student Funding Ranks 37th

Nevada’s ranking on K-12 spending is not simple to calculate, nor without controversy

We actually rank 37th in education spending – at least we ranked 37th for the 2004/2005 school year anyway. That is the latest data from the National Center for Education Statistics run by the federal government. This is a source that seems far more believable than local advocates. (In the two school years since 04/05, Nevada’s per-pupil education spending has been increased faster than the national average increase, so our ranking is likely …

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Cost of Being Green

Clark County’s government is flush enough to pay 50% more for its fleet of cars so that they may burn cleaner fuel. How much extra should taxpayers pay in order to put our governments out there on the edge of energy technology?

After the 2006 election, lame duck Governor Kenny Guinn ordered that all copy paper used in 2007 and later would be required to have an unusually high percentage of recycled paper, at cost of about 50% more than normal paper. Governor Gibbons reversed the …

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