Educational Leadership: Dale Erquiaga, NV Superintendent of Public Instruction

Dale Erquiaga, the Superintendent of Public Instruction of Nevada’s Department of Education joined my students and me at the University of Nevada yesterday.  I teach Educational Leadership in Modern Society and Educational School Law courses.  Dale generously contributed his time to help support my students’ (future NV teachers and administrators) professional development by responding to their questions (posted below).  His responses to their questions are found in the comment section.

1. Please share your thoughts about the NV teacher & administrator evaluations. (Please include some short-term and long-term benefits, challenges, concerns.)

 

2. Please share about the Common Core State Standards Initiative. (Please include how it will be implemented and used.)

 

3. Please share your thoughts about the new NV higher education funding formula. (Please include some short-term and long-term benefits, challenges, concerns.

 

4. What are some recommendations for future teachers/administrators entering into public NV K12 positions?

 

5. How can college students get more involved with legislative decisions impacting Nevada education?

19 Comments

Filed under Higher Education

19 responses to “Educational Leadership: Dale Erquiaga, NV Superintendent of Public Instruction

  1. Ali-Marie Lostra

    Question 3: Please share your thoughts about the new NV higher education funding formula.
    Mr. Erquiaga shared with us the intention of these new funding formulas, both for higher education and k-12. For higher education, the new formula is based on outcomes, rather than the number of students. This change from receiving funds for each student attending, to receiving funds for each student that graduates is intended to promote the graduation rate, and condense the education process to minimal time. For k-12 I found it interesting that the Nevada funding formula has not been revised since 1967, We are much different as a state, as people, and as students today. This formula will account for the needs of each student, noting that each student has different educational needs.

  2. Alan Matthews

    Question 2. Please share about the Common Core State Standards Initiative.
    Mr. Erquiaga talked about the new CCSS and I liked a lot of what he had to say about them. Standards are going to become a big part of my life semester during my internship and I think that these new standards are for the best. Over the past couple years I have had to work with standards from time to time when making lesson plans for practicum/classes and have grown to like them a lot. I think they demand teachers to become better teachers and encourage students to really think about what they are learning. Something that I didn’t know about the CCSS is that they are federally mandated and we are not receiving federal funding by adopting them, but voluntarily adopted them and own the states own the copyrights to them. I feel that this will allow the states to manipulate the standards to make them the best they can and bring the U.S. back out of this educational slump we seem to be falling into.

  3. Question 2: Please share about the Common Core State Standards Initiative.
    I really liked how informative Superintendent Erquiaga was about the CCSS. There is a common misconception that the standards are just now being introduced, when in reality they have been implemented in Nevada schools for about three years now. He talked about the process used to create the standards, and how they are intended to make students college and career ready by teaching them literacy, critical thinking, and problem solving skills. The standards are derived from the various states and from performance on internationally aligned tests, in an effort to get US education on par with some of the better performing countries of the world, a goal I think is very important for our future as a nation. As a future teacher, it is nice to know a little more about these standards and how they are made, since I will have to create my lesson plans around them and adhere to them. I think they are a great idea, they ensure that student’s are getting the same or nearly the same education wherever they go, making it easier for them to learn the material.

  4. Stephanie Gansberg

    Question 2: Please share about the Common Core State Standards Initiative. I liked how the Superintendent explained the new things being implemented into these standards. He mentioned that the standards are the same across the country, but that every teacher and district will be able to bend them and work them in the ways that work best for them. I think that’s awesome. Even though each teacher will have to follow the same rules, they will all have different curriculum’s and different ways they can teach to the standards.

  5. Robert Maktenieks

    5. How can college students get more involved with legislative decisions impacting Nevada education?

    Mr. Dale Erquiaga mentioned that a great way for college students to get more involved with legislative decisions impacting Nevada education is to watch or attend a meeting where policies are talked about, debated, and decided on. As UNR students we can make the trip to Carson City but he also mentioned that we can even watch the meeting online! To me this seems like a good way to get involved, however, to actually make a change much more action is needed! The superintendant mentioned watching the meetings, but to actually have an effect on them probably takes action if you lack the power to make policies as a student. Strikes, marches, revolts, are all examples of ways to get involved with legislative decisions impacting Nevada education AND making a change. Otherwised your involvment goes unheard, it becomes knowledge of what is going and fuel to spark a fire. The word “involved” could refer to simply knowing about the subject, but to me getting involved means more than knowledge, it’s action. He is involved: from being advisor to Nevada’s governor to becoming superintendant himself, his impact did not come from sitting and watching.

  6. Alexa Youngberg

    Question 3: Please share your thoughts about the new NV higher education funding formula.

    I really enjoyed Mr. Erquiaga’s answer to this question. The new NV higher education funding formula focuses on the outcome rather than the attendance. I think this is better because it will go more off the success rate of the higher education facility rather than attendance, which will increase graduation rates and influence higher education facilities to do better in order to get funding. I also thought the K-12 education formula was interesting because it hasn’t changed recently at all, which is interesting because the education system and the students are very different from the time the last funding formula was produced.

  7. Susan Dornan

    Question No. 4: Recommendations for future teachers:

    State School Supt. Dale Erquiaga recommends future teachers take a statistics course so they can interpret what the new student test results will mean for their classroom, their schools and their own evaluations. He said a number of schools already have data walls where test results are put up on a board for all to see. “You have to understand test scores, benchmarks,” he said.
    When asked if there should be some standard set for how much time a teacher should devote to filing state-required reports, he said that’s just part of the job.
    That may be so and that’s probably good advice.
    But someone should do the math on how much time a teacher must devote to preparing reports as well as teaching, preparing lesson plans and grading papers, especially as class-size reduction doesn’t seem to be an issue any more. Middle school teachers often oversee five or six classes a day, with 30 to 35 students in each class. That’s a lot of students to get to know and actually teach. Will teachers need to take a class on how to juggle all of their duties?

  8. Question 3: Please share your thoughts about the new NV higher education funding formula
    I found Mr. Erquiaga’s thoughts on the new funding formula interesting. I agreed with his thoughts about basing higher education funding on outcomes instead of occupied seats in a classroom. Hopefully it will encourage schools to get students in and get them out with a degree in 4 years and discourage them from trying to keep students simply for funding. This may also encourage the institutions to ensure students are receiving a quality education because they need students to pass the class. This new funding would also allow the universities to keep the revenue they get from tuition and fees so that they can put the money back into their programs. However, the funding that the school receives will be divided among the different fields of study and each is weighted differently certain fields will receive more funding than others which may effect programs negatively.

  9. Question 3: Please share your thoughts about the new NV higher education funding formula
    I found Mr. Erquiaga’s thoughts on the new funding formula interesting. I agree that it is a good idea to base funding off of outcomes rather than occupied seats in a classroom. It will encourage institutions of higher education to ensure that they are providing a quality education. Hopefully this will also encourage them to get students in and out in four years with a degree. I also liked that with this new formula the institutions will be able to keep that revenue they get from tuition and fees. This will allow them to put more money back into the schools themselves. However, with this formula certain fields of study will receive more funding than others, which may have a negative impact on fields like Liberal Arts.

  10. Kevee Doerr

    Question 3: Please share your thoughts about the new NV higher education funding formula.

    Dale Erquiaga gave a detailed explanation of the direction the funding for Nevada higher education is going. The new formula for higher education will be all based on the outcome of the students rather than the number of students the school has. This will case a ripple effect that will lead to more students graduating in a timely matter therefore graduation rates will go up. I thought it was interesting when he said that taxpayers should not be paying for someone to get a German degree but should for someone getting an engineer degree because we NEED engineers. K-12 funding will be based on the educational needs of each student at the school.

  11. Mike Jenkins

    Question 3: NV Higher Education Funding Formula

    While I really like that there’s going to be more output-based funding, there are a lot of potential pitfalls. For example, it will be interesting to see if smaller schools like TMCC and Western Nevada College get adequate funding, especially considering that they have fewer students combined with the fact that their faculty does less research. Additionally, while the need for engineers is important for America’s future, if Nevada is going to diversify its economy in the future, we are going to need more than only engineers. Funding non-STEM areas less is going to limit the kinds of jobs that locals will be able to fulfill, and this will limit how much Nevada can do in the future that isn’t mining or tourism. Finally, if they really want to have more engineers, they should be offering more scholarship opportunities and textbooks credits to engineers instead of paying the school to make money from engineering students.

    • Question 2. Please share about the Common Core State Standards Initiative. (Please include how it will be implemented and used.)

      I am excited for the initiation of the common core for Nevada as a state. I really feel that holding everyone to an even standard of achievement will contribute to raising our nation’s education quality. I also enjoy that this system will get all students ready for university and for entree into the workforce. It is also good to note that school boards are still in charge of curriculum to provide students with variety, while still managing to keep up the same level of standards and quality.

  12. JakeChandler

    Question 4:

    Mr. Erquiaga made some really great points regarding advice towards future teachers. He said to be good with data and math. He said that data revolves around the job greatly, He also said that teachers life revolves around standards as well. Everything that we do is going to have to be up to some standard. Teachers need to be able to know the standards that apply to their job. His final piece of advice and maybe the most important is to steep yourself competency. He made the point that the school system is changing and that there is more and more diversity in classrooms today. He said to step out of your comfort and embrace it. I think that that is important because you cannot be prejudice and the ability to teach children and students from all kinds of different backgrounds makes a teacher a better teacher.

  13. Jayne Patterson

    Question 2. Please share about the Common Core State Standards Initiative. (Please include how it will be implemented and used.)

    I loved how Mr. Erquiaga shared his thoughts on Common Core from the point of view of a superintendent. I appreciated how he reiterated the fact that thee standards are imply standards of what need to be taught and in no way dictate the curriculum that teachers use. Further he explained that the textbooks and other materials used will be chosen on a district, school, and teacher basis rather than federally. I feel this was a great point to emphasize because this is typically misunderstood. I look forward to working with these standards as I enter my practicums next semester.

  14. JJ Koski

    5. How can college students get more involved with legislative decisions impacting Nevada education?

    Students can email our representatives, attend and sit in on committee meetings or legislative sessions. Considering how dry some of these matters can be, Dale suggested to listen in on them from home, since all meetings are streamed over the internet on the WCSD website. This way we can know what is going on, and when. In order for our voice to be heard, we can organize rallies, or simply send a email or letter to Dale, or representatives stating our criticism and concerns.

  15. Dustin Sonenthal

    Question 4: rec. for future teachers:
    I like the fact that Dale recommended that future teachers take a more active role in collecting their students data because personally I find it important as well, most people only take the math class that is required by their college and then forget it the second they leave their final. If you as an educator take just preliminary data and use it to your advantage and know how to interpret the data, then it will make you a better teacher in the future and you can self police yourself and make adjustments in the classroom before you potentially loose your job over poor performance.

  16. Caylie Redding

    Question One:
    I like that Dale is reexamining the current teacher evaluations because he seems to have ideas to improve them. I think that making the teacher evaluations harsher would be beneficial because it would make it easier for schools to get rid of weaker teachers and keep the more effective ones. This will allow for greater competition and higher quality teachers. Dale’s new plan also allows schools to better gauge teacher performance. The stricter evaluations will be strenuous on current teachers as they will have more on the line and the evaluations will be harder. The downside to this will be that many teachers will be out work.

  17. Question 1
    I was impressed by Dale Erquiga as we discussed the teacher evaluations. It was not at all political, as I was expecting, but was instead about the students. The teacher evaluations are meant to weed out the poor teachers and get students “college and career ready.” They are also meant to ensure that every student has the resources necessary to pass the new tests which will be implemented soon. I think the fact that the students are first on the agenda of the superintendent is definitely a step in the right direction as we try to better our school and our students.

  18. Claire Peterson

    Question 5.

    I believe it is not only important, but essential that college students become more involved with legislative decisions impacting Nevada’s education.

    I believe that informing ourselves and just by simply being aware is a first step in getting more involved with these types of situations, because it will then prepare students and they will actually be able to understand, acknowledge, access and evaluate what .is going on.

    I believe college students can also do this by contacting local representatives and asking them questions on how to get involved. The representatives could help students and even possibly offer internships for those who are really dedicated.

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