State of the State and Education Reform

Governor Brian Sandoval will use his State of the State address tonight to convince us he’s serious about improving Nevada’s education system that is arguably one of the worst in the nation.


We thought this would be a good time to remind you just who Governor Sandoval looks to for guidance when it comes to shaping his education policy.


Michelle Rhee

Once seen as an education reform prodigy, Michelle Rhee, the former Chancellor of DC schools, has seen her good reputation dwindle away as she has become embroiled in a test cheating scandal and more and more politicians and voters reject her anti-union “reforms”. The work she did for public schools in DC, once described as a “miracle”, appears now to be just a facade.


Rhee was a special guest at Governor Sandoval’s first State of the State address in 2011. Rhee used her celebrity to make the media rounds hyping Governor Sandoval’s education proposals (the cuts proposed by Governor Sandoval were described by Applied Analysis as “the largest in modern history”) as she has done around the country for other governors like Scott Walker of Wisconsin and Rick Scott of Florida.


It’s not clear if Rhee is still advising the Sandoval administration but it is clear that school privatization (Conservatives are trying to sell it as school “choice”, but it’s a path toward destroying our public education system) is at the top of the agenda for many in Governor Sandoval’s party and Rhee.


Dr. James Guthrie

Governor Sandoval appointed Guthrie as the Superintendent of Public Schools for Nevada. The fact that the Nevada Policy Research Institute is over the moon in love with Dr Guthrie is reason enough to be skeptical of what this man plans to do to our public education system.

We’d love to know how Dr. Guthrie feels about Governor Sandoval’s budget that includes more money for K-12 education. Dr. Guthrie thinks we can improve education by taking away more and more money and the education funding crises is “phony”. He also believes class sizes don’t need to be smaller, (if you do, you’re “delusional”) and that it’s just a way for unions to get more teachers so they can in turn get more union dues.

Sunny speeches aside, we need to hold the governor and the legislature accountable for what they actually do. We’ll be live-tweeting the State of the State. Follow along here @PLANevada