After half a decade, perhaps I’ve finally got the legit media educated about how the Clark and Washoe school districts cook their books.
After my first 2012 Tribune report, it took the Las Vegas Review-Journal a year to figure out they’d been had by a retiring superintendent.
The Reno Gannett-Journal finally sniffed the shuck more than two years down the road after sufficient time had elapsed to justify their “scoop” as original. Their piece was so bland that it had attracted zero online comments after three days.
On February 17, 2015, I reported that newly elevated Washoe County School Superintendent Traci Davis “said she has ended former Superintendent Heath Morrison’s practice of cooking the books by erasing the existence of over-18 returning dropouts, resulting in inflated graduation rates.”
After a little journalistic backgrounding by myself and the Reno-Sparks NAACP, Charlotte Observer education reporter Ann Doss Helms knew what to ask and actually got Morrison to brag and admit his sins. (A case of Trump virus.)
On March 22, 2016, I wrote that “Traci Davis told us at a Reno-Sparks NAACP meeting that…she’s still basing current grad rates on the old inflated numbers.”
Last week, she announced “historic” achievements. The RGJ kids on Kuenzli Street at least followed up with how a new state law relaxing graduation standards has biased rates upward statewide. Still, no one has ever adjusted for the phony gains of bygone years perpetrated by the now-departed Morrison and Pedro Martinez in Washoe and Dwight Jones in Gomorrah South.
Morrison and Martinez graduated from conservative Eli Broad’s school for supers which teaches manipulating performance stats, resulting in better jobs in bigger markets.
With Ms. Davis’ tenure (and contract) approaching their expiration dates, I forecast that she will follow them into the sunset of greater glory and greater salary while her boast of “historic” can still be defended.
TURF WARS, PART DEUX. Last week, local auto dealer and UNR alum Don Weir, Jr., announced a $1 million commitment to the college athletic department, part of which will go toward resurfacing the Peccole Park baseball fields. Current turf is so toxic that it cannot be dumped in a landfill.
I hope Donnie insists on something innovative like that newfangled stuff called grass.
I’ve won three Nevada Press Association awards for reporting on the above schoolhouse shenanigans. Persistence pays, if only lowly and slowly. Phony grad rates are finally being questioned but cancer-causing, brain-damaging crumb rubber turf has thus far been a lonely Tribune-only pursuit. (References at Barbwire.US/)
UNR athletic fields, including Mackay Stadium, risk the re-used-tire zombie grass. Likewise McQueen, Manogue, Carson and Douglas high school football fields. Although well past its life span, only a small portion of Sparks’ Golden Eagle Park is currently scheduled for replacement. Don’t let your kids play there.
THE PLOT SICKENS. In last week’s column, I misquoted the online threat to black Yerington High School undergrads. I have since received the (pardon the expression) smoking gun photos, the worst of which is captioned “The redneck god of all gods we bout to go nigger huntin” (sic, sic, sick). Old Pizen Switch educators need to add bonehead English as well as ethics classes.
The legit media are now working the story. I’ll upload all the viral photos with the expanded online edition of this column at Barbwire. The US, including the purported perp’s apology.
A federal case may be in the offing, as Title IX prohibits discrimination against female athletes. The girls in question have been unable to attend school due to racist threats and bullying. The Nevada attorney general has received a complaint about Yerington cops shredding reports.
As always, thou art a dependable job creator for lawyers, O Nevada!
Be well. Raise hell. Esté bien. Haga infierno.
Andrew Barbano is a 49-year Nevadan, editor of NevadaLabor.com and SenJoeNeal.org/ He serves as first vice-president of the Reno-Sparks NAACP. As always, his opinions are strictly his own. E-mail <firstname.lastname@example.org> Barbwire by Barbano has originated in the Tribune since 1988.