Debra “Sam” King for State Board of Education District 3

More than thirty years experience as both a teacher and administrator for the Clark County School District and life-long advocacy for public education as parent and activist are my qualifications for serving as Member State Board of Education, District 3. I firmly believe that education is a fundamental right for students and a cornerstone value for improving the quality of life in our communities. Education provides the social and economic opportunities required to be successful in our 21st Century Global World. Public education must be equitable and adequate, at the very least, to achieve its original intent and goals. It needs to provide a platform for lifelong learning and the basis for individuals to transition into post-secondary education, training, and the workforce. Each individual must have the tools and opportunities to become productive members of our state. Public education must promote student achievement, be accountable, and comply with established standards.

Nevada’s public education record is on the table. Nevada must do better. There is no question that public education must improve. How Nevada moves forward in better serving students, teachers, administrators, support staff and the community will be a responsibility of the State Board and its partners on the policy side of the equation. There must be a clear understanding of rights, responsibilities, and resources involved in the system of public education. There must be clarity when talking about teaching and when evaluating student learning and performance, so that outcomes and return on investment can be fairly measured with multiple tools. Teaching and learning are not the same thing, yet both must be part of the process of education and part of its evaluation and bottom line. All of the above must provide a climate which supports education and success in real classrooms, not just in policy mandates.

The State Board of Education’s vision is to “Inspire a better Nevada through effective policies.” The mission requires that each member “work in partnership with the Department of Education, school districts and the community, serve as an advocate and leader for all learners, implementing and evaluating policies that promote educational effectiveness, productive citizenship and personal satisfaction which will enable students to be successful.”   My institutional knowledge, understanding of state and national education statutes, ongoing research into education reform models, and fierce commitment to the vision of the Board and to ensuring the equity and adequacy of education opportunity for every Nevada student make me the best candidate to oversee this system.  I will act as the voice for Nevada’s future.