Dwight Jones: CCSD is Better Than I Found It - 8 News NOW

Dwight Jones: CCSD is Better Than I Found It

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LAS VEGAS -- Dwight Jones took over the helm of Clark County School District in 2010 at a time when the district was devastated by the recession and budget cuts.

Jones was hired after a nationwide search.

"We wanted school reform. We wanted a sense of urgency about improving our district, and he brought all of that," School Board President Carolyn Edwards said. 

The job of leading nearly 400 schools, serving 311,000 students, overseeing 37,000 employees didn't come without struggles.

Jones had a rocky relationship with the teachers union over budget cuts and his initiatives were still relativity new.

"The verdict is still out. There are a lot of initiatives that have been forth. Some of them take time to show what the fruition of those are," said Ruben Murillo, president of the Clark County Education Association.

Although Jones battled had his union battles, some employees are sad to see him leave.

"Our local was founded in 1967. He was the first superintendent ever from the school district to come to one of our union meetings," said John Carr, the president of Education Support Employees Association.

A key Jones initiative, the School Performance Framework, which ranked schools will be abandoned with Jones' departure. The framework conflicted with the state's method of ranking schools.

Even so, Jones stands by the reforms.

"I think, thinking about a different way of how we hold ourselves accountable and measure our schools is necessary, and I think the district could not afford to wait."

Jones said graduation rates have risen under his leadership despite a recent report from the Department of Education showing Nevada ranking at the bottom when it comes to graduating students.

"We've done a lot to focus on graduation, because those kids are in harm's way, but we equally have focused on grade level to grade level," Jones said. "I think CCSD is better than I found it two years ago."


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