Edmonton Empowerment Program

Governor Gibbons' State of the State address last night included a brief mention of a new program for Nevada schools that would focus on empowerment. Empowerment would give teachers, parents, and principals more say in how their schools are run and how their students learn.

The proposed "Edmonton Empowerment Program" is an educational approach that started in Canada nearly 30 years ago. It is supposed to address, among other things, falling graduation rates, lack of funding, and poor parental participation.

Locally, very little is known about the program, which means educators and school officials want more details from the governor. With the Edmonton program, Gibbons hopes to create a more site-based governing system in local classrooms, giving individual schools the power to create their own destiny.

The governor's proposal afforded 60 million dollars toward the new program, money that would be divided up among 100 schools state-wide.

The Washoe Superintendent will have a chance to research the Edmonton program in greater detail. He will be meeting with the creator of the program Michael Strembitsky on Wednesday.

Four schools in Las Vegas' Clark County have already been operating under a similar empowerment program for about a year. Gibbons didn't say whether or not Washoe County's Edmonton program will be modeled after the one in Southern Nevada.