Letter: Faulty assumptions for changing public schools

Published: Saturday, Nov. 24 2012 12:00 a.m. MST

Our public school system has been at the core of our country's success in developing one of the world's strongest economies and the world's best standard of living for the majority of its citizens.

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Jay Evensen's Nov. 18 article, "Some radical ideas to reform public schools," was interesting, but the radical ideas were based on two faulty assumptions: that the only important outcome of public education is how well students perform in reading, science and math; and that making it more difficult for teachers to qualify to be teachers and more difficult for them to achieve tenure will improve the quality of teachers in the system.

Our public school system has been at the core of our country's success in developing one of the world's strongest economies and the world's best standard of living for the majority of its citizens. While math, science and reading are at the core of the system, they have not been the only focus. I remember sitting with a university student from India who had been mentoring students at Skyline High School and who wished that the schools in India offered the many opportunities students had at Skyline.

Also, making it more difficult for teachers to become teachers and more difficult for them to achieve tenure will not improve the system unless our legislators are willing to do what is necessary to fund public education well enough for good teachers to earn wages comparable to other professions and to improve teaching conditions, such as lower class sizes. Our state legislature hasn't shown much interest in doing that.

Fred Ash

Sandy

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