Comments about ‘Utah the only state in U.S. without a 'dropout factory'’

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Published: Tuesday, Oct. 30 2007 12:00 a.m. MDT

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Some of these articles are just WAY TOO LONG. You don't have to print every quote someone says on a matter. Geez.

Teachers' kids

Thanks, DMN!
Nice review of the factory mentality in our public school system.
Growing up as children of educators, we saw their frustrations with the increasing load of non-teaching duties for teachers, and the increasing emphasis on pumping kids through, without individual attention.
Our parents kept signing up for that low-pay job because they loved kids and loved to teach.
But there were in almost all classrooms half a dozen kids who took up the big share of the teacher's time, leaving the other kids with too little.

Our family is heavily in favor of alternative schools, vouchers and all, to better serve BOTH that half-dozen and the majority, who do better without them in the classroom.

And we hope ALL parents will get more involved with the public education factories -- this nation is failing too many of the younger generation with factory thinking.
Encouraging more Private schools and charter schools is part of the answer.

Utah Dad

The headline suggested this article was about Utah, but ended up being about the 'not-Utah' schools. Would have been a better article if it had focused more on finding out why Utah _doesn't_ have a drop-out factory. The only suggestion in the article for "why" is that "Utah, ... has low poverty rates and fewer minorities than most states". Is that really the reason? Some hard data here would be interesting. Then, the article discusses remedies, which _naturally_ involve extending the already-despised NCLB to greater heights. I hate to think what would happen if someone noticed that "loners drop out; loners have few friends", and created a law mandating that every child must have at least two friends. It looks like we are attacking the leaves, not the root of the problem.


I would like to see a study showing why blacks and hispanics are so low.

I grew up in Utah, and at the time I graduated high school in 1998, I had never heard of one person not graduating...not one...and I had friends in about 6 different high schools. Even the druggies were able to graduate on time.

It looks like there are still students being left behind.

Wait a minute

I thought Utah's schools were failing and we need vouchers now!

You mean they aren't failing? The sky isn't falling?

Of course it isn't. Schools in Utah are doing a great job despite what the national media likes to say about our schools. The teachers here are doing a great job.

I am even more impressed that Utah schools are doing so well with the WORST FUNDING IN THE NATION!!!

Imagine what we could do if that funding was increased to even make it to the middle of the nation instead of the bottom in education spending.

We don't need vouchers at all. Our public schools are top of the class. We just need more funding to keep our teachers here!

That is why I am voting NO!

To: Wait a minute

You hit the nail on the head! I could not agree with you more!!!! I cannot wait until November 6th and we can put this entire voucher thing behind us with it having failed miserably!!

UEA - why complain?

Every year Utah is listed at the bottom of the per pupil spending on education list nationwide. Now Utah is at the bottom (or top) of the dropout factory list! Just shows that money spent per pupil is not an accurate measure of the effective education of kids. DC has the highest per pupil spending and they are also up on list of drop out factories.
My opinion - vote FOR vouchers! Don't let the education bureaucracy use guilt and fear to maintain their perceived power. Wake up Utah parents!

Flawed logic

Wait a minute,

The picture of Utah schools is rosy.....until you realize that this article is only comparing them to other schools IN THE US.

Competition for jobs is now global, not national. Compare Utah schools to schools in other countries and all of a sudden your argument goes poof.

Besides, graduation rates are hardly a good measure of educational quality. As Study (7:29) said, even druggies are finding ways to graduate. This is due to the lax standards imposed by public schools who have noone to keep them honest.

If anything, this article should be a warning to us. If we had "dropout factory" schools, it would be easy to explain why 75% of our students can't find Utah on a map. As it is, with Utah schools having such a high graduation rate, what's your excuse for that fact?

This article actually shows us how much we need some competition....how much we need vouchers.

All for vouchers

There are plenty of kids still failing or scoring below the set standards. I wonder why anyone would be opposed to an "alternative" for education? I don't have to use vouchers. It's not the student using the voucher. It's the parents who chooses what to do for their children. There are plenty of poor teachers among our good ones and if the voucher system weeds them out then have at it. I see it as a good thing.


To UEA-why complain? -- Take your own advice. Utah is doing well. Why fix something that is working? It is the UEA's job to advocate for higher spending in education. They are doing their job. I thought in a free market economy, good results are rewarded. So what's for you to complain about? You don't like to see the system succeed?


Parental Involvement

There is no equal sign (=) between the amount of money spent on education and the quality of education, the education system in Utah proves this. The real key to successful education is parental involvement. Parents need to be involved in their children's education, i.e. attend parent teacher conferences, review homework status and help when needed, read with their children, volunteer to help at school somehow, etc. The best thing to come out of this voucher debate is that parents and taxpayers are discussing what is best for students. Vouchers will help parents become even more involved in their children's education, because they will be responsible to choose where the money is spent.


Vote for vouchers! Why would we want to put more money into a dysfunctional system? The system needs change and the voucher program will allow more choices. It's not "taking money away" from public schools. It's allowing parents another choice to spend their tax dollars to benefit their children. I would love to see a school set up like the Belfanz school with a team of four teachers teaching 75 students. The voucher program is not a perfect system but is certainly a step in the right direction.

Wait a minute

There is no "dysfunctional system". Utah schools are doing great. Did you see the headline?

The money we need to spend isn't so much to fix problems. The money we need to spend is on teacher's salaries so that they will stay here and keep our schools functioning well.

Too many are leaving for neighboring states that pay $10,000- $20,000 more per year. If we want to keep our schools from becoming "dropout factories" we had better keep good teachers in the state.

Vouchers won't do that.

That is why I am voting NO!

We have the money. What is it a $400,000,000 surplus being projected? Just think what we could do for the teachers with that! We would have people knocking down the door to come teach in our state. We could get the best of the best!

Utahn in Bama

Congratulations to Utah high schools for doing as good of work with the students as they do. The attitude in Utah regarding school is much better and different than in other parts of the country, whether Utah residents want to believe it or not. The importance of each individual student to be successful is much higher in Utah than elsewhere, overall a good indicator. Great homeschools, great private schools to provide education options to support learning needs. Way to go Utah!

Voucher - Oucher

Voucher people do need them because their reasoning skills are locked in to one point. If voucher supporters would spend the same amount of energy in the classroom our problems would be cut in half. The same arguments were made for charter schools about how they would solve all of our problems. THey have not and they do not function the way you said they would. CHarter schools are the best comprimise between public and private, It is a private education with accountability. USE IT! THe voucher supporters are looking for the magical solution instead of the true solution. We live to much in a disposable society junking the education system is not the solution (then again I do not have enough money to be egocentrical as voucher supporters)

Flawed Logic

Wait a minute,

Did you even read what I wrote? For that matter, did you read what anyone wrote about the fallacies in your thinking? If so, why didn't you address my points? Is it because you don't have an answer?

Every time I try to share facts with anti-vouchers and try to get them to back up their opinions with hard facts and real data, all I get are vagueries, anecdotes, and opinions unsupported by data. Why is that?

Agree with wait a minute

We don't need money to improve the schools.




Why are the public schools so afraid of competition? Do they have something to hide? What makes them presume to know the needs of my children better than I do? When my child is a victim of bullying, what action are they going to take? I have had my children in both public and private schools, and the private schools offer a far superior product, in some cases for less than what the public schools are getting per student to fund their school.

And isn't it interesting that all the educators want is more money for themselves. Teachers are already being paid more than the average per capita income for the state. They want a windfall, and hide behind terms like "tenure". I am not opposed to someone making more money, I just think it should be earned. Pay for performance.

Why is it that many of Utah's children being taught in trailers with no air conditioning, and in many cases no windows, but the administrators are working in beautiful brick buildings, with air conditioning and all the comforts one could think of? And they want more money for what....to pay themselves a higher salary to stay here.


Let's face it people, the problem is not the solution. The UEA has created the problem, why would you possibly trust them to be the solution. Throwing more money at it will only make it larger. It needs to be overhauled by someone other those that allowed it to happen on their watch.

From my observations....

From my observations, having lived and had kids attend schools in six states, I would rank them as follows (best to worst):

1. Utah (more AP classes, terrific teachers, good kids)
2. Michigan (small school district, good teachers, marginal kids)
3. Washington (good kids, good teachers, had a mass shooting there though)
4. Arizona (REALLY CROWDED, very fast growing area, but good teachers, new schools)
5. California (bad teachers, bad kids, bad facilities, a third world country in the US, few AP classes)
6. Maryland (very liberal schools, not a good environment)

I think Utah has pretty good public schools, really. I know it is fashionable to whine about them but they really produce good students who know their stuff. I wouldn't do a thing to hurt the schools, I'm voting NO on the rich kid scholarship program (aka, vouchers).

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