Vouchers the solution? I think not. I personally checked on sending my child
to private school last year. In the end we stayed in public school and found a
great tutor. Why? First, the cost. The tuition ranged from $4,500 to $10,000
a year. Second, the private schools that were for main stream children didn't
offer anything more than the public school and the ones that catered to children
with learning problems didn't cater to a child who was both very bright and
Dyslexic. I was even told by a some of the schools that they couldn't meet my
child's educational needs.So, will vouchers solve my problem?
Absolutely not. I would still need to keep the specially trained tutor even if
I did choose a private school. I think in the long run, my money will be better
spent by sending my child (now its two) to the tutor and staying in the public
school system.How can I come up with the money for both tutoring and
tuition? Vouchers and private schools don't meet my children's needs. They are
a tax break for the rich like our vehicle registration fee. Open the door and
we all suffer!
Isn't Utah one of the few states that requires students to stay in school until
they turn 18 or graduate high school? That might explain a low dropout rate.
I vaguely recall reading an article somewhere a while ago talking about
graduation requirements across the country and that they were not uniform. If
my recollection is correct, Utah had among the lowest graduation standards,
fewest required core classes etc. I think the cause for the lower standards was
so that students could participate in released time (aka seminary) and still
graduate. Maybe if the number of required, core classes was the same as most
other states, we would have a drop-out factory. I graduated high school in 1975
and if I remember correctly had to have 18 credits in 3 years, which meant I
could not fail any of my classes if I wanted to attend seminary and still
graduate. If I am correct, its really unfortunate that we lowered the
graduation requirements. I think the fact that our students do comparatively
well on standardized tests despite the low level of spending speaks volumes
about the quality of the teachers, the extent of parental involvement (including
requiring study and homework ahead of leisure), and about a culture that values
To whoever claimed our kids are in non air conditioned trailers obviously has
never been in one. While I hate portables, I have yet to see one that did not
come with an air conditioner and heating system.Which state are you
You want better teachers everyone? Pay teachers a living wage. Then institute
some merit base system that rewards teachers for innovation, working with
disadvantaged children, and for furthering their own education.Vouchers is a step in the other direction. They have a few things required of
the school, but no real accountability. Sure they could hire a licensed
teacher. Or perhaps they could hire someone with the 'special skill' of
enjoying being around a student. They must perform a background check. But
even if that check turns up something bad, they are not required to do anything.
They could still hire a known felon to teach your child. While I doubt most
would do this, Florida did have this happen (although I am unsure how soon they
knew that he was a convicted rapist).
There is nothing logical about the Parents for Choice Act. The private schools
still choose the students they admit so the whole "choice" argument is flawed.
The private schools will not have comparable results to gauge performance so the
competition argument is flawed. And poor children despite a full 3K will still
not make up the difference of the voucher to tuition gap even if they found a
way to get to the school throwing out the "helps the poor" argument.Eyre's cookie ad misrepresented how we fund education, hence confused people
into thinking funds stay within the school the child vacates. This is false.
Each child that leaves means federal and state monies go unallocated, ultimately
leaving less funds in the school had that child been in attendance. That
dismisses the "it saves money" argument (not to mention how much this program
costs once we are subsidizing all kids in private schools, or paying the full
tuition amount).Is there a single argument from the Pro Voucher camp
that isn't flawed? I have yet to hear one.
I agree with "rich-kids-scholarship" mentality as far as vouchers go. How do
vouchers solve our problems? Let's identify our problems--drop out rate not one
of them--and the come up with solutions! Even if we all got solar panels for
our homes, our energy crises wouldn't be over. How would vouchers help with our
current problems in Utah classrooms? I'd like to know how many people for
vouchers have visited a classroom in the last ten years and that includes
Legislators. Pull your heads out. Come up with solutions--not alternative
programs for a SMALL percentage of kids.
After California made a law that makes it illegal to mention Mother and Father
in school text books, and our text books here in Utah come from Cal. I need a
safety net so that when they start teaching that two fathers is ok or two
mothers is just another lifestyle, I can afford to pull my kids out of public
school. (especially when they take health and are taught how two men are, well,
friendly in their lifestyle) I'm voting for vouchers
I studied at Weber State to be a school teacher, but couldn't afford to feed my
family as the sole bread winner on Utah teacher salaries. I think Utah should
do whatever they can to pay their teachers better.I love to see
articles (or at least the headline) that say ow good Utah schools are even if
they do spend less per student than other states. Utah is the one that first
told the Federal Government to go away when 'No Child Left Behind' came into
being. Utah schools are great!My education at Viewmont High School
and my wife's at Layton were wonderful experiences. After I graduated from
Weber State and moved to Nebraska, my wife tried to finish her degree. She was
so disgusted with the poor quality of education here, she went back to Weber to
finish her last semester there.After moving to the middle of the
country, we realized what good things there were in Utah that the residents take
for granted. Good schools, public land, beautiful scenery, good neighbors,
etc.Thanks Utah for the great education.
When I was in college, 90% of the people who majored in education did so because
it was an easy major. After graduation, their employment prospects were minimal.
They chose their profession and accepted the pay based on their willingness to
work hard. They are now the people in our schools educating our children. It is
not surprising that they are still looking for the easy way out. More money, no
competition, etc. Now I know that is not true in all cases. Those who chose the
profession for noble reasons, to help the youth should be commended for their
contribution.However, they are not the ones who complain about the
pay. It didn't matter to them then and it doesn't now. To say that everything is
fine is naive. Saying that Utah is ahead of other states is like saying I can
beat a one-legged man in a foot race. Let's face it, we are falling seriously
behind our foreign competitors.
The sun rose in the east this morning, what further proof do we need that
vouchers are necessary to save us from doom and destruction? Pass the kool-aid.
The teachers in Utah care more for the student who needs help. My son, Glenn
Baguley...Mr.Baggs...is one who cares. Several students have come up to me and
my wife and said, "If it weren't for Mr. Baguley, I wouldn't have graduated and
be qualified for my job". That's a testament to him and I am certain many other
teachers who help to save kids and their education.
We resent the PTA being in the ads, as if they really represented all of us.The voucher law will help schools and not hurt.Our
children's teachers want it, too.
I graduated a few years back from a northern Utah H.S. and went on to
college.As seniors we calculated starting with 9th grade... Almost one
third of our classmates didn't make it -- marriage (or need to), work was more
attractive, lost belief in the value of what we were getting, etc., etc. This wasn't the case with the years before and after. They lost less than 10
percent.Looking further, about every other year there was a "tough" class,
then a "tamer" one, back and forth.Not exactly a droupout factory
but midst the talk of great schools, there is a definite underside that is
ignored.The school my own children went to has more programs for teen
mothers, learning challenges, drug users, and the like. But still no handling
of kids that learn differenlty.We're glad to see a proposal that may
help "different" student have more choices that may fit. Seems like money well
spent. We're for it.
It didn't take long in this blog for the conversation on the issue to flop into
the voucher thing. I will be glad when Nov. 6th passes and we can put this
thing away,(hopefully)and get on to the more important educational issues. Utah
schools are different, because the society is different. We hear about the bad
schools around the country, but fail to recognize how good we have it here. Most
teachers and administrators come from the same social and religious background
as the parents that send their children to the public schools, and so they
understand the needs of these families. This is not a 100% true in every case,
but enough to provide excellent public schools. There are some schools that
struggle in the rural part of the state as well as a very few in the poverty
areas, but the situation is manageable, as long as everyone is working for the
common good, and not their own selfish interests.
The reason we DON'T have a dropout factory in Utah is that most Utah teachers
are dedicated, not becuz they were after a high-pay job. They willingly signed
on to teach at low wages becuz they know they can do some good for some kids.
Sounds like a Democratic party value.We're joining the Democrats who
are parting ways with the squinty-eyed slant the DemoParty leaders have taken on
vouchers.We want great education for our society's sake, not just
jobs for "public" educators.Referendum ONE for ALL, and ALL for
The bills that were passed, separate from the Education Budget (near highest per
taxpayer, lowest per student) provided for vouchers to encourage families to
switch with less than 1/2% of the Ed budget, on a five (5) year trial.So why are the 'AntiVouchers' lying about the $429 million - which is
somebody's hypothetical projection for thirteen (13) years - as coming out of
the Ed budget?And why do they sound so concerned some people might
still not be able to afford the choice? That's false concern - those 'poor'
people can figure that out, and Find A Way if they choose.Vouchers
will do some good, though not completely solve the Real Need, which is not about
averages, nor graduation or dropout rates, but about individual kids YOU AND I
WANT EDUCATED WELL BECAUSE THEIR PARENTS ARE NEVER GONNA BE IDEAL IN MOTIVATING
THEM, BUT THEY STILL WILL GROW UP TO LIVE NEXT DOOR TO YOUR KIDS.All
kids are already "entitled" to education, and we are all taxed whether we have
kids or not, because it's good for society to have them educated.Vouchers will help without taking from the Public Schools. Please
Keith--you are half-right. The UEA doesn't have a stranglehold on the
legislature. It's the other way around. The ultra-conservative wing of the
one-party legislature has a strangle hold on Utah. Do you think the Eagle-forum
run Republican legislators do anything if it does not benefit them personally?
Wait to see how many of them benefit from the formation of new private schools!
Many are already owners (of private schools (Chris Buttars) or are heavily
invested in private schools. If you think this is about choice, you're wrong.
It's about money, and lots of it. This battle is about the vindictiveness of
that part of the legislature that hates teachers--not the UEA--but teachers
The public education system in the USA is a national disaster. It has become a
bloated monstrosity resembling our state and federal governments. If memory
serves me correctly, we rank 37th among the industrialized nations of the world.
It has decayed to a point where here in Utah the Parent Teachers Association has
conspired with the Utah Education Association to repeal a law allowing charter
schools to be partly funded by the state, thereby removing any hope we have for
improved education, (private schooling has moved Belgium into first place among
industrialized nations).I sincerely believe that private schooling funded
by the tax dollars being spent on public education is the last and only chance
to ensure a good education for our children. I make no attempt to outline
a transition plan from public to private, but I believe that American know-how
can create a workable solution. The Belgium plan should provide much of
For those of you who are pro-voucher, consider this. Once a private school
accepts public money via vouchers, they also accept regulation by the
government. This "evens" out the playing field, making the private schools that
accept vouchers nothing but an extension of the public school system. Thus, you
essentially do away with the competition. If you don't believe this, vote for
vouchers, and then wait and see. Utah already has school choice. You can send
your child to any school in Utah that you wish to. The three thousand dollar
voucher won't make much of a dent in most private schools' tuition, anyway.
People with more than one or two children who don't have a lot of money won't
benefit at all. Only a few will. Before you vote next week, please study, and
consider all of the facts.
freekadelka speaks the truth.Those young people who WANT to get
educated, who are taught the VALUE of education, will do what it takes to get
educated. It won't matter if they're in a classroom with 36.2 other people, no
air conditioning, tattered books, and an underpaid teacher. Nor will the
opposite matter.Maybe we should take this money we're arguing about
and use it on mandatory classes for PARENTS of young children (preschool age)
how & why they need to teach their children the importance of doing well in
Since Utah schools are performing better than those in other states, why did
the neocons come here to tout their voucher scheme? Could it be that
once the people who despise public education have gutted our successful school
system, it will be easier for them to argue that public education should be
Do you understand that any kids that are already in a private school will not
get a voucher? I know for a fact that many of the families sending their kids to
private school are anything but rich. They are families working multiple jobs
and driving twenty year old vehicles and making any sacrifice they can to keep
their kids there. I also know that many of them are first generation immigrants.
Why? Because they are the people who understand the value of a quality
education. People here take that for granted.Based on the comments
by "from my observations", it sounds like he is bitter because of situation.
What does he have against someone who actually focused in school, and worked
hard to be successful in life? If someone applied themselves and achieves
success and can give their children an opportunity to have more than they did,
who wouldn't want that. Sounds like he probably screwed off in school and is now
bitter and frustrated with his situation in life, and is going to put down
anyone who worked to be successful. Rich kid scholarship program, what a joke.
Get your facts straight.
I agree whole heartedly with Keith. People here whine about the UEA but from
what i have seen in other states I have lived in, the UEA has almost no power
with the legislature. If they did, the teachers would be in a lot better shape
than they are right now.What other state's teachers would perform so
high for such little pay?They would be on strike year after year.Congratulations to all Utah Teachers, students, and parents.That is why I'm voting NO!
The reason Utah has a lower dropout rates than other states doesn't have
anything to do with educators. By the way, big suprise that educators would over
estimate their importance. It has everything to do with the values that are
taught in peoples homes. If getting an education is a value taught by parents,
but more importantly shown by parents, then children will likewise value
education. You can pretend all you want that it's society, or discrimination, or
whatever, but that won't help solve the problem.
How would establishing an opportunity for those that wish to use vouchers be
junking the education system? Personally, I like our public school
and will keep my kids in it, but if I didn't, I would sure like a choice on how
to use MY tax dollars to get them an education. Free enterprise and competition
is what made our country great. I believe that "Good" public education will
survive just fine in a voucher environment. I'm voting for vouchers.
One of the main reasons that Utah does so well educating their students is that
the teachers union here does not have a strangle-hold on the politicians. If
you go to the large eastern cities, they have extremely poor education, 100+
year-old buildings, very high teacher pay, poor teachers that are not able to be
fired and administrators that have an I-don't-care attitude. I say
congratulations to all Utah teachers. (And the teachers here do the best job
graduating students with the lowest per-pupil expenditure in the nation.)
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
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.
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.
We don't need money to improve the schools.WE NEED THE MONEY TO KEEP
OUR TEACHERS HERE!!!THEY NEED TO BE ABLE TO WORK ONE JOB AND SUPPORT
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?
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)
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
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!
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.
Parental InvolvementThere 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.
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?
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.
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
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!
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!!
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!
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.
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
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.
Some of these articles are just WAY TOO LONG. You don't have to print every
quote someone says on a matter. Geez.