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Utah Legislature: House OKs college charter schools

Higher education could dip into K-12 with SB55

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  • C Mahoney
    Feb. 26, 2010 1:27 a.m.

    I go to Itineris and it is not only one of the best things I have ever done but one of the hardest. I have worked in construction 20 hour days and not been as drain as some of us have at Itineris. Takeing 16/17 and maybe 18 credits for two years so that we can have that time to do what ever we want. We came to Itineris because we knew what we wanted and we had to work for it. Not only is it the best school that I have gone to and I am not saying that it is for everyone if you are a very social person and like your sports then it is probly not for you. But me and my brothers have all gone to Itineris and some of our best friends are people that we have met there. That is all because we all know what everyone has done to get where they are and we have done it our selves. Another thing is that I tineris has great teachers that will do anything for their students and love their jobs doing it.

  • your all stupid
    Feb. 26, 2010 1:06 a.m.

    You are all stupid it isnt the way that the schools get money or who the teachers are. It is because the students dont care about education they know that they can fail everything till graduation and they can still get credit. That is the biggest problem take china for example you get to go to school the first time that you start to fail you are out and you have no way to live unless you can prove yourself or your family has enough to pay people to teach you and at that you have to want it. that is the problem that we have in America is no child left behind and all the children dont care.Pull your heads out and take responsiblity. We spend so much money and student dont have to work for it. By the way I go to Itineris and it is the best program I have ever looked at you actually have to work for gradution. No short cuts.

  • Citizens demand options!
    Feb. 25, 2010 11:22 p.m.

    Despite some strong programs, the overall public school system in Utah and the USA is an failing. It is difficult for some proud educators to admit.It is quite clear that some US schools do well with little money and others fail with a lot of money (California). It is poor policy, dumbing down and lack of accountability that is much of the problem. Citizens who care about the quality of their child's education demand options, instead of putting their heads in the sand.

  • Public School Teacher
    Feb. 25, 2010 2:43 p.m.

    Change is needed- I teach in a public school. I have 15 computers, a projector, GPS Units, Video Camera, Digital cameras and other technology I use in my classroom. My students research topics and create products like video documentaries and Google Earth flights. I teach web design, CAD, History, Algebra, Word Processing and many other things. It is offensive to me when someone generalizes to imply that I am not serving my students. It is generally a lack of funding that creates the lack of technology in most classrooms. It is rarely because the teachers don't use it because they don't know how.

  • Anonymous
    Feb. 25, 2010 2:40 p.m.

    This is a good idea but why can't we offer more concurrent enrollment programs at the local high schools?

  • USU already had one
    Feb. 25, 2010 12:53 p.m.

    USU has already had a charter school. The faculty and staff are USU employees, the building is on USU property, and the donation I made to the school was acknowledged by the school and Dean with a nice letter and an official USU receipt.

    So where they breaking the law?

  • Change is needed
    Feb. 25, 2010 12:46 p.m.

    @Monsieur le prof -- the problem with the American public school is that it is antiquated. Rules and regulations are designed to herd students rather than educate them. It is time to stop defending th establishment. Instead, educators for once need to be introspective about how and why they are behind the times.

    Technology in schools doesn't keep pace with business. Why? Educators argue it is lack of funding, yet when tools are made available they aren't used because teachers don't know how to use them.

    Yet -- students do. They blog, text, email, IM, facebook and chat and in doing so live in a world many teachers simply ignore. Educators outlaw these as a distraction to education instead of embracing new ways to teach. Why aren't we educating from a distance? Why is lecture still the preferred method of pedagogy despite its ineffectiveness? My son has learned more about history from video games than from his history classes!

    What we need is a modernized system that stops spending so much money on bricks and mortar in which to house our children as an old-fashioned daycare and instead teaches them how to succeed in the information age.

  • Monsieur le prof
    Feb. 25, 2010 12:04 p.m.

    I'm tired of ignorant people bad-mouthing public education in Utah. No school is any better than its students and parents. When you compare apples to apples, public schools are every bit as good (and sometimes better) as charter and even private schools. No teacher or school holds its best students back.

    We have AP and International Baccalaureate classes as well as college classes being taught on high levels and our students do very well nationally. There is no catering to the lowest common denominator other than treating all students with respect and loving them for what they are as individuals.

    Because of their size, public schools have the ability to offer incredible music, drama, debate, and sports opportunities for those who want to widen their horizons.

    We take in handicapped, low-performing and non-English speaking students because Americans believe in educating everyone. And we polish our own rough edges by rubbing shoulders with them, not looking down on them.

    Home school or charter school your children if you like, but don't put down one of our greatest national assets, the American public school. It does an incredible job with what its given.



  • My kids have...
    Feb. 25, 2010 10:58 a.m.

    thrived at our new charter school, Excelsior Academy, in Tooele County.

    My first grader reads at a 5th grade level and is not punished for it. This would not be possible in our old public school system. They would have him read down several levels to allow the ESL students to feel good about themselves.

    This is what is wrong with public schools. They cater to the lowest common denominator in academic achievement. We need to advance our brightest and best students. They will innovate and create and build our country better than what it is now.

    They are truly the future of America. Why hold them back?

    As for thinking out of the box and graduating kids with associates degrees from High School, I say bravo! What a great idea!

    Kids in certain provinces in Canada have an option for grade 13 which is equivalent to Freshman, Sophomore college classes. Its about time we compete with the rest of the world.

    The old ways pf relying on bad public education systems will not work. We need more excellence in our educational system. Don't stop it now that its working.

    Parent of three charter students.

  • Russ K.
    Feb. 25, 2010 10:35 a.m.

    Some students at Itineris have only a few classes to take during their spring semester of senior year. This is simply because they have completed most, if not all, requirements for high school graduation and an Associate's Degree during prior semesters. The few classes they have, then, are either taken because they're enjoyable or because they are required classes not available during earlier semesters.

    To imply that students at Itineris don't work as much as those at traditional high schools is ridiculous. Students like Ciara who have "a couple hours to kill" deserve it. 16 or so credit hours for a couple years without stopping is enough to warrant any high school student a break.

  • Public Schools
    Feb. 25, 2010 10:31 a.m.

    Wouldn't it be great if the regular public scholls could just kick kids out that they didn't want? Hey if your parent doesn't spend 10 hours a week at the schoold you can't come any longer. Charter schools aren't public schools in any sence of the word except they get public money. They don't act the same. They don't have to take any kid in their bounderis. They require parent involvment. They aren't required to have busses.

  • Russ K.
    Feb. 25, 2010 10:29 a.m.

    This article is absurd. I GO to Itineris Early College High School; neither of the pictures of students who purportedly go to Itineris are accurate. Both are of JATC students who attend the same building, but are students who split their time between their boundary schools and the JATC. Neither engineering nor CNA classes are available at Itineris, which ACTUALLY focuses on science and mathematics. Search for “itineris” on Google and click the second result for a far more accurate view of what our school is actually about.

    Furthermore, this article makes it sound like students at Itineris do very little all day. A class or two, maybe, and free time the rest of the day. As if. I have taken about 16 credit hours each semester for the past 2 years, including 17 credit hours over this past summer. As such, my winter break was longer than my summer break. All this was done so I would be able to receive an Associate's Degree at the end of this year. This is not at all out of the ordinary.

  • T
    Feb. 25, 2010 10:28 a.m.

    Maybe public schools will be forced to follow the charter school model(s). Removal of expensive after school programs that don't fit the "mission statement" would save money. Removal of bussing would save money and place that burden on the parents.

    Now public high schools try to fit athletics, performing arts, technical education, and college prep into their mission statement. They also must have significant ESL programs, special education programs etc. There are some students in our schools, because of their handicaps cost a million dollars to educate - and the the traditional district/schools must provide those services.

    Charter schools have a significant advantage, and parents who can find a match to their child's needs should jump at the chance at getting them enrolled.

  • Anonymous
    Feb. 25, 2010 9:40 a.m.

    It's about time we think outside the box when it comes to high school students. Those who are ready to move on should be able to do so.

  • Charters are publicly funded
    Feb. 25, 2010 9:06 a.m.

    Charter schools get their money from the same place as public schools -- the state legislature.

    There are other options for students in addition to Itinerus -- AP classes, concurrent college courses, etc. School, as in life, is what you make it. Work hard, take on extra challenges, and you will be rewarded. Many people do not succeed in life because "Success" is really just plain old fashioned hard work and they aren't willing to put in the time and effort.

  • Anonymous
    Feb. 25, 2010 8:30 a.m.

    Charter schools and the legislation that started them most definitely got us into this mess. I didn't vote for Stephenson or any other guy with an R behind his name. R in Utah doesn't mean the same thing as R in the rest of the country.

    Charter schools are NOT cheaper. They claimed they were going to be but go back and look at what has happened. Each year they have asked for and received more money. Some of that has come straight from the real schools. Each district sends money to the charters even if the students that attend them are from out of district boundaries.

    It is a complete mess and we don't have the money to clean it up.

  • kge
    Feb. 25, 2010 8:22 a.m.

    Concern - $$$
    Innovation and Teaming with colleges - A+

    If I had a child going to school in Utah my hope would be to get them into one of these Charter School opportunities or a HS that co-ops with one of our good Technolgy Training School/Colleges. These appear to be the best options in Utah.
    Dollars/funding is always a concern in Utah with all of large families. However, public education innovatives such as this one seem to be a superior option for college bound youth.

  • @No Tests
    Feb. 25, 2010 8:14 a.m.

    Um...charter schools are public schools, and the students there take all the same tests that all the other students take in Utah. I just spent a week giving our charter school sophomores the UBSCT.

  • Midwet Member
    Feb. 25, 2010 7:57 a.m.

    Just another rearranging of the deck chairs on the sinking ship of education in Utah. I find it disturbing that this innovating charter school has so much down time for their students. Psychology, surfing the internet and filling out college applications. What an impressively stimulating academic environment! Here's an innovating idea. Adequately fund your public schools.

  • @ Anon 4:50
    Feb. 25, 2010 7:31 a.m.


    Charter schools did not get us into a mess. That would be the state legislature. Since you and I voted, ultimately it is our own fault public education is what it is. Think about it for a moment.

    Charter schools are a cheaper school model and have a long proven track record for providing both choice and quality to a child's education. This change allowing Universities and Colleges the ability to charter is long over due. Higher education will finally be able to show us HOW to build and operate a K12 school the best way.

  • wallofvoodoo
    Feb. 25, 2010 7:30 a.m.

    Sounds like a good way to get the best use out of higher education facilities & prep kids for college. One of the biggest complaints on these boards is that Utah students are not prepared for college.

  • No Tests
    Feb. 25, 2010 7:04 a.m.

    Too bad public schools don't have the opportunities like charter schools. It would be great not to have to take standardized tests and to do whatever we wanted to as a staff.

  • Anonymous
    Feb. 25, 2010 6:37 a.m.

    Charter schools do not have defined boundaries. Anyone in the state can attend any charter school, as long as you win the enrollment lottery.

    The same is really true of district schools too. If the district school is not closed to outside their boundaries enrollment, anyone can apply to attend. We are an "Open Enrollment" state.

  • Steven Jarvis
    Feb. 25, 2010 5:37 a.m.

    Technically you can go to any public school because of the Utah open enrollment act, not just the one next door. As we all know, schools don't want the competition factor so they highly discourage people out of the boundaries to enroll.

    Charter Schools are free public schools and are open to anyone. The only downside is that if there is no space, you must submit to a lottery and wait your turn. The best schools have the longest wait lists.

  • Anonymous
    Feb. 25, 2010 4:50 a.m.

    Yeah let's start more charter schools.

    We are overflowing with money right now.

    This is definitely the time to finance more and more "innovation".

    Charter schools are what got us into this whole mess in the first place.

    If the legislature hadn't made the charter mess, we would be fine.

    Instead we are now underfunding two education programs.

    Seriously someone needs to get a clue.

  • No
    Feb. 25, 2010 4:48 a.m.

    Charters have no real boundaries. The students do usually need to get their own transportation, though.

  • Ron
    Feb. 25, 2010 1:37 a.m.

    Frankly I think all these different schools are annoying and bad for kids. Just my two cents.

  • Curious
    Feb. 24, 2010 4:40 p.m.

    Is a student required to live in the same district boundries of the charter school? For example, the school being used as an example is in Jordan District, but could someone from Granite District attend or would another charter school need to be open at the redwood campus? Also, does this mean that students at the new district (Canyons?) would be excluded?