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Comments about ‘Students are seeing fewer days in school’

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Published: Saturday, Feb. 5 2011 12:31 a.m. MST

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c00kster
Provo, Utah

Public schools are slow to change their ways and our society as a whole needs to take a hard look at the way education is structured. Given that we have the technology to deliver content over the internet, and the availability of computer adaptive testing (where a student's answers--right or wrong--dictate the nature of the next questions), etc., just how large a factor does "babysitting" play?

Do parents really want their children at home more often?

I don't think so.

I believe you could cut out 50% or more of what passes for "education" if babysitting wasn't a factor and resources were directed to home based education via the internet.

It could work...but unless we are willing to acknowledge the elephant in the room (the babysitting factor), then education will continue to progress at its elephantine pace and we'll be wringing our hands and worrying about how far we are falling behind the Chinese, Koreans, Japanese, etc., as a result of our poor educational system.

GWB
West Jordan, UT

Wow, what a great way to outcompete our rival nations.

In the last 3 years, China started graduating more PhD engineers and scientists than the USA. India is less than 5% away from matching the US output too.

So, while the backbone of programs like the space race, our leadership in medical innovations, and our development of high tech weapon for the military (you can't make these things without highly educated/trained scientists and engineers) is slipping away.

Cutting the days in the class room does not help us maintain our leadership position.

Seems to me that the people screaming about keeping taxes low really just want us to compete with India and China by producing workers who are happy with low wages.

Raise my taxes and keep the kids in school!!!

metamoracoug
metamora, IL

I would have no problem with kids spend less time at school if they were getting a better education at home. Most of them, however, are not being given chores, have no family responsibilities, and are allowed unlimited access to whatever electronic devise they want to entertain themselves. As parents (yes, I include myself!), we've forgotten that it is what our kids learn at home that will ultimately serve them best. As parents, we need to be the best educators of our children.

TeachLove
West Jordan, 84084

As the saying goes, "You get what you pay for." And Utah's education system is no exception. Through their refusal to adequately fund education, our legislature seems bent on making sure Utah's public school system continues to drop in quality. Fewer days in school, more kids in each classroom. Hmmm, seems like Utah's motto ought to be "Stack 'em deep and sell them cheap."

Cedarite
Cedar City, UT

One way or another, Utah will get rid of that pesky evil communist public education, even if we have to whittle it down corner by corner over several years! We need to save all our money for undefendable symbolic message bills so we can beat our chests at the evil communist feds.

utahsshellgame
South Jordan, UT

The headline should read; "Administration in Public Education should be cut in lean times, Student services are cut instead".

Public Education in Utah is funded better than most States. Only the small pot of the WPU is kept intentionally low.

It is a lie and a manipulation to say Utah has the lowest WPU in the nation. Other States count local property taxes, etc. into the calculation.

Utah has the highest class room size, fewest school days, and lowest salaries for teachers in their first four years of teaching. With all this, it is easy to "Feed the Pig" of the UEA/ Public Education increases.

Utah population does not seem to notice that we have the Highest administrator salaries, the finest buildings, and a glut of teacher supplies.

Support equalization of school funding before you support raising taxes!

jotab
Salt Lake City, UT

Dear Uthasshellgame,
Please give some data to back up your misguided and ridiculous claims. Seriously, glut of teacher supplies, lowest salaries for teachers just in their firs four years, and highest administrative salaries? I suppose the groups such as the Chambers of Commerce, EDC Utah, and other noneducational groups that are calling for greater investment in education are wrong as well.

You say we have the finest buildings but support equailization which is only designed around capital outlay for buildings, that seems odd.

Non-partisan groups such as the Utah Foundation have provided excellent research to show our lack of effort in funding and what it would provided to our students. Go to their website and get some real facts!

teacherscreener
Layton, UT

Five days? I have students that leave on vacation for longer than that. Not just leave for vacation, but do so after a long, 2-week winter break. Glut of supplies? I have spare pencils and pens that I pick up from the hallways before the custodians sweep. In doing this years' taxes, my wife tells me that she is finally getting tired of having to buy so much for school supplies for my students. Oh, and just to set the record straight, I, and many of the teachers you put down, are still spending those five days correcting papers, creating lesson plans, and stressing over the amount of information that will drain from these students' heads before they return. How about for the five days, parents turn off the TV and game systems, take away their phones and ipods, and set them to reading, visiting the library, going to the museum, or even having them do the homework they haven't yet started that was probably due two weeks ago. It's time for parents to also get a backbone with their children, and be part of the solution, not part of the problem.

jery27
Bountiful, Utah

That is pitiful. I go to Woods Cross High School and when I heard that they were going to cut two days from the school year, I was appalled. It's really very scary when the schools can't afford to stay open for as long as they should have.

And yet, we still spend money one things we don't need! My family got a letter earlier this week asking for donations for a $60,000 marquee the school wants! How dare they ask for money for such a useless thing. They could spend that money on so many other useful things, like the art department which has nearly run out of funds. It's disgusting

Abe Sarvis
Cedar City, UT

I assume they're cutting the days when they study how the state legislature works.

FreeThinker
Magna, UT

"Give a man a fish, and feed him for a day."

"Teach a man to fish, and you feed him for a lifetime."

"Teach a man to teach others to fish, and you feed a community"

The above are paraphrases of the oft used sayings about helping someone out.

I am not going to comment on if taxes should be raised, if teachers are doing a good / bad job, if administrators should / shouldn't be paid less.

All I want to get across is that the value a society places on educating itself will go a long way toward dictating how that society with ultimately benefit / not benefit in the future. As a society, we need, every one of us, to value education. If we are a parent, we need to teach that to our children in word and deed. If we no longer have children at home, we need to promote this to those who view us as a positive influence. Society does not die from the top down, it is generally from the bottom up. It is time to put the proper value on education. Starting with me.

Alta Dude
slc, ut

Well parents, you get what you pay for. If you want to crowd the schools with a dozen kids, yet still take all those tax exemptions, this is what happens. Just one more reason I send my kids to private school. And public school teachers, what's with all the breaks? Schools starts, then you immediately take 3 days off for UEA? Then a bunch of random Mondays and Fridays for "comp days" and "grade transmittal days"? And nothing is more socialist than a school district. Look at how many administrative positions there are, with useless employees feasting on YOUR tax dollars. Good luck to any kid who attends public school.

Chickenchaser
Centralia, WA

Sorry Jotab. I have subbed in Cache Valley and loved it. Am now a North Westerner keen to the horrendous and universal waste in public schools coast to coast. I have picked up many pencils some of which were intentionally broken. No pencil no work.

Just call any school paper suppliers and get a dose of the expense incurred in paper consumption alone.

With gunshy administrators booting kids out of school for making a diorama with three inch soldiers holding inch long guns, and suspending a West Point bound student for five weeks because of an emergency kit containing a two inch knife I wonder. School tech equipment competes with ipods and cell phones, and you punish the hardworking conscientious??

BiggAl
Hurricane, UT

Free Thinker, Once in a great while one of these "comments" is well written, concise and is meaningful. Your comment today wins the prize for this week! Well done!!

Utah Dem
Ogden, UT

FreeThinker - I have also heard, "Teach a man to fish and he will be gone for the weekend."

I don't believe any state has the answers to what ails education - whether it be public or private. I don't see either of these systems producing the geniuses that many of you are expecting.

Alta Dude - you truly are making up your own 'facts'.

jery27 - so what did you do about the marquee issue? Anything? Did you contact the school and voice your disapproval?

metamoracoug is right - far too often the problems lie with the parents and home environment which is where education's foundation is built.

Hutterite
American Fork, UT

They might as well not be in school anyway; they don't want to be there and just waste it when they are.

VIDAR
Murray, UT

I wish I only had to work 180 days a year

TeachLove
West Jordan, 84084

To Vidar - be a teacher and 180 days is all the days you get to be paid for. Oh wait a minute, you will also get 21 more hours to put together a classroom for the year, prepare curriculum for the entire year, grade papers, give out grades, learn how to give the students a mountain load of mandated tests, learn how to interpret the results of those tests, and then take down the classroom for the summer.

Steve Cottrell
Centerville, UT

The WPU allocated by the state for funding is not the total per pupil expenditure in our state. But when we add in property taxes and anything else including federal funds that helps to fund education in Utah, we still are lower than any other state in TOTAL FUNDING per student. In fact we are less than 60% of the average total funding per student.

As far as the number of school days, in 1959 when I graduated from Davis High School, the days per school year was 172. I've still got the old report cards to document that number.

c00kster
Provo, Utah

It's always a useful trip to that website that lists all of the teachers' salaries/benefits and try not and pull out a violin at the complaints that $50-75,000 a year for 9 months work is a burden. Sure, teachers who are just starting off are paid less, but go ahead and see what your child's teacher is being paid before you feel too badly for them. Public info like this is categorized as part of UTAHS RIGHT to know, if you catch my drift.

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