Utah: 'Not even close' to closing the poverty gap


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  • CougarBlue Heber City, UT
    June 21, 2011 3:45 p.m.

    Students who drop out of school wind up most often having children who are not successful in school. 34 years in eduction gave me opportunity to see children and a few grandchildren of former students who dropped out or made little effort to succeed in school. A great majority of those children and grandchildren had learning difficulties. The parents did not avail themselves of the education and thus were not in a position to help their children, who were not successful in school and then their children inherited this lack of successful education environment in the home. Alas when they got to school they were not prepared. But we expect the school to change within a very short time this generation issue. If parents do not spend the time helping their children read and write and think then the child will most likely not be successful in a school setting.

    When we talk about the "sins" of the fathers/mothers on the heads of the children this is a case of that happening.

  • squirt Taylorsville, ut
    June 19, 2011 12:48 p.m.

    It is a bit hypocritical to reprimand someone for name calling while at the same time making a blanket statement about the "UEA NEA agenda". Clearly you do not know that their "agenda" as you refer to it. Their mission is to create a great public school for EVERY child. People who live in glass houses should not throw stones.

  • squirt Taylorsville, ut
    June 19, 2011 12:43 p.m.

    Other Shoes,
    TFA participants do not stay in education and as far as charter schools go, they do not do as well as our traditional neighborhoos schools. So to suggest that they are better is not accurate.

  • squirt Taylorsville, ut
    June 19, 2011 12:38 p.m.

    I am absolutely appalled at some of bigoted comments posted in regards to this article. Children are the innocent victims and to suggest otherwise is shameful.
    As for Senator Stephenson's comments about mediocrity, it speaks volumes to his ignorance as to the realities facing our traditional public schools. Simply another bigoted comment. So sad.

  • worf Mcallen, TX
    June 18, 2011 3:27 p.m.

    There are many, many people who live in old broken down school buses and cars with no running water or use of electricity. Many! I've witnessed with my own eyes by visiting in all fifty states. I've lived in several of the fifty. I know for a fact what I'm talking about. Many of these people have found housing, utilities, and food because of government entitlements. Without it, third world country. Over half of our people are on it and the country is transforming.

    I was not born in the USA. My first nine years was in poverty, and I hope to be wrong on my assessment.

  • OthersShoes SILVER SPRING, MD
    June 18, 2011 11:16 a.m.


    I'm not going to attempt to push my values towards immigration into this forum; while we are all immigrants, the recency of our immigration is typically what is focused on.

    Utah's specific situation, what the article focuses on, suggests that low-performing students are hispanic and poor (to be blunt). However, hispanic or not, many low-income schools struggle with English proficiency.

    My school, which is 95% African-American and 5% hispanic is on par with these schools proficiency levels in English and Math. To bring immigration into this picture wouldn't accurately reason our problems. If we continue to pursue the idea that we are educating other country's children, we'll continue to scale back to the next "inferior" race, African-Americans (when it comes to school achievement gaps and poverty). I'm not suggesting that you think this way but to bring immigration into this argument is problem avoidance, not mediation.

    When it comes to those innovative programs I was speaking about- they are indeed programs that would cater to students needing to build English proficiency. Take a look at the Knowledge is Power Program (KIPP)- cheaper per pupil than the school's for the states they are in.

  • OthersShoes SILVER SPRING, MD
    June 18, 2011 10:48 a.m.


    To suggest that we should not educate impoverished children under the assumption that they are illegal children, to me is bigoted. To state something as bigoted, is not name calling per se, it is classifying rhetoric.

    If you read my comment closely, my intention was to suggest Utah subscribe to effective programs. Teach for America and the charter movement are not supported by UEA or the NEA, so I'm certainly not attempting to indulge on their agenda.

    Setting aside that argument, take a look into programs like Teach for America or Charter schools that are specifically catered to hispanic integration; who also spend less money per pupil than any state does that they are currently in.

    I'm no expert on Utah's policies, but as an advocate to low-income schools (I teach at one of Maryland's poorest middle schools) I encourage you to go to BOE meeting and ask questions about fiscal policies for low-income students.

    If we allow change in our schools to happen, we could save a lot of money and better educated our "other country's children".

  • Kermit Kaysville, UT
    June 18, 2011 10:30 a.m.

    You are taking the marriage research out of context.  The research you are quoting is that of "traditional" marriage. Directly applying it to another definition of marriage is taking that out of context. Of course the joining of two incomes and sharing a common living space is going to help get one "out of poverty" because living expenses are greatly reduced.

    Respectfully, it is also perfectly legal for anyone to get married in Utah.  You can also adopt in Utah, but not in the way you seek. I speak from the position of one that is not in a "traditional" marriage. Biologically, children are only born to couples of the opposite sex. That is the way of nature. That is who we are- and a very hard thing for some to swallow because of their inclinations. Choose what you want.

  • Kermit Kaysville, UT
    June 18, 2011 10:12 a.m.

    The UEA agenda? Reduce class size and increase funding for schools. They also want teachers to have a competitive salary so that schools can "compete" for high-quality people that want to teach. We often comment want public schools to be like, or have "competition" like the private sector, and want to apply the "business model" to how they are run. If we were to introduce competitino and treat it like a business, then the first thing we would do is to raise everyone's salaries in order to comopete for the highest quality of employees, increase our investment into the company to ensure that they had the best tools, and also ensure that the class sizes were reasonable to ensure that we were being effective in getting the best "product" or "results" (successful kids) as we could.

    I don't see what's wrong about that!

  • Kermit Kaysville, UT
    June 18, 2011 9:49 a.m.

    I work in a low-income (Title 1) school, and have for the past 6 years. It has a large percentage of ethnic diversity. Almost consistenly, our lowest-performing group is not the Hispanic population, not the Asian, African-American, or Native American population. It is the Caucasian population. And, it is the low-income portion of that population that scores the lowest. On top of that, it is the boys within that population that score the lowest.

    The kids that moved into our school who knew very little English? Within two years they quickly mastered the language and were out-performing the others. They were brilliant. Honestly, all kids are brilliant in different ways, and we need to just give them the opportunities they need, with instruction on whatever level they come to us in the public school setting.

    The poor and language-challenged kids are just as worthy of gifted-talented education as the wealthy. Don't view taking a focus on teaching those kids that have high-needs academically as robbing the funds that would go to those in gifted programs. In our district the funding has been reduced in both areas. Poor does not = "ungifted/talentless"

  • Kermit Kaysville, UT
    June 18, 2011 9:38 a.m.

    I have worked in 2 low-income schools over the past 6 years and have not seen any of this. The kids picked up when asked, were grateful for breakfast, and were appreciative and responsive to the concern, help, and care given to them. I have also worked for six years in schools that were in areas of middle/high income families. A handful of the kids in the highest-income areas were the most disrespectful and lazy of anywhere I taught, by far! I had 4-5 in each class that thought they were the bees knees, and that had parents that didn't know what to to with them, except give them everything they wanted. One mother even did her own son's homework. She and two other sets of parents were smart enough to figure out that they were a major part of the problem. The iother 75% of the kids were wonderful. I'd rather tea a "difficult" poor kid than a "spoiled" rich kid any day.

  • Goet Ogden, UT
    June 17, 2011 10:38 p.m.

    Worf: when you work 90 hours just to have food to eat, come home to a one room shack with a dirt floor, have ZERO benefits and have to wait all night for a free medical exam and some aspirin, then and only then are you part of the third world.

    Having to pass on the plasma t.v. and lease and not buy that SUV is NOT 3rd world. Even the poor among us are well to do compared to many 3rd world countries.

  • Goet Ogden, UT
    June 17, 2011 10:36 p.m.

    Have: you're seeing it wrong.

    The parent is the key to success in education. That is what the research says. You're thinking about the parent as a motivational figure.

    That is only part of it. The parent is the one that brings the child into this life and provides the home life. This is the crucial part of a child's success: the home life that is provided by the parent.

    Poor, starving, abused, children who were neglected pre-K and never read to or just plugged into the t.v., running from homeless shelter to alleyway, etc.

    These are conditions outside of the control of the child and in the domain of the parent. They are the most critical.

    Add to that the motivational aspects and you can see why the parent and the child's background have much more influence than anything else.

  • Wastintime Los Angeles, CA
    June 17, 2011 10:25 p.m.

    re:Reverend Ike
    "The reason we have so much poverty is that all of the good manufacturing and resource producing jobs have been sent overseas by rich liberal environmentalists."

    Get serious
    The reason many jobs have gone overseas is WAGE RATES. As someone who oversees taxes and acquistions for a large private multi-national corporation I can tell you jobs going overseas has nothing to do with environmentalists, and nothing to do with regulations here. People in China, India, Vietnam etc. work for a few cents/hr compared to a few dollars/hr here in the U.S.

  • worf Mcallen, TX
    June 17, 2011 10:09 p.m.

    Hope I'm wrong, but with our poverty, it appears we are transforming into a third world country. Take away entitlements and it maybe so. The massive debt may delete entitlements. Our leaders have betrayed us. Both democrats and republicans. A change in spending may give us hope.

  • luna1sierra SEATTLE, WA
    June 17, 2011 6:11 p.m.

    As I see it...a good part of the problem is that both parents are busy working and the kids are raising themselves. My mom went back to work when I was 13. I raised my brothers during the week because I was the eldest. My mom and dad saw us evenings and week-ends..but sort of fazed out . No one talked to us about college or much of anything at all. Parents need to know that their kids NEED them at least until their 18-19 to help them find their way.

  • HaveANiceDay Ogden, UT
    June 17, 2011 5:01 p.m.

    Out of parent, teacher, student the most important is the student.

    You can't force anyone to learn. If the student refuses to learn there is nothing a parent or teacher can do.

    Once we get the student on board, You still will not get very far in educating the child if it is just the student and parent. If we have a student ready to learn and a teacher trained and ready to teach, the learning will follow with or without the parent.

    Parents role is simple to support and encourage.

  • Lets think Cottonwood Heights, UT
    June 17, 2011 4:24 p.m.

    Be very careful of your assumptions. Having taught biology and gifted and talented in Utah for over 30 years I have seen much change in the attitudes of the students I taught. The most difficult to teach were more often the children of well to do white U.S. citizens. They had a sense of entitlement, they frequently did not work well with others, they whined about work, they made excuses galore, they did not accept responsibility for their own poor choices, but did expect their parents to get them out of trouble.

    I have also taught many children of illegal aliens who were humble, polite and kept their noses to the grindstone. Even though English was a second language they made no excuses. They were grateful for any extra help they were given. Many of these students worked jobs after school to help their family finances. Very few of them failed my class or scored poorly on the state's core test at the end of the year. These students, if allowed to obtain citizenship, would enrich Utah's culture, communities and workforce. I wish I could say as much for the spoiled, whiny, rich kids.

  • worf Mcallen, TX
    June 17, 2011 4:11 p.m.

    The Rock,

    You're absolutely correct. Much of our society problems stem from pre-marital sex and forcing others to pay for it. Poverty in many cases result from our inability to make wise disciplined decisions. This is a major cause for our national debt.

  • Goet Ogden, UT
    June 17, 2011 4:11 p.m.

    Have a Nice Day:

    Wrong. You quoted an 80's movie in making your argument.

    Try educational research which clearly states that the background of the child is the most influential in that child's success in school.

    Translation: the parents, the poverty, etc. that the child faces everyday.

  • dlw7 LOGAN, UT
    June 17, 2011 2:45 p.m.

    Ms.Lenz has done a marvelous job of presenting the facts to a real problem in our communities here in Utah and across the United States, for that matter. We can make comments from now to kingdom come, but unless we (all of us) are willing to step up and take action by assisting our public schools and letting those people we have chosen to represent us locally and nationally benefit from our thinking, we are whistling in the dark. Again, congratulation, Ms Lenz!!!

  • Mr. Bean SLC, Utah
    June 17, 2011 1:32 p.m.

    @Pagan: "And since we have established that I factaully, cannot partake of one of the three 'golden rules'..."

    "We?" Have you a frog in your pocket?

    We have established no such thing. And you can always move since Utah seems to be, by your own expression, your nemesis. Problem solved.


    @Goet: "We are NOT in the business of free education for the world and those who get their shorts in a bind over this need to start writing in extra payments to the state on their income tax forms."

    Truer words were never typed.


    @HaveANiceDay: "The student is the most important thing in learning, teachers are the next most important, and the parents are a distant 3rd."

    Not only wrong, but dead wrong. The parent is the most important part of a student's success in school. No parental support and the student follows suit and drifts.

  • HaveANiceDay Ogden, UT
    June 17, 2011 12:38 p.m.

    To quote a great movie, The Karate Kid, :"A teachers job is to teach and a students job is to learn".

    Many students have succeeded without parents, few students have succeeded without a teacher, but no students have succeeded without trying. The student is the most important thing in learning, teachers are the next most important, and the parents are a distant 3rd. Lets start focusing on the students, not the parents, and not the money.

  • mkSdd3 Ogden, UT
    June 17, 2011 12:21 p.m.

    @rlsintx | 11:01 a.m. June 17, 2011 "If everyone commenting on this story volunteered 2 hrs a week at this school..." We wouldn't need teachers.

  • Goet Ogden, UT
    June 17, 2011 11:40 a.m.

    It is a refreshing POV to hear a school attacking the problem, inasmuch as they can. However, there is a huge stinky elephant in the room.

    To properly educate children is a three-legged stool approach. Parents, students, and teachers have to work together equally. When parents neglect their children by not reading to them, sending them to school abused, hungry, cold, and in fear, there is little to nothing a teacher can do to bring them up to par with others. Sure, you can make great strides, but they will never be on the same level as those who walk into Kindergarten reading/writing their name, with supportive 2-parent homes, etc.

    Additionally, it is NOT wrong to want the resources of our country to go to children of our country. We are NOT in the business of free education for the world and those who get their shorts in a bind over this need to start writing in extra payments to the state on their income tax forms.

  • Pagan Salt Lake City, UT
    June 17, 2011 11:35 a.m.

    '...them they can't, so stop wasting your time. Stop trying. Just sit down and cry in your beer over it.' - Mr. Bean | 10:59 a.m.

    Is that how I come across to you?

    If I was 'wasting' my time, you would not have had to reply.

    No. I think idenitfying WHY a person is unable to leave chronic poverty is a great way to avoid it.

    And since we have established that I factaully, cannot partake of one of the three 'golden rules'...I would say that is a reason.

    Don't you?

  • lost in DC West Jordan, UT
    June 17, 2011 11:19 a.m.

    reasonable person,
    where did you get your misinformation about LDS shunning birth control?

  • tmaxr Santa Rosa, Ca
    June 17, 2011 11:07 a.m.

    Our schools were ruined by Republican budget cuts. Our jobs were offshored by corporations to maximize profit. Environmentalists simply don't have the power to chase industry overseas.

    I knew a man who was muscle for Benito Mussolini when il Duce was a Socialist and head of a shipping union in 1919-1920. Mario was 20 at the time, and Italy was in a major economic slump. Mario said Duce met with corporate bigwigs, and overnight he changed. He had his old Socialist friends arrested and killed. Mario only escaped to America because he was too young and unimportant to bump off.

    Hitler and Mussolini rose to power by promising reform and efficiency, but delivering a revisionist history, police surveillance state, prisons, slave labor, torture, death camps, corporate deregulation, union-busting and WAR. Sound familiar? That's the Republican agenda for the last 30 years. Yes, Fascists made the trains run on time. But some of those trains were carrying my relatives to death camps. Corporate interests close the poverty gap by filling it with corpses. They can only do so by ruining schools so students are too clueless to see through their lies.

  • rlsintx Plano, TX
    June 17, 2011 11:01 a.m.

    If everyone commenting on this story volunteered 2 hrs a week at this school, the scores would jump dramatically and all you'd have to do is sit and help the kids learn to read in English. I've watched it happen in Texas. This would be a great project for an entire LDS Stake in Ogden to take on for 5 years...

  • Mr. Bean SLC, Utah
    June 17, 2011 10:59 a.m.

    @Pagan: "...three 'golden rules' for avoiding poverty that researchers identified over the years: (1) graduate from high school; (2) marry before having children; and (3) get a job. Unfortunately... I cannot get married to the consenting adult, of my orientation in Utah."

    There is a fourth, unwritten golden rule... 'If you find yourself in an untenable situation not of your choosing, seek with all your might to change it.'

    Unfortunately, this rule is ruled mostly worthless by some folks who say they can't... because... well, becasue they just can't. They are a victim of some unforeseen and uncontrollable circumstance not of their making. Besides which, others have told them they can't, so stop wasting your time. Stop trying. Just sit down and cry in your beer over it. Then maybe other folks will see your plight and come to your aid by making exceptions and accommodations for your condition.

  • Reasonable Person Layton, UT
    June 17, 2011 10:32 a.m.

    Maybe if the two largest religions in Utah (Catholic and LDS) didn't shun birth control, the too-large families with the too-small incomes would be able to raise their children to success.

    How many times do you see "herds" of children, running around unattended, in public? Restaurants, department stores, grocery stores? Children of all colors, with one thing in common: ONE parent trying to control them all.

  • justamacguy Manti, UT
    June 17, 2011 10:20 a.m.

    The two unwinable wars... The war on poverty and the war on drugs. No solution in site. As for Pagan, you can solve your problem. Get off you butt and move. There are places on this earth where you can practice your beliefs. Go there, get off the tack you are sitting on and stop howling. Find your demographic and let others live in theirs. That way all will be happier.

  • Miss Piggie SLC, Utah
    June 17, 2011 10:18 a.m.

    @FDRfan Sugar City, ID:

    "Perhaps one of the reasons we will always have the poor among us is to test us."

    In our capitalistic society there will always be the poor among us. There will always be the rich as well and middle class. If you want no poor, what you want is some sort of socialism. And we know what that is... government control over every aspect of life. So, you're right it is a test... a test to see if the wealthy can and will freely impart to the poor... without government intervention.

    PS: How is dear old Sugar City these days?

  • Alfred SLC, Utah
    June 17, 2011 10:02 a.m.


    "I'm going to ignore the bigotry of the comments regarding educating other nation's children...

    Then you're either naive or one of the immigrants. Immigrants, both legal an illegal, flood into this country by the droves. And they come from the poor and impoverished.... those Statue of Liberty bids to come. That's why they come... to get a better life. The rich and content have no reason to emigrate. To ignore these factors as being a significant cause of poor grades is like the ostrich who hides his head in the sand.

    "... allow for innovative teams to infiltrate these schools."

    Since the first order of business is to learn English, your innovate teams would be of questionable value.

  • Kathy. Provo, Ut
    June 17, 2011 9:57 a.m.

    formerUT I agree children that are far behind do benefit from having gifted children in their classroom, regardless of their economic status ( surprise not all gifted children come from rich families)

    But the other side of the coin is that gifted children don't benefit from the far behind students. I have children on both ends of the spectrum and believe me when I say they are teaching to the lowest levels and boring the heck out of the gifted students. Some teachers are willing to give advanced work for their students others are not. I know I have twins that were in two different classes and one teacher would not. Both were in gifted programs for everything but math because of no program for it. I am so grateful that one of the teachers felt a duty to enrich the program.

    It seems you don't believe that you can be gifted and poor and because you do well on their tests they don't really educate you to your highest level, only the lowest. Economics or race is not a predictor of a gifted child or the need for advanced programs. Who is really the bigot?

  • Reverend Ike West Algiers, LA
    June 17, 2011 9:40 a.m.

    The reason we have so much poverty is that all of the good manufacturing and resource producing jobs have been sent overseas by rich liberal environmentalists. They believe a good manufacturing/resource job can be replaced by tourism or service jobs. The problem is that it takes three or four tourism or service jobs to replace a good manufacturing/resource job.

  • Tekakaromatagi Dhahran, Saudi Arabia
    June 17, 2011 9:38 a.m.

    To "The Rock":
    "Having sex outside of marriage should be a crime."

    Yes. I agree. It makes for a lot of poverty. One time I went and told stories at a youth detention center. Young men were there because they finally broke the laws enough or big enough that the justice system got serious.

    I was telling a story about a man who ran into his father on the field of battle and his father was on the enemy's side. The father knew that if his son didn't kill him that his son would be killed. So he told his son to kill him.

    One of the young men couldn't understand the story. "How did he know that it was his father?" In this young man's world, it was not assumed that you would know your father. That explained a lot about why he was there.

    Don't have children until you are ready for the responsibility.


  • Pagan Salt Lake City, UT
    June 17, 2011 9:33 a.m.

    'Miss any one of them and there is an 80% chance that you will live in poverty. (sic) The most common route out of poverty is marriage.' - The Rock | 8:56 a.m. June 17, 2011

    This is actually statiscaly proven.

    *'Marriage an important key to avoiding poverty' - By Jennifer A. Marshall - The Heritage Foundation - Published by DSNews - 10/17/10

    '...three "golden rules" for avoiding poverty that researchers identified over the years: (1) graduate from high school; (2) marry before having children; and (3) get a job.'


    I cannot get married to the consenting adult, of my orientation in Utah.

    And if I could...?

    I still could not adopt a child in Utah due to my orientation.

    So, that's x2 out of three that I cannot do in Utah.

    Oh, and only 12 cities in Utah have laws to protect me from being fired from my job, or evicted from my home due only to my orientation as well.

    For evidence, please read the SLC Discrimination report created in July 2009.

    Page 18.

  • lost in DC West Jordan, UT
    June 17, 2011 9:29 a.m.

    it was Christ who said "the poor you will always have among you" - I didn't realize that He made bigoted statements.

    I think FDR fan was right, though we don't often agree, when FDR fan said the poor are here to test US.

    can't tell the difference between a paycheck and a welfare/unemployment check? And let's not forget that the US has LOST almost 2 million jobs (source: US Bureau of Labor and Statistics) since BO signed the dem porkulus, and unemployment has not descended below the 8% floor he promised.

  • mkSdd3 Ogden, UT
    June 17, 2011 9:17 a.m.

    @OthersShoes | 7:55 a.m. June 17, 2011 - You call people bigots, ignorant, and selfish. Shame on you. It sounds like someone needs to go back to elementary school because they forgot the lesson about calling people names. Please try harder to keep it civil while trying to push the NEA and UEA agenda.

    @formerUT | 8:22 a.m. June 17, 2011 - "disgusted", "bigotry" and "prejudice" are very strong words. Maybe you could learn a few more "compassionate", "tolerant", and "civility". Your hatred for "rich people" is noted, but did you ever stop to think maybe you were off base or misguided when making all your accusations.

    It is not bigotry to look a little deeper at a problem. Education is important to a society, therefore it is important to see where we are failing and take a look at how to fix it. Doing more than just looking at the surface is not "bigotry" as you would suggest. People just want to get to the root of the problem so they can best fix the problem.

  • FDRfan Sugar City, ID
    June 17, 2011 9:06 a.m.

    If we, as a society, focus our time and resources in the earlier years we will need to do less later. By the time students become juniors and seniors they should be able to take a lot of their classes on line with internet assignments.
    But overcrowding the classrooms in the earlier years is counterproductive.

  • The Rock Federal Way, WA
    June 17, 2011 8:56 a.m.

    Experience has shown that if you do three things there is an 80% probability that you will never live in poverty:

    1. Graduate from high school.
    2. Wait until you are twenty to get married.
    3. Wait until you are married to make a baby.

    Miss any one of them and there is an 80% chance that you will live in poverty.
    Miss two of them and you are in poverty.

    So frequently the thing that happens is that a girl gets pregnant, drops out of school and gets married. They violate all three. They also divorce early and end up as a single mom.

    Add a fourth item: If you can manage to stay out of jail the odds of never living in poverty increase to 95%.

    One characteristic of people living in poverty: Over 80% of their homes have zero books.

    Poverty is a self inflicted injury. They need help. Mostly they need help making good decisions. They need to be taught how to run their own lives.

    The most common route out of poverty is marriage.

    Our prisons are filled with people from fatherless households.

    Having sex outside of marriage should be a crime.

  • timpClimber Provo, UT
    June 17, 2011 8:47 a.m.

    Having taught in such schools for over 20 years here are three factors that effect the progress of students that were not mentioned. First, students who get everything given to them develop attitudes that they need not work or try because some one else will always fix it. For example lose or ruin a school book its OK you will just get another. Free breakfast, kids wanted it delivered to the classroom they didn't want to have to go to the cafeteria. Another factor is following directions, many of these children have never been taught to listen and obey. Get just six of these kids in a class and try and get anything done. Finally many have no concept of cleaning up. You spend half your time picking up or trying to teach them to pick up after they complete a project. Every classroom dominated by these type students needs several aids or volunteers to teach and reinforce behaviors that support academic success.

  • DeltaFoxtrot West Valley, UT
    June 17, 2011 8:41 a.m.

    We test children before they can enter college, we test them before they can enter high school. How about we test them before they can enter elementary school?

    First item on that test... a functional grasp of the ENGLIGH LANGUAGE.

    Don't care what you say about bilingual students having a leg up. Don't care what you speak at home or when among friends. This is America and we do business in ENGLISH. If you want to be educated here, if you want to work here, learn it.

    Immigrants have been coming to this nation from places around the world for over 300 years. They all learned to speak the language and adapt to American culture and the American way of life.

    If you want "your" America to be just like Mexico or China or Russia or wherever then maybe you should have stayed there. But you came here looking for better opportunities, the very least you can do is become one of us culturally.

  • Calvin Coolidge Fan MONROE, UT
    June 17, 2011 8:40 a.m.

    "We can't do anything about income, but we can do something about achievement," Lewis said.

    I would suggest this is an incorrect statement. A more correct statement would be, "we don't KNOW what to do about income"...
    Since the early 1900's our schools have taught kids to be good employees, instead of how to think and act like entrepreneurs. Best thing these schools could do to help the families of their kids, is to offer free night time classes that teach the parents how to be entrepreneurs. Granted it is expensive to start and run a business, but there are plenty of home based businesses that really work, that cost less than $100 to get started, and less than $100 a month to keep running. The organizations that provide them offer all the support without the risk to the entrepreneur. Best of all would be to teach the parents how to develop the proper mind set. Help them get out of the poverty mindset by teaching them to develop an abundance mindset. I would teach these classes for free if someone asked me to. But surely there are others close by who can help too.

  • Truthseeker SLO, CA
    June 17, 2011 8:24 a.m.

    Most likely these ESL children are U.S. Citizens, and represent the future of our country. It is nice to read some of the measures being taken to reach these struggling children and their families. Sadly, in some States and on the federal level the Republicans are cutting the funding for programs like Head Start ($1B) WIC (Women Infants and Children nutrition program) will lose $758m, and other programs which provides funds for subsidized housing for poverty stricken families are also being cut. Welfare reform in the 90's put in requirements for recipients to work and limits on benefits however the downside is often children being left alone to essentially raise themselves. Now adding to the equation are attacks and defunding of Planned Parenthood which provides low cost birth control and medical care.
    Today, statistically in the U.S, a wealthy person is likely to remain wealthy, a poor person likely to remain poor and those in the middle are just as likely to move down in income class as move up.

  • formerUT Osawatomie, KS
    June 17, 2011 8:22 a.m.

    I am disgusted by the bigotry and prejudice in these comments! "We always have the poor among us". Yes--what a bunch of bigotry!!!

    I'm glad the article started with an example of a parent who has NOT segregated her child into supposedly "better" charter schools--and who seems to not be accepting the lie that supposed "gifted" children are being "left behind" because of spending money on those who NEED IT THE MOST.

    To you rich people out there: your children already have EVERY benefit on this planet. They do NOT need to be segregated into schools that will only repeat the lessons of bigotry toward "the poor" that you all obviously have "learned". What they need to learn is how to interact and openly accept EVERYONE--for whom they are. They CANNOT do that in segregated schools. Segregated schools will only make the poverty issues worse, NOT better.

    I can say this from personal experience! As a child who grew up in a supposedly "low performing" school--in poverty--who now has a PhD--I benefited THE MOST in education by going to an integrated school--where "the rich" were "among" us--as much as the poor!

  • Pagan Salt Lake City, UT
    June 17, 2011 8:20 a.m.

    Of course not.

    *'Republicans kill Senate jobless aid measure' - By Andrew Taylor - AP - Published by DSNews - 06/24/10

    *'Senate Republicans - again - kill bill for jobless aid' - By Stephen Ohlemacher - AP - Published by DSNews - 06/30/10

    (After 2010 Midterms)

    *House GOP blocks bill to extend jobless benefits By Andrew Taylor AP 11/18/10

    *John Boehner: If GOP Cuts Cause Federal Job Losses, 'So Be It' - Huffington Post - 02/15/11

    *'GOP concedes Medicare vouchers unlikely to advance' - By Ricardo Alonso-zaldivar - AP - Published by DSNews - 05/05/11

  • Gosh-DUH Burlington, CT
    June 17, 2011 8:12 a.m.

    Congratulations to Greg Lewis for identifying that the problem of poverty is NOT income. Raising expectations demanded of both parent(s) and children is the answer. Reading skills are absolutely essential.

    But while just 23 percent of the district's incoming kindergartners were measuring at benchmark at the beginning of this school year, 93 percent of them were by the end of the year, said Greg Lewis, Odgen School District's executive director of curriculum and instruction. Lewis attributes much of this to a higher focus on literacy this year and the ability to hire more teacher aides through the state's K-3 reading initiative.

  • FDRfan Sugar City, ID
    June 17, 2011 8:06 a.m.

    Perhaps one of the reasons we will always have the poor among us is to test us. Where would you be if not for Gods intervening hand: a piece of cosmic dust floating somewhere in space?

  • Kathy. Provo, Ut
    June 17, 2011 8:01 a.m.

    Spending all the money on children with low English skills means no money left over to work on the gifted children's programs. No child left behind really means no child out ahead. Low English skills translates illegal immigrant. Immigrants that have been here generations speak the English language.

    Bill Gates family had lots of money but they also used it to put him in the best school with cutting edge technology. They enriched the learning of a bright student and the whole world has benefited.

  • FDRfan Sugar City, ID
    June 17, 2011 7:58 a.m.

    "We as a community are obligated to help give these students a fair chance, to help them break the chains of poverty," Jesse said. "If not, we are a segregated society and that speaks against everything America is about."

    Great article. I hope Utah's legislators read this article several times. Utah is the best hope to set the example.

  • OthersShoes SILVER SPRING, MD
    June 17, 2011 7:55 a.m.

    I'm going to ignore the bigotry of the comments regarding educating other nation's children and ignorance/selfishness towards immigration and suggest that Utah try to subscribe to what many of the other effectively growing school systems in the country are doing; allow for innovative teams to infiltrate these schools.

    Teach for America is successful wherever it goes and prepares its teachers to navigate modern issues in high-poverty classrooms.

    With Teach for America often comes a wave of new thinking often generating new programs and charter schools- having KIPP schools in West Valley would be a pretty amazing feat for a state known to stick to traditional education practices

  • Florien Wineriter Cottonwood Heights, UT
    June 17, 2011 7:09 a.m.

    I realize there are reasons for the wide gap in achiements between students attending schools with high poverty and low poverty levels. I believe a contributing factor is the growing income gap between the wealthy and the poor. Statistics indicate there is an increasing number of middle income families dropping down to a low income status. Poverty is an increasing problem that effects all aspects of our society.

  • Say No to BO Mapleton, UT
    June 17, 2011 6:43 a.m.

    We always have the poor among us, but this problem is largely self-inflicted. Growth in the United States is attributed to immigration, both legal and illegal. Since 1970 the USA has had replacement-level fertility, yet we grow. How? Through immigration, much of it from the Third World. This is compounded by our chain migration policies, based on relatives, not skills. We are importing needy people in large numbers.
    Who decided that for us? The globalist elites.
    Suggested reading: The New Case Against Immigration by Mark Krikorian.

  • tom_e Kaysville, UT
    June 17, 2011 6:42 a.m.

    "about one in four students at Club Heights is considered a limited English speaker" It is so nice of us to educate the foreign nationals.