Comments about ‘Utah: 'Not even close' to closing the poverty gap’

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Published: Thursday, June 16 2011 11:00 p.m. MDT

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Kaysville, UT

"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.

Say No to BO
Mapleton, UT

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.

Florien Wineriter
Cottonwood Heights, UT

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.


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

Sugar City, ID

"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.

Provo, Ut

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.

Sugar City, ID

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?

Burlington, CT

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.

Salt Lake City, UT

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

Osawatomie, KS

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!


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.

Calvin Coolidge Fan

"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.

West Valley, UT

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.

Provo, UT

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.

The Rock
Federal Way, WA

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.

Sugar City, ID

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.

Ogden, UT

@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.

lost in DC
West Jordan, UT

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.

Salt Lake City, UT

'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.

Dhahran, Saudi Arabia

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.


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