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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Reverend Ike
West Algiers, LA

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.

Provo, Ut

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?

SLC, Utah


"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.

Miss Piggie
SLC, Utah

@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?

Manti, UT

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.

Reasonable Person
Layton, UT

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.

Mr. Bean
SLC, Utah

@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.

Plano, TX

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...

Santa Rosa, Ca

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.

lost in DC
West Jordan, UT

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

Salt Lake City, UT

'...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?

Ogden, UT

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.

Ogden, UT

@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.

Ogden, UT

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.

Mr. Bean
SLC, Utah

@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.


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!!!

Ogden, UT

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.

Mcallen, TX

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.

Lets think
Cottonwood Heights, UT

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.

Ogden, UT

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.

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