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Comments about ‘Randy Shumway: Innovation is key to a better education system’

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Published: Tuesday, July 5 2011 12:00 a.m. MDT

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Orem Parent
Orem, UT

Yet another "innovation" article. There is no magic innovation that is going to change funding for education.

Charter schools are a drastic failure that continue to be held on a pedestal by some people. Here in the Dnews there was an article a while ago that said 37% of charter schools were performing "significantly worse" than the real schools. Not just a little worse, significantly worse.

For ever successful charter school, I can name a LOT more just as successful normal schools. That is what is never spoken of in these articles. Why are we not looking at the successful normal schools and seeing what they are doing within the existing system?

Why does there have to be some magic innovation? Our schools already have many years of practice. Anybody with experience in education knows it all comes down to one thing. Parents.

We keep wanting to blame the failures of our kids on the schools when in reality the failure of the kids that don't do well in school comes down to the parents.

That isn't cool or hip to say these days. It is easier to blame it on the "bloated education establishment".

It is the parents.

RedShirt
USS Enterprise, UT

The problem isn't finding innovation. The problem is getting the Teacher's Unions to accept the innovation. If you do some research, the innovative teachers are either beaten into conformity or else leave the education system.

To "Orem Parent | 7:56 a.m." there has to be something said about the bloated education system. If we spend $5000/yr per student, and the average classroom has 25 students, that means that there is $125,000 of funding there. So, if teh average teacher salary is $50,000/yr, and benefits and payroll taxes cost another $40,000/yr, that means that there is about $35,000 for building maintenance, and administration per classroom. If the average elementary school has 3 classes in each grade level, there is $735,000/elementary school to pay for administrative people, and mainenance. Assuming that the administrative and maintenance costs are 3/4 of that amount, that still leaves $184,000/yr per school missing. Where does that money go?

If money is the problem, why is it that places like Japan can spend less than we do and get better results?

Irony Guy
Bountiful, Utah

Restructure all you want. Innovate all you want. None of it makes any difference as long as our culture continues to devalue learning and reward short-term financial gain as the only way to happiness. When I was in college maybe 20 percent of us were business students. Now it's like 80 percent. Every university looks like a crowd of zombies heading into the business school to learn nothing -- it's a content-free education where they play case-study games all day. Take it from one who taught in the business school and watched it turn into a diploma mill.

Chuck E. Racer
Lehi, UT

Research of the last twenty years showed that of the things we can do outside of the family, smaller schools was most likely to improve education. Smaller schools are more likely to happen in smaller districts. Have we done anything about that, especially in Utah where we have some of the biggest schools and districts? Very little. Yet we keep hacking at the leaves with programs or vouchers, calling it "innovation" and "competition," instead of getting at the roots of much of our problem, namely size of both schools and school districts.

We also DON'T need more constructivist philosophy programs like open schools, whole language or investigations math either. These "radically new" programs have been tried over and over without success, usually causing blame after their failure to be heaped upon the teachers who were forced to do them without their input.

I just get so tired of these arm-chair coaches telling us what to do without a clue of what the classroom is really like.

Screwdriver
Casa Grande, AZ

Quote"The answer is a resounding yes. In order to truly innovate we must try and fail"

Thanks for volunteering other people's children for the experiment. I guess teacher's wouldn't know anything - no need to do anything they suggest like go back to smaller classrooms.

These geniusues are chomping at the bit to reinvent the educational wheel that fundamentally hasn't changed in millenia ( because it works).

The best education is a really good teacher and only a few students. Everything else is a compromise. I've seen how much more a private tutor can teach my daughter in math than a teacher with 30 kids.

As far as I can tell the Cisaro Group is a right wing think/do tank trying to privatize the entire world for greed.

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