Comments about ‘Economic concerns arise as fewer Utahns have college degrees’

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Published: Thursday, Jan. 12 2012 9:10 p.m. MST

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Mukkake
Salt Lake City, UT

The problem isn't just that fewer Utahns are obtaining college degrees, but that fewer people with college degrees are coming to and staying in Utah. Utah has little to offer young college graduates, in both jobs and lifestyles.

I've seen the recruiting videos that various businesses and the University of Utah produce. Its pretty much all "Come to Utah, you MIGHT be able to Ski/Snowboard for 5 months out of the year".

Utah is still seen as backward by many people, both from outside and inside Utah. Until the Utah legislature and various city/county councils decide to stop passing homophobic, anti-alcohol, and other lifestyle restrictions into law, Utah will continue to suffer "Brain Drain"

worf
Mcallen, TX

Our educators are constantly testing and comparing test scores. From this they find more ways to waste money.

Here's another comparison. Increasing welfare means a poorer educated public. This has one common denominator, a corrupt government.

Worfs law:

Corrupt governments cannot exist with an educated population.

Low intellect public leads to corruption.

Claudio
Springville, Ut

Re: Boomer Jeff

Just out of curiosity, when was it proven (outside of your mind) that immigrants were naturally dumber, less educated, and less capable at the English language than Native Americans, African Americans, Arab Americans, Hispanic Americans, Asian Americans, or the typical white person in Utah? This would be especially valuable information as many of our Republican presidential candidates, including the home favorite Mr. Romney, have suggested modifying our immigration laws so as to attract the world's brightest scholars.

Apparently Mr. Jeff needs to contact the campaigns and inform them what a terrible idea this would be as no immigrant, nor their future children regardless of their native American citizenship, can compete with those who are born Americans by...wait...the logic escapes me.

Thank you Mr. Jeff for this enlightening information. It speaks volumes.

ulvegaard
Medical Lake, Washington

Education is a vital thing and I think we should never stop trying to get more of it -- it doesn't all have to be in exchange for a degree.

I think, however, we might consider adding to the options for education. In Europe, some opt out of university schooling, and instead go for technical and skills education, i.e. going into a trade which does not require English, Social Science, History, etc. And I'm not saying that those areas of education are bad, I'm just suggesting that traditional college degrees aren't creating the results they once did. Some do better and can make a pretty good living in a trade instead of in an office. We need both, so why not provide accredited training for both ends of the spectrum?

carman
Wasatch Front, UT

The biggest problem is that we are not preparing our student adequately to GO to college!

We moved from out of state to one of the better areas (top ranked HS, middle and elementary schools), and I can tell you that the schools here are a noticeable and significant step down. The biggest problems, in my judgement?

1). Too many young, inexperienced teachers.

2). Not enough emphasis on recruiting, training and retaining highly qualified teachers. In my limited experience here, I see talent jumping from the classroom to administration, or leaving the profession altogether, just so they can afford to raise their family.

3). Low pay hurts ability to hire and retain the best teachers, particularly in key areas like math and science. See #3.

4). Too much patting ourselves on the back. Our scores and college prep is ok, but when adjusted for demographics, achievement numbers turn poor, if not abysmal.

5). Parent and school system expectations are too low for our students.

The current Utah education system will fail a huge percentage of students in preparing them for 21st Century Jobs. We need to invest more and invest smarter or the long term consequences will be severe.

worf
Mcallen, TX

carman,

You sound inexperienced. The problem is not the teachers, but who micro manages them and the students.

Bad teachers are the excuse of an intrusive government. They deal the cards.

Like our commander in chief, they take no blame.

Sorry Charlie!
SLC, UT

@worf
Your comment makes no sense given that other states have a much better education system then Utah. Like Carmon we also moved here from out of state. We moved here from the east coast and I can tell you for a state that is suppose to be so concerned about children the education system here is a massive step down. You take the president to task for not taking the blame yet you try to displace blame of quality education on the local level on the president when other states are performing well ahead of Utah (46th). this is the result of a lack of leadership on the local not the federal level sorry. maybe the people of Utah should try taking some responsibility for a change.

worf
Mcallen, TX

Sorry Charlie, but I've been in all fifty states and have lived in fifteen. I lecture in many school districts around the country.

They all think they're behind everybody else in something. Something the state is not doing right. It's mostly a cry for more funding.

Districts follow the same federal guild lines and is pretty much the same everywhere. Standardized tests, teaching objectives, teaching strategies, accountability, arranging class schedules based on test scores, curriculum, behavior procedures, special ed, etc.

You can't convince me Utah is any worse than anywhere else. It's not true. People maybe different, but the central command is for everyone.

George
Bronx, NY

@orf
I would be interested to now exactly what states you lived in, having lived in Utah for many years before moving to the east coast. I can tell you there is a huge difference. There was an article siting research in this very paper just a few days ago that attested to the fact that Utah ranks forth from the bottom. now if you have some research that indicates differently iIwould be happy to look at.

carman
Wasatch Front, UT

Worf,

I have lived on both coasts and in many states in between. I can tell you FROM EXPERIENCE, the schools here are not performing at the same level as schools in other places. Mind you, Utah is not the worst I have seen, but it is close. When soci-economic and two-parent families are adjusted for, Utah is actually BELOW AVERAGE. Translated: Given our advantages, we should be doing much better than we are. Said another way, a student from a similar economic and family background in Utah does not do as well on average as his her counterparts in other areas of the country.

While I am sympathetic to your point that entrenched interests think money is the answer the everything, it is also important to note that money can be a problem for some things. Hiring and retaining quality teachers is a challenge here, as we have well below average teaching wages when adjusted for cost-of-living (39th nationally). If you want to counter my point, please do so with data. It is attitudes like yours that are keeping us from making desperately needed improvements, particularly in important areas such as math and science.

carman
Wasatch Front, UT

Worf,

Also, please not that not ONE of the problems I noted above is the teacher's fault. Most of the issues noted above are problems that can be fixed by state and local governments. So I guess in that regard, we agree that government is the problem. Perhaps where we disagree is where the solution should come from. Of course, the most important solution is at home, where parents can have a tremendous influence. But we need to focus at the policy level on hiring, training and retaining the best folks we can to work in our classrooms. Unfortunately, in Utah, this means more funding is almost certainly required.

Another issue I didn't address earlier is the common core for math. Utah, for some insane reason, has decided to go it alone with their own common core curriculum. This will mean a lack of materials, higher costs, and probably a wide variation in classroom experience depending on the nature and quality of training for our math teachers. While I agree that there are deficiencies in the way we teach math, I think the solution in this case is worse than the disease.

Rifleman
Salt Lake City, Utah

Re: Ultra Bob | 10:22 a.m. Jan. 13, 2012
"Its very hard to believe the words of the people in government and business that have done so much to demean and diminish public education"

One look at the financial mess the liberal educated folks in California have gotten themselves into shows that intelligence and book learnin' are two different things. At least Utah isn't paying billions of taxpayer dollars in interest on an ever growing debt.

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