I taught elementary school for 32 years. I taught 4th, 5th and 6th grades. I
spent 12 years teaching special education. It is a fact that 30 students in one
classroom with one teacher WILL NOT get the individual instruction and attention
needed to succeed in school. Fully one third of the students in the 4th, 5th
and sixth grades will NOT be at grade at the end of their 4th, 5th and sixth
grade years. The success rate in k-3rd grade level is even worse. The k-3 grades
are where a student should learn the basics of reading and writing. If they do
not leave the third grade at or near grade level they will fall further and
further behind by the time they reach High School. If a study were made of the
students who drop out of high school and do not graduate the study would find
that the vast majority of those who drop out of school were reading below grade
level when they entered the 4th grade. If Utah wants to educate good students
who can do well in school and graduate from High School equipped to succeed in
life Utah needs to LOWER class sizes at all levels. There is no other way.
I also remember when Blacks and Whites couldn't go to school together. I think
we made progress. And when I went to high school way back when, class sizes
aren't as large as they are now and teachers weren't as discouraged as they are
I remember not having cellphones computers or direct tv growing up. How about
we get rid of all those. My Grandpa remembers not having indoor plumbing can we
go back to that? I remember gas only costs 50 cents a gallon I would really
like to go back to that. In case nobody gets my point, times change
things are different students are different parents are different what students
need to learn is different. How about we not pick and choose the things we want
to move into the 21st century, and lets certainly not leave education behind the
needs have never been greater.
I remember having 30+ kids in all my classes growing up.
Procuradorfiscal,I agree with you 100%. The only think I would add
is that parents need to be equally motivated and involved.But the
only way to get better teachers is to get smarter people to want to teach. Just
like how we only wanted the smartest anatomy students to become doctors, we
should only want the smartest math teachers with the best communication skills
to become teachers. I don't say this to brag, but I was in the 98th percentile
in my ACT Math, Science, and English scores. I would love to be a teacher and
I'd work hard to be a great teacher, but there's no way I can afford to go to
school for 5 years and only make $35,000. You can argue all you want that it
shouldn't be about the money and that they get a summer break, but until
salaries increase, there won't be as many of the brightest students becoming
Re: "We aren't talking about teachers getting more pay out of this. We are
talking about making certain that little kids get quality attention . . .
."We're talking about the only thing UEA/NEA cares about --
dramatically, and unsustainably increasing the number dues-paying members, so it
will have that much more cash to buy the influence of ethically-challenged
lawmakers.Nothing more.Only motivated, accountable
students and teachers will EVER produce "quality education."Always have, always will. As far back as when Honest Abe did his homework, by
firelight, in charcoal, on the back of a shovel.That's what it
takes. No big pay raise, no deranged class-size limitation, no bloated
administrator-educator ratio, no posh, over-appointed physical plant, no
overpriced, touchy-feely, self-image program -- NONE of these can produce the
leftist, equality-of-outcome demand, mindlessly lip-synced by trade unionists as
a fig leaf to cover their real aim -- total control of the information fed to
our youth.Accountability is the ONLY valid predictor of success.All the rest is socialist pap.
Goet, I know that year-round school isn't new. I did it for a few years in
elementary. I'm talking about having teachers teach smaller classes 240 days a
year for a 33% raise (smaller classes because only 3/4 classes are in session at
once). If this bill passes, we'll either build 4-8 new buildings per school and
hire 4-8 new teachers per school or we can use a year-round schedule and
increase teacher salary. That's the only way to decrease class sizes. It's
cheaper to run AC during the summer than build 20 new schools.It
didn't work before because the shorter terms weren't treated as opportunities to
evaluate. If we had end of term tests and then helped struggling students, they
could catch back up before continuing on.
when i went to high school in the 70s about average was 50 to a class at times.
it was easy to not get a good education that way. year round from my kids point
is forgeting more times a year.
Wow, is every person on that committee up for re-election? First year I taught I
had 37 in my third grade class. I am still haunted about the kids I hardly
heard read during a week. I can't think of a more beneficial bill for education,
especially since I have grandchildren in the system now. Kudos to Davis District
board members who had the courage to raise taxes for this issue. I'm grateful my
grandkids are there. The other grandchild has 17 in his third grade class out of
sportsfan: many districts have done year-round and many don't like it. Many
studies show it has little if any effect on learning and running AC units all
summer does nothing to save money.It's not a new idea.
(cont) Wouldn't it be so much better to spot which child is struggling with a
smaller set of skills rather than realizing they didn't understand much and
should repeat the grade. It's much easier to have a child come in during their 2
week break to work on multiplication than having them do summer school to
relearn multiplication, long division, and every other math skill from that
year.Other problems solved: You can take your kids on vacation
during the school year without missing school, smaller classes lead to more
personalized teaching, teachers have chances to reevaluate their teaching style
throughout the year.The only downside is for families who don't have
anyone home during the day, but they may face the same struggles finding a
babysitter during the summer.
My Dad is an Elementary Principal and when I spoke with him last night about
this, he said it would probably pass, but not get any funding. Reducing these
class size would require 4-8 extra classrooms in every elementary (1-2 per
grade). Most likely it wouldn't receive extra state funding so it would become a
law that school districts "strive for."He actually had a
good solution. The reason we have summers off is because 60 years ago kids
needed to help on farms during that season, but now it's just because we always
did it. He suggested going year round and having 6 week mini semesters then a
two week break, but alternating which students were on break so that teachers
were constantly teaching. This would save so much money. We would have smaller
classes without building more schools, teachers could work a full year and we
could pay them accordingly ($44,000 to start rather than $33,000), and students
would be evaluated every 2 months rather than once a year (cont)
Senator Stephenson: "If we're not able to get this fiscal note funded, we
ought to push the bill forward anyway and begin to impose a standard for these
grades that you have identified," Stephenson said. He suggested that since
districts already receive state dollars for class-size reduction, there ought to
be a standard in place to ensure they actually do it."Dear,
dear senator-- The schools, principals, and teachers are not the source of the
students. They do not create all the babies. How are they to reduce class size
without hiring more teachers? The "state dollars" for class size
reduction actually bought about .02 teachers per student. So, if a school has
500 students and 14 teachers (at a class size of 35.7), it would have to hire 21
more teachers to get the class size "down" to 23 students.Take another look at your "class size reduction bill," Senator. It
didn't scratch the surface.Placing the burden of Utah's burgeoning
youth population on the backs of teachers and schools, and expecting exceptional
results, is no longer a reality.
EJM you don't need to be appalled at some of the posters. They LIVE to get on
and post something about UEA every day. It is like their morning cup of coffee.
They can't live until they spew out some anti-teacher comment. It really is a
sad life but several live it day after day.I am applauding this bill
as well. It is great that we have a few teachers in the legislature to produce
a couple of bills that actually improve education.I would also like
to see this expanded into all of the elementary grades. Start it out and just
expand it each year. When it gets to junior high, certain subjects can probably
deal well with bigger classes but not all of them can. There is no way a core
class should ever have more than 30 kids. Some of my kids' classes have 40+.
Keep up the good work and maybe we can make this a legislative to
remember instead of trying to forget it before February is over.
Someone in your hierarchy should be trying to get solutions to your long trend
of nation-leading suicide and depression stats...My father was
superintendent, principal and teacher in Idaho. We moved to southern Cal in the
'60's and his eyes were opened. He and my mother taught for 35 years there and
always lamented the sad state of education and teacher salaries in Utah and
Idaho. After they retired to St. Geo in '90, they couldn't believe the appaling
lack of progress in educational issues. For the past 20+ years my mother has
been subbing on the side. She eventually refused to sub in Utah, "where
they do not value their teachers". So she drives into Nevada and subs for
almost double the salary.This isn't about greedy finances. It's
about valuing your educators and your students. She could sub every day of the
week, if she chose. But back in the 90's she decided to refuse employment by a
system that paid her teenage grandson more than it did teachers with masters and
higher education degrees.What would that frontier founder say today
of the empire he forged and the emphasis he preached on education?
I'm just amazed at the negative comments from posters against this bill. This
has nothing to do with NEA/UEA or any other organization. This is plain old
common sense. Young students just starting out in school need more one on one
time. Having 30+ students in kindergarten does not ensure that quality time to
help that student with the basics. We aren't talking about teachers getting
more pay out of this. We are talking about making certain that little kids get
quality attention with their education. Having 1 teacher per 18 students or 1
teacher per 30 students. Do the math here people. Think about the time
consideration. Why be against this? Oh, I forgot. Teacher unions brought it
up? You should be ashamed. If Senator Stephenson was the one who introduced
this bill all of you negative posters would think that it was the greatest idea
since sliced bread. Jeez.
I don't support teacher unions or the typical administration in our schools. I
am glad, however, that the state passed this law. While we have many problems
that need to be fixed before we have truly educated students coming out of our
schools, lowering the class size is one of the important things we need to do
first. With this approach, it need not cause more spending. For one thing, the
school systems could reduce the amount of overhead in each school. There is
little desire on the part of most school organizations to cut cost, but
hopefully this can force them to learn to do more with less. Productivity has
long been missing from our schools...maybe this will get it started.
This is just a way for the teachers' union to force more spending at a time when
everyone is having to tighten their belts.
We don't need more money to lower classroom size. We need parents to be
responsible and have fewer babies. We can achieve that by making only the first
two children deductible on income taxes. This will be a more effective way to
lower classroom size. Watch out for teachers and their unions demanding more
money all the time. They waste some of the money they are now getting. They
need to become more efficient.
Newsflash, Utah. Wisconsin has been doing this since 1995, only in our state,
the class size for SAGE funding was 15. Part of it was paid for by the state
and part of it was paid for by the local districts. Now that Republican Scott
Walker is in charge, that program is in jeopardy. I am appalled that Utah still
has such high class sizes. The Republican party likes to talk the talk of
family values, but it is less supportive of children than that platform would
procuradorfical -- That is totally false. And you probably know it.
Hood: this will do nothing for you unless you teach K-3.
Howard has been sick for awhile. Please fund this measure, I am not sure I can
handle more than 39 8th grade history students in each class. If I have to put
another desk in my classroom, I might ask for stadium seating.
They actually did something useful on day 1? That's a pleasant surprise.
Was Howard Stephenson sick?
Great idea if it is funded, if it is not funded just makes class sizes in all
the other grades go up. Another unfunded government mandate for education will
Re: "Senate committee unanimously endorses bill . . . ."So, cynical politicos leaned left and knuckled under to the UEA/NEA's wildly
inefficient and unsustainably expensive number one labor organizing goal.Hmmmmmm. I wonder why?Here's betting it has less to do with
commitment to educational excellence than with commitment to the quid-pro-quo
support offered by the educational union.
I applaud this measure--of course it takes a Democrat to recommend it. The
Republicans would be utter fools not to fund this measure.As a
secondary educator myself who teaches remedial classes, I witness every single
day what happens when students fall behind in the lower grades--they play
catch-up for the rest of their academic lives, never drawing even with their
peers who mastered basic concepts early on. While classes are overcrowded in the
jr. and sr. highs as well, I would much prefer any available money be allocated
to the lower grades. This would be a huge payoff further down the road for the
children of our state. Please, legislators, if you're reading this, do the right
thing on this one.
That sounds great but some of the class sizes and overall class loads of
secondary education teachers are ridiculous. Some individual teachers are
carrying nearly 250 students in maybe just six classes, many have 40-45
students. This can't be good either and should be addressed. And many of these
teachers don't have aides or parent volunteers that can work with the students
but rather are dealing with these students with very little support.