Comments about ‘John Florez: So which kids are worth saving?’

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Published: Saturday, July 27 2013 12:00 a.m. MDT

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The Real Maverick
Orem, UT

As usual, Mr. Florez is right on.

Mr. Osmond is so out in left field... He's nothing more than a spokesperson for the Sutherland Institute.

Salt Lake City, UT

"Educate and inform the whole mass of the people... They are the only sure reliance for the preservation of our liberty."

- Thomas Jefferson

Get that, Sen. Osmond? "The whole mass of the people."

Twin Lights
Louisville, KY

I agree with Mr. Florez.

Anyone familiar with the movie/book Matilda? Obviously it is fantasy. But the concept of a child who wants to learn hitched to parents who are not invested in education is a reality.

Also, so many kids go through a period where they do no want to be in school. If the parents are not fully committed, might they just give in?

I don't dismiss the idea that there are difficulties in the current classroom. Letting some kids out of the system would glean out some problems and make it easier for those who remain. But, as Mr. Florez points out, there will be a heavy price to pay later.

Howard Beal
Provo, UT

Mr. Florez forgets some important steps, most notably the funding to make this happens. Instead secondary high school teachers often face classes with 40 or more students with many unmotivated students. In fact, some of these unmotivated students can be extremely destructive to the learning of the whole. I agree we should not give up on these students but smaller classes and classes to help these unmotivated students are needed. Many of these students would thrive in service-based, hands-on learning environments but little attention or funding is given for these concepts. Just reducing class size would give teachers a fighting chance to help these students (and all students). I don't think schools are struggling, if we accept this premise, because teachers are failing, it is because of the structure we expect our teachers, especially in Utah, to deal with makes our schools struggle. Schools need the mechanisms to help these students and give them a reason to come to school.

Ultimately, Osmond is right unless we can change what we are doing and do it better. Schools need to be more than day care centers and teachers need to be more than babysitters.

St.George, Utah

Has Osmond ever mentioned if any of this famous clad attended anything but private schools?

el steve o
Herriman, UT

This article tells one side of the story and was a waste of time to read. Why doesn't Florez share any of Osmonds own words about why he wants to pursue this legislation? Instead, this article just emotionally manipulates throughout. I don't like to be emotionally manipulated.

indianapolis, IN

Without compulsory education some children will never get any education and never be able to support themselves, which just leads to society supporting them. We need to require that all students graduate from high school and require parental involvement. Parents, especially those receiving assistance through free/reduced lunch and all its perks, should be required to attend parent-teacher conferences, volunteer in the school, etc... And parents whose children are continually in trouble, don't turn in assignments, fight in school, etc... should be fined for the extra work their child creates, as well as the disruption other students. Once parents start losing some dollars they'll get engaged in making sure their children behave and act responsibly.

Further, let's stop bringing children into the world whose parents can not or will not support them financially and educationally by requiring tubal ligation after the first child born to a welfare mother, and the same or a vasectomy for felons, drug dealers, and other criminals. In a generation or two, most children would have parents who want them, and are willingly to support them and ensure that they get an education.

Mike Richards
South Jordan, Utah

God sent children to a family, not to the government. God charged the parents to teach, nurture and care for those children, not the government. God expects accountability from the parents for those children, not from government.

Regardless of how Mr. Florez twists things, surely he does not believe that God has charged the State with the welfare of God's children. Surely he knows that there is no one better able to help a child than that child's parent. Social workers come and go. They return home to their own families every night. Teachers come and go. They don't sleep in the classroom. A family is different. The parents must never, under any circumstances, deny their obligation to their children and they must never ever allow government to dictate to them how to raise those children or how to train them.

We are not Russia or East Germany. We do not believe that the State "owns" children and that parents are just the means to produce those children - for the State's benefit.

Salt Lake City, UT

Vouchers would meet the objectives of both sides.

Motivated parents could afford to send their kids to a school they could be involved in.

The monetary difference between the actual cost of public education and the value of the voucher would give public schools enough funding-per-student to reduce class sizes.

Salt Lake City, UT

I think Mr. Flores slipped up here, "[p]arents have always had a choice in the education of their children, but without the resources, what's the choice?". I think vouchers would solve a lot of problems. And give the parents the choice that Mr. Flores advocates.

Private schools funded by parents and partially by, say 50% of the WPU funding would permit parents to have a choice in sending their children to a private company that would educate the child as the parents choose, Mr. Flores' words not mine. The balance could be enrolled in a public funded education system that could focus on the needs of the recalcitrant child or for the the children whose parents really don't care. The WPU funding could be increased per child enrolled.

A modest proposal in my not so humble opinion.

To further increase academic funding, atheletic could be curtailed or private donors solicited to support the extracurricular sports events. Or, better yet, make all sports extra curricular entirely and avoid the recent dog and pony show that the UHSAA goes through every so often over eligibility of students.

Riverton, UT

I agree with Mr. Florez. I think it's pretty obvious that for every parent that takes a greater interest in their student's education (as a result of this initiative) there will be five students that skip their education and cause trouble and expense for all of us.

Many of the comments posted here are *completely* out of line. The senator's proposal is *not* to return to parents the right to educate their children. You already have that right, remember? If you think you are competent to teach them calculus, physics, history, art, etc., then go right ahead. The senator's proposal is to give you the right to *prevent* your children from being educated by *anyone*.

hi, UT

Two words: Gonzo journalism.

Providence, UT

Florez makes some excellent points. I, too have difficulty figuring out why Osmond would say what he did when up until fairly recently he's been an advocate of reform in the way education, K-12, is funded in Utah. His about face came at about the time he abandoned a fairly public stance regarding K-12 in favor of one advocating pre-school. Then the pre-school advocacy came to a screeching halt when Eagle Forum and Sutherland Institute (at least ostensibly) came out opposed. Now, Osmond has proposed non-mandatory public education.

If you haven't seen Osmond's blog, it's still up at the state senate site, www.utahsenate.org under Majority Site. It and the 130+ comments it has generated are well worth your time. I've said elsewhere that his proposal should generate statewide discussion and debate, and I keep hoping that's why he wrote the blog piece. Otherwise all the shifty flip-flopping makes little sense and reflects poorly on Senator Osmond.

Springville, UT

I'm not at all surprised that Florez (and other radical leftists) are wringing their hands over this issue. He and his comrades have been successful in the indoctrination (and dumbing down) of our children. Of course they want this indoctrination to be forced upon all children and they fear that even just one child might become wise. Education should be a matter of choice.

Henry Drummond
San Jose, CA

It looks like the other posters here have beaten me to most of what I was going to say. Democracy requires we educate the masses. If you think that is expensive, see what ignorance costs.

Agua Dulce, TX

God might hold parents responsible, but in the meantime, society has to deal with problems as they exist right here.

The Hammer
lehi, utah

Parent already have the right to opt out of public Ed. I home school my child and all I had to do was sign a form at the district office. It was a peice of cake. Osmonds ammendment doesn't make sense and all of his shiftyness seems so odd. He talks to Educators and says one thing and listens, then he goes to other stakeholders and he listens. Then he grabs the worst ideas from both sides and tries to implement them.

Osmond is the last person on the planet making education reform in the state. He should go and be a teacher for a couple of years and then come back and tell what he has learned. Then and only then would I trust him to actually make proposals for education reform.

Springville, UT

I personally cannot figure out what the up side of not requiring children to be at school somewhere is. As an educator, I can see that it is difficult to try to teach children who do not have parental support and are not well socialized. No doubt it is difficult to have such children or teenagers in the classroom. However, is the solution to say that these kids, who already have a strike against them in life, ought to be opted out of the one thing that might help them succeed in life. Are we really saying that we want to cut off the very means that can get them to be productive members of society by not requiring them to attend school? I have a hard time believing that Utah is in such dire straits that it needs to cast off the less fortunate. What will be the cost down the road? More welfare, less employment, more teenage pregnancy, more drug use? That is just the economic cost. How about the social and emotional cost? How can we be so ignorant? Do we really think that the haves are more worthy of education than the have nots? Really?

Springville, UT

Also, my experience in the school system is that I really do have an opportunity to impact my children's learning for good if I am involved. I also get the opportunity to impact another child's learning opportunity by letting him or her get away from a difficult home situation and be able to be with other adults and children that do care about education. The real solution is to have better interventions in the elementary grades so that we don't have discouraged learners in the high school. We also need intervention in the higher grades if we still have problems. "Give a man a fish and he eats for a day. Teach a man to fish and he can feed himself." Are we really so selfish and self centered that we want to remove an opportunity for many children and teenagers to succeed because it might be more work? PS- I'm a counselor. I don't believe in giving up on the kids just because their parents don't care. In fact, I believe that is the time to get more involved, rather than less. Can you really imagine a society being full of the uneducated?

Government Man
Cottonwood Heights, UT

Thomas Jefferson from Wellsville: You are wrong in your assumption about Home Schoolers being better educated than Public School Students. A few home schooled students may do exceptionally well, but the majority are behind traditional school students. Plus, the Public School Students learn to interact and deal with social issues.

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