Comments about ‘John Florez: Make the education elephant dance’

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Published: Saturday, Aug. 10 2013 12:00 a.m. MDT

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Twin Lights
Louisville, KY

Just remember that when elephants dance, those closest to it are in jeopardy.

Before we embark on radical change we better be doubly sure the new target is the right one. Otherwise, we lose a generation.

What is Europe doing? What about Asia? Surely we are not the first to encounter these problems.

Let's look toward hard facts and results. Not just "hey, this might work" solutions.

Invisible Hand
Provo, UT

Best column I have ever seen by Florez. Market discipline is the only way to make things more efficient. I get that efficiency isn't the end goal of the education system, but a market based approach will also offer far more options and choices.

The Hammer
lehi, utah

How does the market place affect the classroom? Do students compete for placement or do teachers compete for students? If you want better mastery among students than provide more incentive for them to compete. If you want better teachers than pay a better wage. Its simple economics. The stakeholders are the kids and parents. The teachers are the ones that know what works and what doesn't and the administrators are too busy competing for the next rung on the ladder to know anything.

Mike Richards
South Jordan, Utah

Mr. Florez hit a homerun. What an excellent article. He is thinking independent of the government. He is thinking independent of the school board. He is thinking about the people who pay the bill (and expect value) and he's thinking about the students (who expect a return on their investment of spending twelve years in the classromm).

I particularly liked: "Utah's policymakers should do what Gerstner did to IBM, change the organization's culture from internally and process driven to customer driven — students, parents and taxpayer. Stop asking the same people who preserve the problems needed to be solved. Start surveying and asking the customers about the service and product they receive and what improvements they suggest. Just don't ask the professionals to do the survey or pick the customers."

Steve Cottrell
Centerville, UT

To those who think education (in Utah) should be run more like a business, I would suggest that will never happen because education is not funded well enough (in Utah) to be run like a business.

Twin Lights
Louisville, KY

Though business does have lessons to teach education, let's all take a step back and look at the college marketplace. We have colleges that are private non-profits (like BYU), state supported schools (like U of U) and for profit schools (like ITT).

Now, which model produces the best education? Not the for profit model.

So, before we run helter skelter toward making education "market driven, based on customer and public need" we should think long and hard about what we want our system to do.

American Fork, UT

Making education outcomes based on customer and public needs might not work when the customer and public aren't that bright. We need to raise the bar, not keep it level with what the past has produced.

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