Mr. Webb.....Are you in the same boat as many of our legislators? Can't you
recognize the difference between a criminal investigation and one concerned with
the ethical behavior of our public servants?
Note other story or stories right here with the D-News about how creativity is
lacking in our country and schools. Note other story about how proponents of
the NCLB Act now realized they made a mistake. High-stake testing does not
work, it does not improve our schools. Judging a school by a small battery of
tests is also insipid. Using this to further starve public education is this
state is inexcusable.
Everybody knew that the west side schools would get low grades and the east side
schools would get high grades. These "grades" are just another poke in
the eye to the hard-working teachers on the west side. Anybody who thinks the
legislature will actually do something for these schools is up in the night.
Webb did you seriously write - "Lawmakers want to work with educators to
make the system better."? Then why didn't they work with a educators
when creating this bill?
The grading of schools is yet another attempt by the legislature to improve K-12
by intimidation rather than what has for years been needed in Utah--long-term
planning for the geometric population growth we're into and the
development of a dedicated, reliable stream of revenue to fund adequately beyond
just for growth. By ALL national and international measures, teachers in Utah
are overburdened, undersupported, and undercompensated as professionals. Of
late in the bargain, they're micromanaged to the point of discouragement or
to leaving for greener pastures. The grading of schools is only the latest
installment in a long-running story. The goal of public
education should be engaged students and parents, the recruitment and retention
of the very best teachers, and without exception classroom environment in which
learning can thrive. Total commitment to that goal has, over many years, won
countries like Finland, South Korea, Singapore, Canada and Japan top
international results in public education. It can in Utah, too.
If you need an experienced speaker on the subject, I'm in the phone book.
Good teachers know how to use assessments and determine their validity. We need
to all be like the good teachers and see what is good about this grading system
and keep that while replacing what doesn't work with better grading
The school grading law simplifies a complex issue. There are currently six
different accountability reports for public schools including School Improvement
Plans, UCAS, and now school grading.The truth is that this is a failed
system. It is designed to paint our public schools in a negative light. What
follows the grading schools is a "parent trigger" law which permits
schools with a D or an F to flip to a charter school. The "parent
trigger" is on the Master Study Resolution" for interim.Proponents
of the grading schools state that parent trigger was not their intent. Well, it
certainly was someone's intent in the legislative body. This is grading by
zip code. Instead we should be putting resources into wrap-around services for
high-need schools.Lastly, charter schools on the whole do NOT do better
than our traditional public schools. Why then would tax payers sit by and allow
for our education dollars to be funneled into charter schools which are not
outperforming our neighborhood schools? Do not be fooled by those who say
this is about transparency-it is an anti-public education agenda.