Comments about ‘No legislative bridge for achievement gap for Utah's at-risk students’

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Published: Saturday, March 9 2013 5:30 p.m. MST

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george of the jungle
goshen, UT

More taxable income took Mom away from home, and had baby sitters care for children. No one cares more foe the children than the child's Mom.

Magistra
Salt Lake City, UT

Closing the achievement gap is not a noble goal???? WRONG.

teachermom6
Northern Utah, UT

I love how everyone thinks that a teacher has the time to individualize student achievement in this state. Is it desirable, sure, but realistic, NO! Our class sizes in this state are huge. Also, with new common core standards implimented there is very little time in the school year to revisit skills that are supposed to be built in. As a third grade teacher, I am responsible for ensuring that my students leave my classroom with the understanding of multiplication and division as well as a small understanding of essay writing. I expect that my students come to me with the knowledge of double digit addition and subtraction and the ability to write paragraphs. There is no time to "reteach" skills they should know by 3rd grade. How can I expect to be able to achieve my goals as a teacher if I have to revisit skills taught in K-2? How will my poor ESL students ever be able to catch up to the knowledge of their peers without intense intervention by the time they reach my classroom? Our legislators must truly be blind to the needs of our diverse student populations, or think all teachers have superpowers!

teachermom6
Northern Utah, UT

As a former teacher in a title 1 school, I can definately attest to the need of early intervention for ESL students. When our students start out behind, they continue to get further and further behind year after year until students either become lethargic or drop out altogether. I seriously doubt many of our law makers have stepped foot in our classrooms and truly seen how difficult it is to teach students who have troubles with the English language, and come to us already behind. (I am not part of the UEA nor have plans to be, due to their association with the NEA.)It is truly disappointing to see this bill defeated when it could have done so much good and saved the state so much money. As this state moves to implement all of the bills aimed at teacher accountability you will see more and more teachers flock to schools where test scores will be reflective of student achievment and ability; leaving our vulnerable ESL students without experienced teachers who will make a difference.

procuradorfiscal
Tooele, UT

Re: "Closing the achievement gap is not a noble goal???? WRONG."

Liberals are straining hard, yet again, to classify this issue as one of "fairness."

Yeah, some kids learn earlier, maybe even faster than others. But, instead of acknowledging and working with biology, liberal deniers insist conservative stinginess, not human variability, or aeons of evolution, is somehow to blame.

That permits them, then, to ride to the "rescue," wielding their one-size-fits-all "remedy" to every "problem" -- chase it away by throwing giant wads of money at it.

Ever earlier regimentation and ever tighter control of young minds by ever more liberal trade-union activists, simply can't and won't change biology.

They can, and surely would, make life more miserable, both for later-blooming kids, and for Utah taxpayers.

But, then, making life better is not the real goal of "progressives," is it?

one old man
Ogden, UT

We certainly cannot be funding any programs that might someday produce better educated voters, can we?

If we do, the GOP would certainly be in big trouble.

Moabmom
Moab, UT

I'm glad this didn't pass. Young children belong in the home with their family. Was encouraged to see that maybe some of our legislators did their homework and figured out that the long term results aren't what they are purported to be. After 5 decades of the head start program, the Dept of Health and Human Services finally did an extensive report on HS and found that Among the findings, the report states: “Looking across the full study period, from the beginning of Head Start through third grade, the evidence is clear that access to Head Start improved children’s preschool outcomes across developmental domains, but had few impacts on children in kindergarten through third grade… ". The interesting thing about this report is that it did not prove favorable for those who want earlier and earlier control and influence over our children, And the Obama administration did it's best to hide the report from the public and the news cycle by releasing it late on the Friday before Christmas.

formersaltlaker
Clearfield, UT

What some commenters do not realize is that while being home with Mom is ideal, these days it doesn't happen as much as it used to. Many people in the Legislature see things only from their own perspective. In many families both parents must work. If a child can not be cared for at home, they should be in a place where they can be taught, not just sat in front of a tv. My mother was a stay at home Mom decades ago; we qualified for Head Start, and the summer before I started kindergarten I attended. I was ready for school that fall, academically and socially. I was not being indoctrinated, I was being taught. There is a difference.
All this news means to me is that, in the guise of protecting children, some Utahns are fine with letting some kids fall by the wayside. I grew up here, but I think many Utahns really do not care about children or families, beyond their own. Those who will be caring for us in the nursing home are children now. We should want the best for all kids.

Western Rover
Herriman, UT

teachermom6, why are these kids being moved up to the next grade if they still have material unmastered? Why does there seem to be a stigma against holding students back when they would benefit from repeating a year?

I attended a private school from about 6 to 14 years old that didn't have numbered grades. You could be one level in math, and a different level in English, and that was not considered unusual, much less stigmatized. Of course, that was long before Common Core, so I don't know how they do it today....

metisophia
Ogden, UT

Dayton's remarks are certainly interesting. She seems to acknowledge that students are naturally at different places in skill and understanding while at the same time wanting schools to be graded and teachers to be rated on how well the students are doing.

Then, she is part of the forces who deny proper funding to our public schools so that teachers could have all of the tools -- including smaller class sizes and extra academic support -- that are needed to accomplish the goal of helping our children learn and progress.

The doublespeak is making my head spin.

Utah Dem
Ogden, UT

Moabmom - so you only compare Sen. Osmond's bill with Head Start and ignore all the other studies and reports of the effectiveness of Pre-school. Why is that? Because it doesn't support your personal opinion? Have you spoken to any kindergarten teachers about the difficulties they face when children enter their classroom not knowing numbers, the alphabet, primary colors, or even their address or phone number?
Many parents of pre-K students would probably support this program - not looking for baby sitters but for the burden and cost of day care as well as effecting the potential of their kids.
I get that you want to be critical of Obama but the HHS report on Head Start was completed while Bush was in office, so can you at least agree that both presidents were hiding results?

worf
Mcallen, TX

george of the jungle

"No one cares more for the children than the child's Mom." How true it is!

Seems our political leaders have become our children's parent. Results:

* highest education expenditures in history
* eighty percent of HS graduates in New York who can't read
* half our children going to college are in need of remedial classes
* half our college graduates are from other countries
* half our citizens are on some form of welfare
* two thirds of our school children qualify for welfare food at school.

Politicians are not educators.--How's those standardized testing working out?

It's time for local communities to educate our children.---Call it"Community Core Education".

teachermom6
Northern Utah, UT

@ Western Rover- I am one of the few teachers who wish we could move students according to ability and not age or peer based graduation. Unfortunately, the powers that be believe in preserving the child's feelings and emotions at all cost even to their own downfall. I had a ESL student two years ago in a 2nd grade classroom who could not read, and did not recognize the alphabet. The teachers felt the child should be retained in 1st, then in 2nd. Sadly our administrator felt otherwise and the child was moved up. This made 3rd grade impossible for the child and he became nothing more than a warm chair all year...so sad. Had this child been offered a preschool program before he entered school, life could have been very different.
As teacher's it is heartbreaking to see so much untapped potential in students who do not have the opportunities of others. Not all families are middle class, have a stay-at-home parent, nor are given opportunities to learn. Some of these kids come to us with more "baggage" than many adults.

Howard Beal
Provo, UT

All I know is that having class sizes of 30 or more students in elementary and 40 or more in secondary isn't going to help any children, let alone special needs children and ESL students.

Utah has a flawed educational model. Now that the population is growing more and more diverse, this model is going to be exposed. The model was basically "stack them deep and teach them cheap" and hope that since most of the students came from two-parent families of a homogenous culture would help mask some of these problems. Again, the system will be exposed. In Utah we have remarkable teachers trying their best but the legislature has put them into very trying circumstances with little tools and technology and large class sizes while demanding high performance. I think the legislators know that this isn't going to work and their undisclosed model is to destroy public education in Utah. Whether it is to conform to the Eagle Forum doctrine (Dayton) or destroy public education to make some charter program profitable (Stephenson), it's time to wake up for the good of our children.

RunAmuckMom
Salt Lake City, UT

Just color me confused. My son struggles with severe ADHD. Up through his 5th grade year, it affects his ability to "perform" at school. Even with an IQ of 130+ he has no reportable grades for math and language arts. It's been said he is still 3rd grade levels. The only thing important to me is to help my son gain and show he can utilize skills to be a productive, responsible, contributing young man. His education is a daily constant struggle. We have a really good team support between the faculty and myself. I feel that part of the unspoken issues of what is available for the demands of learning style for my son and others like him is hindered by the standardized core, large classroom sizes, lack of time, and that teachers or school will be penalized for his performance. If he is just cattled through the education system because of age or peers is not a solution for any one. My son is not a failure but by these standards he will be labeled this way and forced into the freeway speed of life unable to handle the demands for performance.

worf
Mcallen, TX

Day light saving time is annoying, but because it's tradition, few think of deleting it.

Some of the traditions in education can be changed in a way to lower class size, while providing higher teacher pay with lower funding. Education would be vastly enhanced.

Unfortunately, very few people see it, and it would require a major over haul.

danaslc
Kearns, UT

One thing about this legislature is that no one does their homework before passing these types of law. How about these people take one day to attend a school where non English speaking children go and English speaking children are in the same class. Check it out and see if you can teach these classes. Who fails? The children fail because the teacher is a teacher not superman. Blame it on the teacher is all so easy in this state. It makes me ill. How about those who speak another language learn english and teach their children to teach english before entering school. English learning classes are free. I guess that would be to hard to do what is the best thing for your children.

Spectre23
West Valley City, UT

"at-risk students — generally defined as students from low-income and non-English speaking households"
In other words, those that should not be here in the first place, and those that don't contribute to the funding of education anyway. Yeah, let's help them. I refuse to help those that refuse to help themselves.

Springvillepoet
Springville, UT

@ Moabmom:

The same study you cite explaining there is no significant advantage in achievement for those who attended Headstart versus those who do not, says those who do attend head start are less likely to drop out, less likely to be charged with crimes as adults, more likely to lead a healthier and longer life. If you are going to cite a study, make sure you read all of the relevant information associated with it.

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