Comments about ‘66 by 2020: Utah has 7 years to reach college degree goal and top the nation’

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Published: Sunday, April 28 2013 2:45 p.m. MDT

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A governor with a goal but a man with no plan.

Salt Lake City, Utah

Good comment Anon374. I agree.

Define irony: a governor with such an audacious goal concerning higher education, but one who did earn a college degree himself.

Grantsville, UT

Unless "our" church kicks in revenue this is NEVER going to happen.
The desire and dream to create "Zion" with an educated population, unreigned development and large family size where everyone believes in Jesus and walks around in blissful happiness can NOT occur without significant financial investment from the largest US Corporation. Heck, if I had tax exempt status I might buy a downtown building lot and hire workers in a private enterprise. Without LDS putting money upfront, Utah will always be just a desert dustbowl, a wanna be in the new world economy. Thank god for Mississippi or we would be dead last in per pupil spending for education. Puerto Rico will become a state before Utah develops the necessary education programs to reach 66

I know it. I Live it. I Love it.
Salt Lake City, UT


The Lord's church is directed by Him, not by our abilities alone. As an organization, 'throwing money' at a problem never solves it. People solve problems. Missionaries equal manpower. Quorums equal manpower.

Throwing a million at homelessness can pay the cost of building some homes. A ward could build a home and a stake could build many. We are just as able to 'live with all things common among us' as could those who Christ visited and taught in the Book of Mormon. With education it is no different. All money can buy is manpower, and the church would go bankrupt if it had to pay every bishop and missionary a salary, etc. Throwing money at issues is throwing money away.

Parents equal a boat load of manpower. For every child, it took two parents to create. If every parent in the world lovingly taught righteous principles all problems would cease to exist. If parents simply helped to school their children more, then most education problems would cease or diminish dramatically.

Governments, school administrators, and teachers = a few administering to many.

Add parents to that list = many administering to many. It's a good plan.

Red Headed Stranger
Billy Bobs, TX


Dollars spent per child is NOT the best indicator on scholastic achievement. Parental involvement is. No matter how much money you spend on a kid, if the parents don't care, the kid usually won't achieve.

My parents (just tech school, one quarter at USU) made sure that we kids went to college. My mom spent hours filling out scholarship forms while I worked on my AP classes. You know what happened? All three boys got Bachelor's and one got a Master's. One sister also got a Bachelor's. If you spent any time at all in "our" church, you would know how much they talk to the youth about secular and technical education. So it isn't about the money. It is about the desire and emphasis.

To be honest, it is attitudes like Yutahkidd's is why I don't live in Utah. I got more grief about being a Mormon while living in Salt Lake City for three months than I have for seven years in Texas.

Howard Beal
Provo, UT


Utah is dead last in per pupil spending. Mississippi left us in the dust years ago...


Shouldn't we concentrate on first preparing our kids for college before dreaming about leading the nation in college graduates? Based upon the latest US News high school rankings, most Utah high school graduates are not prepared to attend a college math class.


@ Red Headed Stranger

"If you spent any time at all in "our" church, you would know how much they talk to the youth about secular and technical education."

Talk is cheap. But educational performance is way down on the list (behind scouting, etc., etc., etc.) in Utah culture. That is why, despite its homogenous population and high "values" Utah's schools don't stack up nationally (see latest US News rankings for example).

Highland, UT

Money won't buy success in schools, but the lack of it will guarantee failure.

DN Subscriber
Cottonwood Heights, UT

Wow, the teachers' union reps are out early tonight.

66 by 2020 is a laudable goal.

However, a more urgent goal should be that the 90% of students who graduate from high school by 2020 should be 100% proficient in High School level skills. Too much college work is remedial stuff that should have been mastered in K-12, or the student should not have been graduated.

As some have noted above, parental involvement and cultural emphasis on getting a good education are essential. Spending more money or hiring more teachers or reducing class sizes will not fix the problem if the family and culture do not push the students and demand they work hard and achieve goals.

That is the difference between a freedom based society and one based on nanny state theories that spending more money doing the same thing will yield different results.

Those who work hard and study and achieve will succeed and prosper. Those who so not, and blame everyone else will never prosper or succeed.

Chandler, AZ

Utah has two major issues with their education.

1) Money. To say, "As an organization, 'throwing money' at a problem never solves it." is actually quite wrong. Spending money for education in today's modern environment is actually the very thing to do. Obviously it has to be managed and directed properly, but effort without resources only leads to frustration.

2) K-12 Curriculum. For some reason Utah has this fascination with the liberal arts/humanities in their K-12 programs. They also have this fixation with Utah history...I mean outside of the borders of this state, who cares? And the focus on the humanities, music, plays, performances, etc., only increases their lack of STEM education that much more.

There needs to be more resources made available, i.e., the people of Utah need to show what their priorities are not just talk the talk, and they should offer more choice in curriculum selection and not be so top-down, mandate driven.

Charlotte, NC


We have lived in several states and in every one of them our kids were taught about the history of the state.

Springville, UT

The question is whether Utah will make the investment. And those who say it's not the money that matters are just making an excuse not to invest, and Utah will continue to have mediocre results. It's simple, really.

Herriman, UT

@DN Subscriber: the issue here has nothing to do with teacher unions but has everything to do with having a better educated workforce. I will tell you that based on 28 years in education that the students coming into our doors at the high school level are increasingly less motivated to learn and study than students were ten years ago. Teachers are under the gun to help increase graduation rates to prove to the general,public that they are doing a "better" job in the classrooms. Students know that because of the push for higher graduating rates that they can attend school less, at least in Granite School District, and still have that teacher bend over backwards to pass them because that teacher's evaluations are being based (partly) on failure rates in the classroom. Until this changes we will not have a better educated workforce. Only one with pieces of paper and not one with a fountain of knowledge.

Alexandria, VA

So where are all of these new graduates going to work? If the Utah economy called for it, there would be more people in Utah with degrees. Getting a degree for the sake of getting a degree isn't a plan. All it does is add to one's debt.

Wasatch Front, UT

Two comments for the governor:

1) Equally, if not more important than the % of the population with college degrees, is the relevance/quality of the knowledge gained. We are turning out too many college GRADUATES who don't have the knowledge, critical thinking, and life-long learning attitude to be successful in the job market. Turning out more low-skilled, liberal arts grads without strong quantitative and critical thinking skills will only put the state and these students in debt, with limited benefit to anyone.

2) If we want to reach 66% with (relevant) college/technical degrees, we need to actually start preparing the majority of students for college level work. Utah primary and secondary schools do a dismal job of preparing most students to move on to college. At our "top 5" high school, not even HALF of the students are prepared, without remedial courses, for college. To fix it, we will need:

1) More investment in math, science, statistics, etc.
2) Fewer young, inexperienced teachers
3) Higher expectations for learning and critical thinking, and less grade inflation.

If you haven't had children in schools outside of Utah, you probably don't understand how poor the schools here are doing.

Eureka, UT

I'm pretty sure that teacher unions want the same thing the Governor is proposing. Teacher unions have been advocating for better conditions in schools for a long time and will continue to advocate for strong public schools. When we have strong public schools, we'll have the 66% by 2020. As for the debate about money, we all believe you get what you pay for, it seems to me we should be willing to pay for best to get the best.

Moab, UT

This governor once again emphasizing "quantity" over "quality". Utah would be better served to concentrate on graduating kids from high school that can actually read, write a proper sentence and do basic math. Stop pushing kids through to the next grade level to meet quotas and improve teacher ratings until they have mastered these basic life skills. A college degree is a choice, not a quota requirement. As it stands now, we are pushing a lot of kids into colleges that have no business there and may not even want to go to college. Very few are there because they are really hungry for knowledge and even fewer understand the mountain of debt they are encuring on themselves or their parents or the taxpayers of Utah. Since the DOE was invented by the Federal Gov't in the 70's, it has been the biggest money pit to the American taxpayer with the least results. Quality of education has steadily gone down hill while costs have skyrocketed.

Chandler, AZ

Max, We have also lived in different states and the history program has always been based on US history...not the specific state.

carman's point about the lack of STEM type graduates is the very point that Utah education should be addressing. The dedication to Utah and it's pioneer history and the attention given to school plays and art projects is detrimental to the pursuit of quality educated HS graduates. It's true that they may graduate from HS and yes, they may go on to college but they just cannot compete in today's modern world with such a soft background.

As carman said, "If you haven't had children in schools outside of Utah, you probably don't understand how poor the schools here are doing."

So true, so true..

Centerfield Sanpete, UT

Never happen! Some people just don`t want to go to school and alot of other people that want to go will never get the chance!

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