I think I would be more inclined to applaud rather than criticize. Utah could
and should be the best.
Great news!And just how will the Dnews and the Utah Legislature
reward our teachers? With another series of articles bashing teachers,
requesting more accountability, and slashing funding? Oh! Or how about more
voucher talk, because obviously our public schools are failing, right? Instead of bashing teachers who are doing an exceptional job why not reward
them? Sounds to me like Utah teachers deserve raises. They are excelling when
they should be failing due to lack of support from the state.
Lost in DC:Wrong. The comparison to the national composite is more
valid than the comparison with states requiring ALL to test. That's because
Utah has eliminated so many students because of our high dropout rate that our
claim of "100 percent" testing is artificial and inflated.By
the way, when Utah tested only 65-70 percent, we were perfectly happy to be
compared with states that tested 90-100 percent, because it made us look better.
Steve,You are still comparing apples to cucumbers when you compare us to
the national composite, which you insisted on doing. Compare us to those who
require ALL to test; do not measure ALL of our kids against the top 45% of the
rest of the nation.
Come clean State Office of Education! Please release apples-to-apples numbers
only. Please report student cohorts based on average family income, two-parent
families, % free lunch, etc.Utah's State Office Of Education
and schools/districts across the state benefit from positive comparable
demographics. When compared to similar cohorts, our students are probably
lagging their peers. Reporting apples-to-oranges numbers is a smoke-screen used
to deflect criticism needed to drive real improvement in education across the
We need to determine the goal here and then ask ourselves what the data mean."Every child can learn," and become, "Every child must
pass."Every student is not college-bound. Every child cannot become a
brain surgeon.Only a certain percentage of parents are willing to do what
is necessary to support the educational goals of the school. Who has the
responsibility of making up the difference? How heroic are we going to be? At
what point does the system say, "We can only do so much here. We are in loco
parentis, but you are still the parents"?It is absurd to think we can
deliver the same scores for Latino students as we do for Asian students.
Let's stop believing we can or should.
@Lost in DCPerhaps you need to reread my earlier post. Yes, we
appear to do well compared with the other nine states that test all their
students, but my posting makes it clear that our numbers are artificially high.
If a state's policies produce a high dropout rate (as Utah's do), then
that state has eliminated many lower-performing students before they can take
the ACT. This inflates Utah's scores.Again, Utah's 20.7
composite, compared with the 20.9 national composite, is a fairly accurate
reflection of where we stand.
The nine states are Colorado, Illinois, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, North
Carolina, Tennessee, Utah, and Wyoming. When broken down by ethnicity, here are
Utah's rankings:Black (1%): 1American Indian (1%): 9White (73%): 3Hispanic (13%): 8Asian (2%): 9Pacific
Islander (1%): 9Two or more races (3%): 3No response (5%): 138% of Utah's 2013 students had a Math ACT score of 22 or higher (ACT
score of 22 means 50% chance of getting a B or better in college algebra). In
2012 40% of Utah's students had a Math ACT of 22 or higher.Only 4%
had Math ACT scores of 30 or higher in 2012 and 2013.
It says that, despite inadequate-for-the-requirements funding, Utah families and
teachers make it work. The family makes more difference that all the programs
out there. Having good families makes more difference than the money, BUT less
money does NOT mean better education. It also means government can't do for
parents what they should do themselves, no matter how much money or programs
they pour into it.Utah would do better if they built more
neighborhood-sized schools closer to the people (which would initially cost
more, though long run less), quit adding to the burden by running after federal
money which brings strings (Common Core), and divided all the big districts into
community-sized districts (and got away from the colleges of education control
Steven,I guessed you missed the part about how we compare very well among
those states that require all to test. Comparing to all states, including those
who allow students not to test, is the old apples and oranges analogy.
Comparing apples to apples, we do very well. Compared to
international students, we do poorly, but so does the entire nation since we are
more concerned that johnny feels good about himself and sally does not bring an
aspirin to school than we are about teaching them marketable skills and hard
Much of the credit goes to Utah teachers who "consecrate" extra unpaid
hours, and often their own money for class supplies, in order to teach our kids.
They do this despite being underpaid, under-appreciated, and having unreasonably
large class sizes. No other profession is expected to do this kind of unpaid
work, except maybe nuns.
Highest in the nation? Not exactly. Utah's composite score of 20.7 compared
to the national score of 20.9 is a fairly accurate reflection of how poorly
we're doing. Yes, the 100 percent participation brings Utah's score
down, but a couple of other factors bring Utah's score up.First, most of the state that test all of their students have a higher
minority participation than Utah. Because minorities score lower than whites,
this causes the state composite to be lower.Second, Utah tends to
eliminate more of its lower-performing students through its high dropout rates.
That is especially true for Hispanics, where 43 percent who enroll in the ninth
grade in Utah drop out. This compares with a dropout rate of 21 percent of
Hispanics nationwide.In legitimate comparisons, Utah has
consistently been near or below the national average in a nation that performs
poorly compared with other industrialized countries.
Granny - how is my statement inaccurate or inappropriate? Are you really
suggesting that the IQ level of the el ed majors is superior to the IQ level of
say the accounting department, or the physics department, or the insert just
about every other department on campus?The truth is glaring - the el
ed department simply can't/doesn't attract the best talent. Talented
woman have so many more options and they are taking advantage of these
opportunities. Their decisions to use their talents in other fields helps our
nation/state in those fields, but unfortunately is depletes the pool of
competent teachers. The ONLY way to reverse this trend is to pay teachers more.
Significantly more.Ask a high school principal to speak off the
record about the quality of the job applicants she is attracting. The problem
is getting worse not better. As our most experience teachers retire, we are
replacing them with inept replacements.
@Man In the Middle:Your comment: "The el ed departments can no
longer attract the most talented students..." is sadly inappropriate and
inaccurate. My daughter, who could have been successful at many courses of
study, CHOSE elementary education. She graduated from BYU WITH University
Honors, a signal achievement on its own. Many of her fellow el ed students were
equally academically gifted and very dedicated students.The low
scores we have in this state and throughout much of the U.S. are partly a result
of poor parental involvement in the education of their children. For some
children, there are substantial extracurricular activities resulting in poor
academic performance. Some parents are too stupid, too apathetic, too strung
out, too uneducated, or cannot speak English well enough to help with homework.
This is not racist...it's just a fact.When we decide to put
academics consistently as the top priority, we will get positive results. In
countries that score higher than the U.S., students often have longer class
hours and more weeks/year in school, have few extra activities, and are only
promoted for classroom achievement.
Bomar: Maybe based on the ACT scores, Utah teachers DESERVE more money, just
Bomar: Utah doesn't have the highest ACT scores - Utah has the
highest scores among the 10 states that require all students to take the ACT.
Utah is middle of the pack when compared to all states and near the bottom when
compared to industrialized countries. Again, our kids aren't competitive
globally.Note that only 33% of Utah 8th graders are proficient
readers - just 2% read at an advanced level. The issue is this -
when my mother went to college in the 1970s she was automatically enrolled as a
"elementary education" major. Then, very talented woman were
forced/urged/encouraged to become teachers. Fortunately for me this meant that
my elementary teachers were extraordinarily talented women. Today, however,
these talented women most often chose different career paths. The el ed
departments can no longer attract the most talented students (male or female)
and the reason is that these kids can do the math - why take on so much student
debt to get a job with a starting salary of $25,000.Certainly, many
talented teachers feel it is their life calling to teach despite the
unreasonably low salary, but we just can't attract enough competent
teachers at $25,000/yr.
Why does Finland do so differently than we do us? Yet Norway does exactly the
same as us? Both countries are similar to each other. Finland used to do just
like us.... they did something. What?
RE: ManInTheMiddle,One thing we must always keep in mind is
professional educators Never have enough money. How can it be that Utah has the
highest ACT test scores and Utah's educators are always screaming for more
money. Enough said.
awful numbers - a "student" who scores 20 on the ACT is not able to
compete in a global economyshame on us - you can't expect teachers
with an IQ of 90 to do much better - we must pay our best teachers more and fire
our worst teachersour kids aren't ready for the real world because we
hire too many unqualified adults