Comments about ‘In our opinion: In making educational progress in Utah, no single solution will suffice’

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Published: Wednesday, March 12 2014 6:30 p.m. MDT

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marxist
Salt Lake City, UT

The best measure to improve education would be the creation of teacher administered school cooperatives. Parents could also own shares in these cooperatives. Teachers would then be masters of their own fate and would have to please parents and students first. They wouldn't have to sweat complex, and often meaningless, teacher evaluation processes.

No more administrative overburden on curriculum matters! Parents and students would evaluate competing cooperatives and find the best one for them. School districts would remain, but only to manage the buildings. Teacher cooperatives would likely share buildings.

Think of it! No more state level administrative layer with its enormous salaries. And no more principals either.

We socialists are for worker management whenever possible. The schools offer a tremendous opportunity.

This would be an enormous change, probably too much of one, so how about a few demonstration projects to test out my idea?

I understand many liberals will dislike the notion of dispersed control, but they and socialists have to decide at some point if parents are to be trusted. We have to trust them as their opinion of education quality is the only one that matters.

marxist
Salt Lake City, UT

Also, you said "While it is imperative that we seek innovation in education process for all of Utah's students, no single solution will suffice." Right on! So give my teacher managed cooperatives a shot.

Ajax
Mapleton, UT

What emerges from the repeated ineptitude of our lawmakers to effectively respond to the critical issues of our state like education is that those who use political or religious ideology as a cloak for personal ambition are doubly dangerous.

Mark E. Towner
SALT LAKE CITY, UT

As a teacher who actually works in a west side high school, who actually is 1:1 technology solutions in all of my classes, who actually spoke to the committee and answered question after question form the committee members who then voted the bill out 13-1, I'm so upset that is appears nobody including the article authors actually read the bill. The 1:1 technology decision is actually the least important component of the bill. The real issue here is the woefully inadequate technology infrastructure around the state (especially rural schools) that would have been upgraded with this bill. There is NO WAY 1:1 can be implemented without the highest speed bandwidth in each classroom. The other big component not reported is the 40 hours of actual training teachers would receive on the use and implementation of this technology in the classroom. Everybody keeps stressing the tablets. Well I can say for a fact tablets do not work in High school. Students need full keyboards to create documents and learn the keyboarding skills necessary for work once they graduate.
There are alternative ways to pay for this as well.

2 bits
Cottonwood Heights, UT

marxist,
Parents aren't the only people who have a stake in our education system. They should not be the only people with shares.

Every tax payer pays into the system, and every citizen benefits from the system (whether they have their own children in the system or not). That's why I didn't support the voucher system proposed years ago.

We all need an educated society. We all have a stake in insuring we have an educated workforce, we all need an educated citizenry, we all have an interest in insuring our schools aren't turning out young adults that are not equipped to function in society. We ALL have a stake in insuring we have an effective education system (not just parents).

We either invest a lot in the education system... or we will need to invest a lot more to expand our corrections institutions (because that's where many of those kids will eventually end up). It's in the best interest of every person who lives in the community (not just parents and teachers) to insure we have a good education system.

CHS 85
Sandy, UT

@ Mark E. Towner

I wish I could give you ten "Likes!"

In our agency, we face the same issues with horrible bandwidth available in rural communities for our offices. We are a scientific agency and getting data from the field offices to our Regional offices or even between rural offices is often an impossible task. Try getting 500 high school students at the same time on the Internet and see how fast the available bandwidth is saturated and unusable. There is little incentive for private industry to upgrade hundreds of miles of cabling and creative solutions only go so far before it is a glaring problem. It is a HUGE issue and no one talks about it.

I have a tablet with a detachable keyboard with keys that give tactile response. It also has Microsoft Office and Windows 8.1 on it for completing actual work and not just watching YouTube. They do exist.

Fred44
Salt Lake City, Utah

I thought when we started charter schools they were going to be able to do it better for less money. The Deseret News now wants to equalize the money the get? So give them the same funding, but let them play by different rules? Interesting concept.

Madsen Hall Magic
Centerville, UT

Fred44,

Charter schools are a collaborative effort on the part of parents to have more control over their children's education, and on the part of certain individuals to enrich themselves on tax dollars.

Some investigative reporter could expose a real political/educational/conflict of interest scandal.

squirt
Taylorsville, ut

I appreciate the thoughts included in this article. Having said that, when you take into account all of the funding which goes to charter schools-ie. local replacements dollars, administrative costs etc., charter schools actually receive more spending per pupil than neighborhood public schools.

Redshirt1701
Deep Space 9, Ut

To "squirt" I say more power to the charter schools. They are able to get a greater percentage of the dollars set aside per pupil actually to the classroom.

Can you imagine how much more money the schools would have if they didn't have all of that district overhead sucking money out of classrooms and into a mostly unnecessary organization?

TheOcean
SPRINGVILLE, UT

"Well I can say for a fact tablets do not work in High school. Students need full keyboards to create documents and learn the keyboarding skills necessary for work once they graduate. There are alternative ways to pay for this as well."

In my department, instead of buying i-pads, we have donated many unpaid hours writing grants and have purchased a Chrome Book lab.

Yes, of course, there have been positives and negatives.

We liked the price (less than half of what an i-pad costs), the keyboard, the quick load time, and the easy ability to share (student to teacher, student to student, etc) using Google Docs. Furthermore, my department members have paid for professional development courses over the past few summers to train in all things Google. We are actually one small technological step ahead of our students for once!

I'll be honest--sometimes, depending on the learning activity and desired outcome, we wish our students had i-pads (some of the apps) but overall we are pleased with the gains our assessment data is showing.

This might be one of many ideas for schools to implement after careful study.

Kings Court
Alpine, UT

Has anyone ever given a moments thought that one of the greatest problems facing public education in Utah today is the legislature itself? It would be nice if they actually talked to teachers instead of just about everyone besides teachers. The teachers are the experts in the field, but for some reasons a group of realtors, developers, and a nurse (Lockhart) seem to know better than folks who work in the education field every single day.

FT
salt lake city, UT

@ Kings Court
The legislature listens to teachers but clearly understand what the realtors, developers and nurses want.

Howard Beal
Provo, UT

The idea of spending 300 million on ipads was about the dumbest idea I've ever heard of and Lockhart and those who supported it need to be held accountable.

2 bits
Cottonwood Heights, UT

Howard Beal,
RE: "spending 300 million on ipads was about the dumbest idea I've ever heard"...

I'm pretty sure the proposal wasn't for 300 million in iPads (you may want to read the bill before commenting). There was more than that in there. It wasn't all for iPads.

But regardless... proposals they KNOW we don't have money to fund make no sense. It's just posing. And we have too much of that going on up on the hill as it is. Making proposals they know we can't fund (because we can't even afford to pay our teachers or reduce class size).. should be frowned upon from the start... not at the last minute.

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