@UtahbluedevilHave you ever been in a large organization? In the army
they have trouble controlling their budgets all the time because its a big
organization trying to run a bunch of smaller units. It used to be that state
provided soldiers and where given charters with revenue to support each unit.
It wasn't until WW2 when that changed. But as we have seen its questionable
that this is a good idea seeing the waste in our defense budget. Commanders are
now forced to purchase equipment they don't need, to use up budget so
congress doesn't take the revenue away.Under Kennedy we started
the Dept of Ed. Since that time we have seen our system grow in bureaucracy but
students and parents are far more distant from the organization that should have
their deep involvement to be successful. The states didn't ask for this
involvement the Fed just inserted themselves into it.The truth is
money is harder to track in large organizations and that is why our tax dollars
should be returned to the states without strings. Its our money anyway. Why not
use more nimble organizations to administer it.
I like your thinking Chris B.I say if we could put 100 first graders
in an auditorium and pay their teacher minimum wage, test scores should shoot
right through the roof...
Let me understand. You want federal dollars, just not the federal government
saying how those dollars are spent. Just sign the check over, and be done with
it? I know no successful enterprises that do that - not in the public sector,
nor the private sector. No corporation hands a division a budget, and tells
them to just go spend it "locally" how they choose. That is a completely
unreasonable expectation.But if it is freedom from federal control,
then you have to be willing to live with the consequences. Just like with my
kids- my house, my rules. You want freedom, no problem. All this
misses the point. There is no reason that employers and universities across the
nation shouldn't expect that their is a common standard to what being a
high school graduate means. Letting each district decide that on their own just
breeds chaos. There is no prescribed curriculum here - just prescribed results.
Trying blame the feds for what is truly a local problem is to try to dodge
local responsibility. Districts have complete latitude on how to achieve the
standards, anything short of that is just dodging responsibility.
I'm glad I'm too old and my kids are grown and established in their
professions. I don't know if I could help kids today with this "new
math". I've heard that there are many parents who
don't understand how it's being taught now days. That's sad.
A kid should be able to sit down with his parents and get basically the same
help and instructions he would get if he sat down with his teacher (IMO).IF they can't... that's sad.
I don't have any problem with national OR local standards.... just as long
as teachers don't hold students who are ready to leave the standards in the
dust back... so they fit the standard.As long as the standards are
PUSHING our kids to excel even more... that's great. If they are holding
them back so they meet the norm... not so great.I think on most
things common core is as good as our local standard. My main problem with
Common Core is... it allows companies and the government to do data-mining on
our kids. Not on an aggregate or anonymous level (that's OK), but on an
individual and individually identifiable level. They can get data for a
specific student (not just a group or population, but an individual if they
want). This could be used to market to them, to limit their college
possibilities in the future, etc. I don't like the government providing
data about our kids to marketing people, etc....
@ bandersen, retail delivery at the local is a bust. Plain and simple. All I
hear are rationalizations, excuses and finger pointing. Go back and look at the
point made by Chris B who said that if funding was the issue, Utah would be dead
last. The point is that where the rubber hits the road, in the classroom, is it
getting done? What exactly does the Dept. of Ed. mandate that prevents
effective teaching of language, math and science? Whining about the evil
federal government is an excuse. Further, want the feds out of education? Do a
good job at the local level (that applies to most issues). It isn't
getting done. I know you hate Washington, the federal government, etc., but
your political philosophy is not the issue.
I agree. Parents need to learn that education doesn't happen only at
school. I've heard that you learn more in your first 5 years than you
learn the rest of your life. So if this is true... you learn more at home,
before you even start school, than you will in your whole K-12 education.I think it's been proven that parents who focus on education at
home (especially in those 5 years) get better results overall.I
suspect part of it is that a parent that pays attention to this in the first 5
years is also going to be highly involved the rest of those years after you go
The premise of home school for all, defies the economic principals of
specialization and economies of scale. But then, I learned that in public
I am very much in favor of local (at least state) control of education
standards. Even though the proponents of Common Core say that states/localities
have a say in the standards, that is not completely true. State departments of
education (including Utah's) were coerced into adopting the Common Core
standards or lose federal education funding. And for those who aren't
aware, most special education programs, Title 1 (programs for disadvantaged
students), and the school lunch program are federally funded. States would not
voluntarily give up those millions of dollars.
How in the world is there a local standard for how proficient in math you are,
or how is it locally determined that you are proficient enough in physics to be
a scientist. This is absolutely nuts. Either we compete on the
world stage or we don't. Either our kids are as proficient as
kids in the rest of the world or they are not. So if you trust your local
school board member who is a farmer to determine math standards then you are
going to lose. Whether you choose common core, some other national
standard or your local farmer will determine the future of your grandchildren
far more than the size of the national debt.
I don't have any glaring examples of local versus national education but in
every case that I remember in these years since I have never seen any thing that
would tell me that the Federal government lagged behind either private or state
government in serving the public. Federal highways are better
maintained than the state. Federal campgrounds and camps were hundred of times
better that the state parks and campgrounds. In every case our lives were
better because of federal regulations and rules where as the state government
was only interested in business and the restriction of freedom for people.
So, for me the notion of improvement of life by giving the state
government money or land is a phony notion.
Jay, Have you ever heard of Achieve? Yes, the group that wrote the CCSS. They
are in Washington DC. And for the comments regarding states and local schools
failing before CCSS were adopted, you realize that the fed has been involved in
education for a long time, right? It's not like Obama Admin. created Race
To The Top because the states have had all of this freedom in education and were
failing. It is just more federal control where the fed has no right to be.
I retired a few years ago and I loved my job. I believe that most of my students
enjoyed school and we had a happy classroom. I was a teacher who had high
expectations, unfortunately, this was not always successful because of the lack
of parents helping their children with reading and homework which went exactly
with what was taught that day at school. I taught in a really nice neighborhood
so I saw very few excuses not to help their child. Some of the ones who
didn't help at home were quite able to pull their children out of school
and take them to Disneyland. No child, unless they are gifted, can reach their
pull potential without help and expectations from home and school. Also, you
will never get 100% in reading and math. Some children have disabilities. They
can improve, of course, but IQ does have an influence on how a child does in
reading and math.
My Kitchen Table was made in Malaysia, shipped to New Orleans, put on a train to
a warehouse in SLC and then sent via truck to a furniture store in Provo.
Esquire: Have you actually been in a school? Just go ask a assistant principal
how many ways his hands are tied in dealing with discipline or teaching methods
or testing requirements. My question is simple. How is it that anyone could
recommend continued funding of the Department of Education when all of that
money could be returned to the states and let them handle education? Where is
there any proof that the Federal Department of Education has done any good that
couldn't be given to a local panhandler and asking him to spend it as well?
The state probably wouldn't handle it any better. The "do-gooders"
at the state level want to work wonders as well, while the average citizen
doesn't have enough self-worth to stop any of it, while the
"do-gooders" continue to tell us how successful they will be with future
funds. How about examining what they have done in the past? Really? No irony
at all? This isn't a rant about government. I love government when its
doing its job! I just want the government does everything with glistening
results folks to "show" me some proof in regards to education.
Until such time as funding for schools is exclusively local, then local control
is just a pipe dream. If you take the federal money expect to live by the
If funding was most important, Utah would be dead last in academic success.
@ bandersen, I'm sorry, but I don't understand how your argument
supports the concept that local school districts need to deliver on executing
education. Either the kids can read a a high enough level or they cannot.
Either the kids know math well enough to compete at the world level or they
don't. The federal government is not interfering with that at all. They
are just looking for ways to get local districts to do better. Your argument
makes no sense whatsoever, especially in the context of the op-ed piece and my
original comment. Ranting about the federal government completely misses the
p[oint the the delviery of education, at the retail level if you will, is being
poorly done in many localities. And efforts of the federal government to get
local districts to do better have been the objective of both Republican and
Democratic Administrations, supported by the busienss community. So instead of
deflecting responsiblity by pointing fingers at Washington, folks back home need
to take responsibility for their failures.
Just for own curiosity isn't local control my community? Those who are
complaining here point the federal government and their intrusion, what about
the the state. Each year our Utah Educational experts (Stephensen, Urquhart,
etc) submit between 100-200 bills to try to further micromanage Utah education.
How about we get the Utah state legislature out of the business of education
other than funding, and leave the rest to the local school districts.
Esquire: At what date would you like to point to where local control began?
Show me where local control has been fully tried over a just a few years without
federal control? Since you won't be able to show me that, how do you know
that local control won't work? What statistic, public approval rating, or
return on investment can you show me that validates your claim that the Federal
government's control over education has been a success? How about
Healthcare? Social Security? Medicare? Medicaid? Does Fiscal responsibility
come to mind? At what point would you question the federal government's
ability to manage anything? When does the irony of those who support 17 trillion
dollars in debt become a "a-ha" moment? Does it happen when another
depression hits? When Social Security checks can't be cashed? Just
Chuck E. Racer.I think the children would be better served if
teachers and parents spent their time teaching rather than "developing
standards".None of the motives of public education of children
should involve indoctrinating adults .
In almost every part of our lives we seek the best advise we can get. Usually,
but not always, the best advise is obtained by seeking and finding the widest
and most popular advise from the most people possible and the most educated and
experienced. When we need medical care, we expect our doctor to know
and follow the world of experience sometimes coming from the whole world. The
same is true for legal help and thousands of other things that we just
didn't have the time to become experts in.Yet, our supposed
experts are telling us that we should teach our children ourselves according to
the way we/they personally think it should be. Then our children are expected
to be a success in the outside world. Could it be that the experts
have different motives for the future of our children? Local
control of public education often has meant the preparation of workers for local
businesses. As I recall one school has a fully working television station while
another a printing shop.There are many other competing desires for
our kids, each would like to have taxpayers supplement their indoctrination.
I am sure that someone somewhere is concerned about national averages, national
percentages and numbers but isn't it far more important to know what is
actually happening regarding achievement and student success in your local
neighborhood schools? Reading about 35% of third graders in the US tell me very
little about my state, my district and my schools.Just my opinion.
National minimum standards are good. The world is not local, and competing
requires more than minimum standards. Republican and Democratic administrations
both recognize this reality. The problem is that at the local level, the job is
not getting done. Period. Instead of whining about the evil federal government
telling us what to do, maybe those executing the delivery of education need to
up their game. States and localities, you are not doing your job. Stop point
the finger at Washington.
Parents, students, and teachers all need to be held accountable for education.
In early grades the parents and teachers bear a larger portion of
responsibility. As kids get older, greater and greater responsibility needs to
be transferred to them. But even so, placing all accountability on
any one group gives the others an excuse to fail. Education will only work when
all three parties are on board and held accountable.
When the decisions are made at the local level, it builds the local people.
When they are made in Washington, only they learn from the experience. The
teachers and parents grow from the exercise of developing standards. We need
that much more than we need something handed to us on a silver platter from
Washington (which IS where they were written).If you want to build
the people who really make a difference in the students' lives, bring those
decisions back to that level. Get Utah, and everyone else, OUT of Common Core
for real improvement.
How many times did Jay visit a public education classroom to study these issues
before he wrote this column? How many times did he teach? How many educators did
he interview asking them what would help education the most?Anyone
want to take a guess?ZERO.Why don't we listen to
those in the trenches? Why doesn't this newspaper ever do any
investigating? Why do you just repeat tired old repub talking points?If you were to ask any educator if local control is in their top 5... Or top
10 concerns, you'd be laughed right out of the classroom.It's the funding. Jay, it's the funding! That's what would help
education the most! Get the class sizes down! Get new desks so all students may
sit in one! Compensate these teachers so they stay rather than leave the
When our adult population is not proficient in math or science, localized
education won't work. The essential hurdle we're trying to clear is
one of ignorant parents being able to teach their young children critical
thinking skills for an ever-changing world. Are we up for the task? Nope, so
let's just blame the system so we can sleep at night.