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Comments about ‘In our opinion: A good grade is not always synonymous with an excellent education’

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Published: Monday, July 14 2014 12:00 a.m. MDT

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FreedomFighter41
Provo, UT

Excellent piece.

Furthermore, our state only worsens the problem by constantly demeaning educators. In 2012, our state ramrodded through (with the help of pro-voucher interest groups) a new teacher evaluation tool. This "tool" will now base a teacher's salary on surveys given to parents and students.

Parents and students happy or satisfied with their education? Typically won't respond. But guess who does? Yep, you guessed it, the bad parents and students. You know, the ones miffed at the teacher for standing his/her ground on grading.

The result? Teachers will continue to have fewer standards and principals will continue to change grades so that everyone gets a good star and no one complains.

All thanks, to our Utah legislature. Apparently, being a nurse of real estate agent makes you an expert at education.

The only way to get education back, is to rip it away from our legislature and allow teachers to pass or fail kids. It is up to parents and students to earn their grades, not the teachers.

Esquire
Springville, UT

You are correct. However, there has to be some measurement standard. Grades plus standardized testing? In light of this editorial, D. of Ed. national standards might be an appropriate thing in the face of international competition. Leaving it up to mediocre or poor localities is the surest way to get mediocre or poor results. It's just an excuse to spend less and not make the effort.

Irony Guy
Bountiful, Utah

Customer evaluations should be considered. But if the customers are adolescents,an inherently irresponsible class of people, perhaps the consideration ought to be tempered. The toughest and best teachers are often dissed by students who look back with appreciation on them later in life.

Kings Court
Alpine, UT

The sad thing is that the legislature has been trying to remove protections from teachers such as tenure or union protections (unions don't protect bad teachers, they protect the process when firing teachers) which exposes them to the ire of parents and students who want a good grade for no effort. I teach school and this pressure is real. Patrons think you are a good teacher when their children earn good grades and you are a bad teacher when they earn bad grades. I agree that tenure should be reformed to make it easier to get rid of the truly bad teachers, but to expose teachers to such a culture and then expect them to make geniuses out of these kids is just impossible.

The Real Maverick
Orem, UT

Simple answer:

Because testing our kids to death and setting teachers up to fail on ridiculous and overbearing evaluations makes public education look bad. Our legislature wants to stuff vouchers down our throat and eventually privatize public education. Humiliating teachers and intentionally hurting students enough that the public finally agrees to privatizing public education is their goal.

We could change all this by voting these bums out.

Pac_Man
Pittsburgh, PA

It would be difficult for the American culture to let go of the "straight A" mentality.
Grade inflation is a big problem because it does not test true academic skill and ability.
I was educated overseas where rigorous academic standards considered 50% as a passing grade. My grades hovered in the 70-80% and I was considered smart. When I came to the states I was able to test out a lot college courses...and that was after I was out of school for three years.

birder
Salt Lake City, UT

Since we now live in an anti-responsibility society, I do not look forward to merit pay based on student and parent evaluations. If I give my students the grades they truly deserve, some of them and their parents could evaluate me as a poor teacher. The teachers who are perceived as "more fun" will be paid more.

Howard Beal
Provo, UT

Teachers want job security like everyone else. The teachers that hold their students accountable like they probably should, and give lower grades for substandard work are often in the principal's office explaining themselves to irate parents.

mattrick78
Cedar City, UT

One step is to adjust grading on a bell curve and then remove letter grades altogether and just stay strictly with a percent grade out of 100. Then you wouldn't have all these professors taking a grade of 89% or 88% and making it an "A" which indicates a grade between 90 and 100.

Jamescmeyer
Midwest City, USA, OK

Something like grade inflation is present in the military. Their idea to fix it is to implement a new system, but the core of the problem is left, and it'll come back.

There You Go Again
Saint George, UT

Agree.

Mark Twain once wrote, "I've never let schooling get in the way of my education".

Paul Simon opined, "When I think back on all the (expletive) I learned in high school...it's a wonder I can think at all".

Howard Beal
Provo, UT

Those students from the photo (probably from some charter or private school judged by their school uniforms) look they are enthused about their education...:)

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