Comments about ‘John Florez: Get legislators out of running schools’

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Published: Saturday, July 12 2014 5:56 p.m. MDT

Updated: Saturday, July 12 2014 5:56 p.m. MDT

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high school fan
Huntington, UT

Much in education needs to change. Legislatures need to be more removed, bad teachers need to be let go, administrators need better qualifications than just a teachers certificate. Schools need to be innovative and ran more efficiently and the curriculum needs major adjustment.
All need to buy into an overhaul for true success to be had.

jotab
Salt Lake City, UT

There thing to realize about the legislature are the competing interests. You have some who really value public education and want to improve it and therefore are willing to listen to the real experts, the people who have been trained and are doing the work in the classrooms. Others are the self proclaimed experts who want to privatize and profitize education for their benefit and their cronies. Still others have agendas to minimize government at all costs. Others who have a ultraconservative social agenda. All these try to promote their agendas via the schools.

And who suffers? The children.

K
Mchenry, IL

Schools are paid for with tax money. Most importantly state universities and community colleges which is what schools prepare students for, even private colleges get public funds for grants and loan money, Government must be involved. If government were not involved it would rest on the interest of the teachers union and the still the businesses that sell products related to education.

FreedomFighter41
Provo, UT

Our legislators won't. There's too much money to be made. Howard Stephenson and Curt Gramble, two of the state's top senators have financial interests in the privatization of education. The very speaker of the House tried to ramrod a $300 million dollar bill which would provide iPads to all students. Guess who would provide the iPads? You guessed it, her husband's company.

There's just too much money involved. Until we get campaign finance reform and eliminate special interests and vote democrat, nothing will change. The party in utah knows it can do whatever it wants wih zero accountability. Just look at how Shurtleff and Swallow are still free.

Ajax
Mapleton, UT

Once again John Flores is on the mark. For Utah's sake I'm hoping that we all are paying attention.

10CC
Bountiful, UT

Florez is exactly right that the Legislature meddling with education has been not just ineffective, but counterproductive.

Should the Legislature be involved in the details for setting standards for physicians? I think everyone - except possibly the Legislators themselves - will consider this is a bad idea.

Likewise, the science of education should be left to the people with the most expertise in the physiology of learning, the psychology of education, how other nations achieve education excellence, and the sociological factors involved.

This would be professors of Education and related disciplines, at our best universities in this state: USU, Weber, the U of U, and BYU.

Once this Commission of Experts lays out a plan, it should be respected and given a decade to be judged as effective or ineffective.

Making yearly changes prompted by one special interest or another is absolutely a terrible idea, as Florez convincingly describes.

K
Mchenry, IL

iPads will be very helpful to a students education. You know some years back, they stopped lecturing and actually printed books. It cost money too.

Howard Beal
Provo, UT

10CC:

Generally agree but I would leave more plate for the actual classroom teacher to be part of the equation.

Where the legislature can actually help is actually fund education to reduce class sizes, increase teacher salaries and restore benefits. This will help the morale of the teachers across the state and I will always maintain, happier teachers make better teachers. When teachers feel appreciated and are decently compensated, we will retain the best teachers and attract the best to the profession. In the end the children will win.

Mike Richards
South Jordan, Utah

Education is the largest item on the State's budget. I want my representative to vote on that spending, particularly when educators keep kicking the can down the road as they tell us that if they just had more money, they could do their job properly.

No amount of money will solve the problems that have been created by the UEA, by bloated school districts and by teachers who cannot be fired for being incompetent. Get the most experienced teachers out of the district offices and put them back into the school room. Get rid of teachers who care more about their pensions than they care about their students. Get sports out of the schools. Sell off the acres and acres of "practice fields" and concentrate on academics. When schools are churning out thousands of illiterate "graduates" every year who can't read, can't write and can't balance a checkbook, the problem is at the core, not in the legislature.

FreedomFighter41
Provo, UT

@ high school fan

"Much in education needs to change. Legislatures need to be more removed, bad teachers need to be let go, administrators need better qualifications than just a teachers certificate. Schools need to be innovative and ran more efficiently and the curriculum needs major adjustment.
All need to buy into an overhaul for true success to be had."

After nearly 40 years of public education experience I've never known of a single administrator in public schools that have only had a teaching certificate. All had at least a masters degree and most had PHDs. All had to obtain an administrative certificate.

Perhaps you were describing the unaccountable and unregulated private schools in utah that our legislators are so connected at the hip to?

Or do you have more public teaching experience than me?

DN Subscriber
Cottonwood Heights, UT

Instead of getting legislators (who provide the bulk of school funding) out of the loop, let's exile the teachers unions, the federal government, and the closed shop rules that empower the "education industry" to indoctrinate and certify teachers.

Many changes are needed, and we should start by making it easier to fire bad teachers, Not that many, but one is too many if your kid gets stuck in their class!

marxist
Salt Lake City, UT

Re: 10cc "Likewise, the science of education should be left to the people with the most expertise in the physiology of learning, the psychology of education, how other nations achieve education excellence, and the sociological factors involved. "

I respectfully disagree. In today's digital arena, many different types of people can "do" education, whether they have PhD's in education, teaching certificates, or lack either one.

For example, a person with the math degree can probably teach math online if able to use the right online tools. The same is true for any of a number of subjects. That there needs to be some common measure of accomplishment I do not doubt, but today's information climate is changing so rapidly that many who have not been part of "education" can be part of it now. State policy must accept this fact.

marxist
Salt Lake City, UT

Re: Mike Richards "Get the most experienced teachers out of the district offices and put them back into the school room."

But here's a problem: in the education trade the only way to better one's economic position if one is a teacher is to go into administration. Administrators should not be paid more than teachers. The present system places more value on administration than teaching, and it shows.

RBB
Sandy, UT

No testing, no legislative oversight, tenure. It is interesting that so many would like to turn over billions of dollars to "experts"
" and tell everybody to keep their noses out because they know what they are doing. As a taxpayer, I want oversight and testing to make sure that my money is well spent and to ensure my kids are learning what they need to know. My kids have encountered several teachers that had a poor command of their subject and others who were more interested in political indoctrination than teaching their subject.

I want my kids tested frequently to know what they need help in. Just because something is new does not mean it is better. I now have to college grads who learned the old way and who are headed to national universities for graduate schools very well prepared for the new economy. I am glad we did not simply rely on "the experts" and social engineers.

GK Willington
Salt Lake City, UT

Mike R is right... to a degree.

My parents were career educators. They had issues w/ the legislature and funding. Their big beef was incompetent paper shuffling bureaucrats with no classroom experience.

bill in af
American Fork, UT

As a teacher for 38 years, I agree with most of what John says. Our state legislature complains about federal government mandates in education, yet they do the same thing on the state level. It is the state school board's job to make decisions statewide for public education. All local decisions should be up to local school boards who are elected by the people. The best government is that government closest to the people. Over the years I have seen some well meaning mandates, but it is not the place of my legislator to do that. Let local boards decide if schools say the pledge to our flag once a day or once a week. Let local boards recommend to teachers how to teach the concepts of a representative democracy (which means the same as a republic) instead of a mandate to call our system a compound constitutional republic. (By the way, the real reason is because republic sounds closer to republican and democracy sounds like democrat) Ask yourself who is trying to really indoctrinate our children. It ain't the Common Core.

high school fan
Huntington, UT

Yes freedom fighter, administrators have more credentials than just a teaching certificate but in order to be an administrator one has to possess a teaching certificate to even be considered. Being a good teacher or even being a great teacher does not guarantee one to be a good principal or superintendent.
And good job freedom fighter for being in education for forty years but the question would be, would you be a good administrator?
We should pay good teachers well, we should help poor teachers become better if possible and we should hire good business people to run our schools and those administrators should not be paid over six figures to do a job.
We turn teachers into principals not because they are always good at it but because they have a piece of paper. Some transfer well and some do not but they all stay.
If we want better education then we need to revamp everything in order to be successful.

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