Published: Tuesday, July 15 2014 12:00 a.m. MDT
Listen, it's simple.You get what you pay for.Here
Utah, we've paid to have the least funded students, classrooms, and
teachers.Get class sizes down, give our soldiers (teachers) the
materials to win this war, and get that darn entitled and corrupt legislature
out of the way!Until we stop demonizing teachers, attacking public
education for our own gains (Lockhart, Bramble, Stephenson), and actually pay
for our kids, nothing will change.Why can't big families slap
some skin into this game? It's funny how the people with the most kids pay
the least! How does that make any sense? That's republican leadership for
While I am certainly not opposed to changing the climate of schools or
strengthening the bond between parent and student, Mr. Stoddard never shows us
how this will increase the funding for schools. Making schools more successful
will not force the legislature to increase funding. On the contrary, I have
heard legislators brag about what a bargain the Utah system is: reasonable
performance at rock-bottom prices. Speaking of performance, I'm curious:
How did these students perform on the state-mandated testing? I can see a
potential disconnect here, also.
I am puzzled. Funding wasn't addressed!
The missing part about increasing funding is only implied in the article. The
implication is that by doing student focused learning parents will be more
willing to increase school funding.
I'm sorry, but voter approved bonds goes almost entirely to infrastructure
construction, not the actual instruction and materials needed in the schools.
That would take the legislature (The Super School Board) doing something
meaningful with the WPU, but I don't see that happening. As a teacher,
I've always believed in a student-centered approach and I've been
screaming about this for years. Again, politics gets in the way of sound
policy. Remove the politics from education (which has gotten much worse over
the last 15 years) and it improve immensely. That is what they did in Finland.
The removed the government from education and put educators in charge of it, but
American culture just can't let go of inserting politics and
micromanagement into every little tiny thing.
Even though the article doesn't even come close to addressing the
particulars of education funding, its a moot point; there is no correlation
between funding and student achievement when you look at the municipalities with
the highest per-student costs. Washington, D.C. has the highest expenditures per
student and has among the worst if not the worst student performance. Utah has
always been relatively high in student performance while not being among the
most profligate spenders in education. Once we stop conflating funding with
student support and student-centered approaches as this article proposes, we
will be well on the way to resolving the true issues. My personal sense is that
students are being exploited by the oligarchy to garner more influence and
power. Funding is just the kettle used to collect it.
Student centered approach? I thought education was supposed to be
truth-centered, knowledge-centered, and skill-centered? Does student centered
instruction teach students that the world revolves around them? When they go
into the job market, will they get "student centered" treatment by their
employers?As a business owner, we hire people we believe to be
competent, capable, talented, and professional. Our company does not, nor will
it, revolve around them. They will be expected to dig in and contribute value,
being company-centric, not self-centric.
Student-centered education?It's always been that.Just let teachers handle education, and quit re-inventing schools. What a waste of funding.
Re: "If we want to help Utah rise up from the bottom of funding, we need to
believe student-centered education is worth a try."Huh?First off, why should we aspire to spend more money on Utah education, when
it's far from the bottom of the effectiveness pile with what we currently
spend. Secondly, how does a phony, grade-school post office translate into
bigger paychecks for Utah teachers and their greedy union bosses?I
guess this is just the latest in a long series of scams and hustles, meant to
lull us into thinking that unions are not all about money and power. They are,
of course, but they try hard to hide it.
Wow, I'm agreeing with Worf again. Mercy!He's right.
Good teachers have always used student-centered education.IMLDS2 --
you are completely missing the boat with your comment. Unless perhaps you are
talking about children of the 1% who must be educated toward the objective of
being able to hang on to their inherited fortunes no matter who they must
trample in the process.
@I M LDS 2,As a business owner, I am sure that you do focus on the
skills of each individual employee to place them in the best position possible
that will provide the optimal benefit for the company. You would hopefully
create a strong team with different skill sets and strengths that can work
together to meet your business goals. Not everyone will be able to take care of
the company's accounting needs, and not everyone will be skilled at
bringing in new customers. If you don't have an employee-focused approach
to hiring and maintaining a strong staff, you won't be a business owner for
Comments continue to focus on the wrong solution: more school funding.
Repeatedly - repeatedly - it's been shown that more funding does NOT
improve schools. There are states and cities with far more school funding than
Utah, whose schools do not perform as well as Utah schools. Besides, additional
funding usually does NOT go to teachers but to non-teaching positions in the
system.The solution is more parent involvement. The correlation
between successful students and parent involvement is undisputed. Students with
involved parents, generally do far better than students with UNinvolved parents
- regardless of the money funded for education. Thus, the PTAs need to focus
more on getting parents into classrooms to help the teachers. Then students can
receive more individual attention, and we can achieve student-centered
Mr. Stoddard is describing the best of the four possible classrooms.1)
Teacher-Centered: The teacher is the Big Honcho, saying, "This is MY room.
You are just visitors. I run the show with a curriculum that was all set before
you came to school first day. I will tell you what you need!" (although I do
not know you at all.);2) TeachING-Centered: Curriculum is still
pre-determined but the teacher is interested in the HOW of teaching - using a
variety of teaching strategies and media to make the content as appealing as
possible;3) LearnING-Centered: Teacher knows students learn differently
and pays attention to matching teaching strategies to student learning styles to
increase the absorption of the pre-determined curriculum. 4)
LearnER-Centered: The ideal educational system based on what the individual
child needs to succeed now AND in the future delivering naturally all the things
we worry about and try awkwardly to force with our pressurized, fear-based,
high-stakes testing nonsense. Look at the kids coming out of Montessori schools
and you will get a clue as to what is possible, and that is just the beginning
to some of us - but a good one.
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