Published: Wednesday, Aug. 13 2014 12:00 a.m. MDT
Re: ". . . a coalition of non-governmental groups [should] put an initiative
on the ballot."Yeah, good luck with than, Prof. Notwithstanding
all the UEA/NEA blather, Utah education has yet to offer any credible evidence
of a coming educational distopia to support their incessant cries of
"wolf." In fact, Utah education is doing quite well, particularly in
those districts not overly controlled by or beholden to UEA/NEA.Leftist educators and their trade-union bosses constantly bleat about the
necessity of concocting grandiose educational plans, but, focus some light on
the propaganda, and these "plans" invariably boil down to more
unsustainable taxing and spending -- as it does the Prof's article.A savvy state legislator once asked a UEA/NEA boss, "how much money
would it take to shut you up?" The stunned lobbyist could not come up with a
figure.That clearly illustrates the real issue here -- a UEA/NEA
tactic and need to engage in perpetual community organizing, attacking any and
all educational funding as too little, too late.All to cover up the
real single-item agenda -- more money for greedy trade-union bosses.
There wasn't much or anything in the article about student scores in Utah
and our low per pupil spending. D.C. has one of the highest per pupil spending
in the nation but continues to have some of the lowest test scores in the
nation. The money didn't make the difference. Parents and families make
the difference.I'm in favor of higher taxes for education, but
only if the money goes to reduced class size and teacher salaries; and, only if
there is a reduction in administration costs.
I fully agree with the comments by Mr. Davis but I am also curious as to why the
state superintendent of public instruction has taken no action to develop a long
range plan for public education in the state. Shouldn't the state
superintendent be out front on every public education issue in Uah?
More money is simply not available for public schools. 60% of the state budget
goes to public education.
The teachers unions and their allies on the left have only one solution for
improving education- more money, always more money.First, education
is Utah may not be funded at what they think is an appropriate level, and indeed
per child may be well below the national average. But, thanks to the quality of
Utah teachers, the involvement of Utah parents, and the diligence of most Utah
students, our education system produces pretty well educated kids. The notable
exceptions being in communities with non-English speakers, many of whom are
illegal aliens, but that is a different problem from school funding.Second, as pointed out above, mere spending does not produce better
results.Third, no one asks, as they should, what is the best use of
the funding currently available? Where is money wasted, what programs are
unnecessary, and what jobs are not essential? How much are we paying for
"administrivia" and non-value adding people, programs, requirements,
reports, structures, advertising, equipment, etc.?Finally, the
"more money for schools" advocates ignore that fact that Utah taxpayers
are taxed quite enough already, and they have no right to demand more money from
people who are not getting paid more themselves.
Why are Utah students average performers on every national test? Simple math: A high school teacher with 200 students has half the time to
assess, instruct, and remediate individual students than a teacher with 100
students. That's the difference between Utah and, say, Vermont,
which has the nation's highest scores. So much for the tired,
illogical conservative argument that class size is meaningless.Utah
parents would do anything for their kids except pay the price to educate them.
I wish people would look closer at the statistics before formulating their
opinion.Utah used to be a leader in educational outcomes and college
preparation. Capital spending did not cause that. Now it appears Utah has fallen
behind recently and I wondered why so I dug into the statistics to find out what
is really happening with Utah education. I looked up the ACT web pages and read
the Executive Summary which recommends looking at the five-year history rather
than year-over-year changes. I noted a significant dropoff of ACT scores over
the past two years and a couple of pages later, the Summary displayed the ethnic
makeup of student test-takers. Not surprisingly, Hispanic representation was the
only group which showed a significant increase during those same two years.
Conclusion: because Utah is ranked #1 in economic conditions for underprivileged
children (according to a report in DN), it is a magnet for immigration from
Latin American families who have come to this country without the benefit of a
solid educational foundation. Whatever Utah's comprehensive plan
eventuates, I hope it takes into account the underlying causes for current
Sal and DN Subscriber,Davis actually cites a study, you know, facts to
back up his claims. Please list for me a handful of credible studies that refute
any correlation between spending money and education performance. All I saw from
your post was there's no proof it helps without anything to back it up as
opposed to Davis who DID back up his claim. Until you do, I am 100% in agreement
Amen. I have a friend who teaches math in a junior high. She has class sizes in
the mid-40s. This is unacceptable. The problem with Republicans today is that
they put ideology ahead of both common sense and real solutions to real
This is how we fix education. The state legislature gives an abundance of
Money to the local school districts and we trust the local school boards to make
correct decisions. The State office of Education should provide vision and
support. The local school district should be in control of planning and
implementation, curriculum etc. The local schools along with their
community councils and teachers, differentiate curriculum for specific student
and population needs. Teachers should be able to print out a report
showing which standards they have taught, where your child stands when it comes
to learning the standards and which standards will be taught over the next few
months. Parents should be actively involved in schools.
Part 2Working mothers and fathers should be taking time off to spend with
their local schools. Parents should read to and with their kids daily at
home... oh and help them to do their homework. Parents should keep up on
the latest instructional strategies so that they can help their kids at home.
(This one is for all of you complaining that "they aren't doing it the
way I had it as a kid.") BTW... We should probably be grateful for that. Parents should learn the Common Core Standards, follow their kids progress and
help them if they fall behind.
Let's take the arguments of proc and sal to their logical level and put 100
first graders in a lunchroom with one teacher and see if works out...
@Tenn12- do your own study. Look up the per student spending by state. Then look
up the student achievement scores by state. You will see there is not much
correlation between the two. Of those states with high expenditures and high
test scores, I have seen a distinctly different demographic makeup. You might
have to agree there is a greater correlation between demographics and test
scores than between spending and test scores.@bradleyc- if you have
ever looked at the Common Core Standards and methodology, you would never
recommend that as an education solution.@Howard Beal- what is
logical about putting 100 first graders in a lunchroom except to serve them free
meals to teach them dependency?
kiddsport,That's the problem, I have. I have found the same
conclusions as Mr. Davis. I don't find credible studies to back up anything
you claim. Please enlighten us all. Oh and Washington D.C. doesn't cut it.
They were an outlier. This is why I'm asking you and others who claim money
won't help to show me credible studies that prove it doesn't.
Re: "I'm asking you and others who claim money won't help to show
me credible studies that prove it doesn't."Sophistry.The burden is not on real Utahns to prove a negative. Rather, it's
on leftist educators and their union bosses to prove to us we should support
measures they're constantly whining for. And that simply hasn't been
done. Certainly not to any confidence level real Utah voters need to see in
order to support the ruinous taxes UEA/NEA shills are demanding.And,
BTW, your suggestion that we should just dismiss out of hand -- as a somehow
irrelevant outlier -- Washington, DC's shining example of the fact that
heaving unsustainable boatloads of extra cash at schools enriches unions, but
not kids' education, seems just a little too convenient to thinking Utahns.
It's simple:Eliminate the child tax dedication. Big families
should slap some skin into funding public education too.Raise minerals and
natural resource exploitation taxes to levels of "liberal" states like
Wyoming. It's time for these guys to pay their fair share of taxes.Use these new revenues as ways to fund education. Now,
greatly strengthen the teachers union and the state board of education. The
legislature, Eagle Forum, and Libertas is institute should have zero say on
curriculum, testing, of how money should be spent. Get the special interest
groups that want to privatize education out of the way!
Contrary to what the Eagle Forum says, there are studies after studies that show
a strong correlation to per pupil spending and academic achievement. To say
there aren't studies that confirm this is like saying that there isn't
any man made global warming or that evolution doesn't happen...
Re: "To say there aren't studies that confirm this is like saying that
there isn't any man made global warming or that evolution doesn't
So much misinformation here! I'll just address two:First, Utah
students do NOT perform better than in other states. Broken down by ethnicity,
every group scores below average...even Caucasian Utah students do worse than
average. White students perform better on standardized tests than non-white
students...and Utah has lots more white students than other states. That's
the ONLY reason it appears we are above average.Second, money DOES
matter. Naysayers always point to Washington DC, but the reality is that--when
poverty, ethnicity and other factors are considered--study after study confirm a
very strong correlation between spending and student success.
There is a plan. It is starve public education to death and hope it all works.
Until then, there will be a lot of collateral damage.
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