The State Board of Education has approved the educational mission statement announced recently by the Strategic Planning Committee.

After a meeting last week at Snowbird, the committee held a news conference to announce its intent to create in Utah the most outstanding educational system possible.The mission statement says, "Public education's mission is to assure Utah the best-educated citizenry in the world and each individual the training to succeed in a global society, by providing students learning and occupational skills, character development, literacy and basic knowledge through a responsive statewide system that guarantees local school communities autonomy, flexibility and client choice, while holding them accountable for results." State Superintendent Jay B. Taggart recommended approval.

"There is nothing in this plan that is negative to what we are trying to do in education," said Taggart.

The committee's mission statement, objectives and strategies are expected to guide educational policy in Utah for the foreseeable future. The committee was authorized by the 1990 Legislature to study educational issues.

State Board of Education member Richard Maxfield and Bruce Griffin, associate state superintendent, sit on the strategic planning committee.

Board member M. Richard Maxfield said that reflecting on the four objectives of education made it clear the committee's objectives cannot be accomplished without cooperation between public and higher education. "It is a rather remarkable document," he said.

Each board member agreed the mission statement was a step in the right direction and reaffirms the direction the state board had earlier selected.