Gov. Norm Bangerter has a "90 x 90" plan for education that would see 90 percent of the state's students graduating from high school by the year 1990 and 90 percent of all Utah students scoring at or above national norms by that year.
The Republican incumbent's plan for education, if he is re-elected, includes what he chooses to title "FACTS":- F: funding for continued growth in education as a priority item, coupled with the wisest expenditure of funds.
- A: achievement must improve at all levels.
- C: communication among parents, educators and the business sector must be promoted to ensure accountability. The Report Card program for schools, initiated during the last legislative session, along with business partnerships at the school level should continue to receive emphasis.
- T: technology must be used to ease teacher workloads, help tutor students and aid in planning. It can enhance school restructuring efforts.
- S: support of schools by parents, districts and the state will be improved by an increasing shift to local control. Programs such as block grant funding, which allows local districts more latitude in deciding how to spend their allotments, will contribute to "local people solving local problems," Bangerter said.
During the winter Legislative session, Bangerter took steps to promote more local control by pushing a block grant program that is now in the experimental stage. Six districts will receive part of their funding without any state requirements for its use.
The block grant was part of an education program undertaken in his State of the State address in January. He also is seeking more accountability from the schools. His concept of a "report card" is being implemented by most school districts.
The state will draw on several state and national blueprints to accomplish the FACTS platform goals, Bangerter said. They include the Strategic Planning Commission Report, the Story of 16 American Districts (a study that includes Salt Lake and Provo districts), Success Insurance for Youth and Economic Development Partnership.
"We need to combine the pioneer spirit with space age vision to accomplish these goals," Bangerter said.
His education plan is similar in several points to the education plank released last week by Democrat Ted Wilson.
Bangerter said he was "glad Wilson's plan for education endorses what we have already done." He disagreed with the Democrat, however, on using individual student scores to determine progress in education.