Local school districts in Utah should assume more responsibility for making decisions about education reform, while the role of the Legislature should be reduced, a spokesman for the American Federation of Teachers said.

The Legislature is being pushed into the role of a "super board" because school districts are not taking leadership roles, said Ken Zenger of the Utah Teachers United, state affiliate of the AFT.Schools should not continue to put 30 to 40 students in a classroom, all for the same amount of time, disregarding differences in attitudes, interests, intelligence levels, learning rates and social backgrounds.

In some other states, AFT locals are making more input into teacher hiring and firing procedures and developing innovative school level management concepts.

Utah districts have been slow to step forward and take charge of the educational delivery system, he said.

He challenged Utah's school districts to create a "lighthouse district" that can serve as a model for change.

"To continue following the same system, or to call for longer days and

/or more requirements is to continue a system that is proving less effective and less efficient," Zenger said.