Speaker Rebecca Lockhart should commit the lion’s share of her proposed technology monies to support underfunded programs currently limping along in schools (arts, K-3 reading, gifted programs, teaching assistants, planning and professional development). Teachers tasked with making recommendations to lawmakers and the UEA about public education recently published “Educators Taking the Lead: A Vision for Fostering Teaching and Learning.”
Unlike Speaker Lockhart’s “silver bullet” technology approach to enhancing students’ education, 18 months of research identified multiple issues and potential interventions. Was the lack of technology among the issues? Of course. But to think that technology is the panacea to all education woes is vastly underestimating our predicament in education. Consider:
1. Schools are functioning at 2008 funding levels with thousands more students.
2. The number one indicator of student success is interaction with a high-quality teacher.
3. A long-term, sustainable funding stream for education is conspicuously absent from legislative discussions.
Sen. Patricia Jones, Rep. Tim Cosgrove and others have tried to force a debate on their respective floors, but debate always gets torpedoed by leadership. Until that changes, public education in Utah will continue to hobble along with no real sustainable improvements.
Utah children deserve a thoughtful distribution of education dollars.