Utah could profit from a National Education Association campaign that would designate an entire school district as "a learning laboratory," a Utah educator says.

Jim Campbell, president of the Utah Education Association, said a learning laboratory would give education the freedom to improve the school through research, innovation, redesign and evaluation.Utah teacher-delegates are attending the 8,000-member policy-making assembly of the NEA in New Orleans this week.

Each lab would develop improvement projects, with clearly defined goals, solid research and evaluation, by gathering comment from the district's students, teachers, administrators, parents and school board members, he said.

He said a learning lab could work well in tandem with Utah's new block grant legislation. With it, the strings on state funding are cut, giving pilot school districts the liberty to use the dollars how they choose.