Pricey education tech bill gets Senate approval, moves to House

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  • Steven S Jarvis Orem, UT
    Feb. 1, 2012 7:15 p.m.

    The legislature continues to change tests, standards and criteria every year. There is no scientific basis for what they have done and will continue to do. The ever-changing shell game of testing is actually an expensive charade the state plays with the feds over NCLB. Each testing change makes past data unreliable in charting student's actual progress, and keeps reports of how well our students are doing from being accurately reported. CAT is just the latest Utah testing scheme to arrive. It is also the worst and most expensive scheme simply because no other state has established its scientific reliability. Utah should not be the guinea pig. Our kids have suffered enough!

    If the legislature actually wants to HELP education, they should allow educators to teach without the constant interference. Students, parents and teachers would benefit if education was allowed to be consistent and routine. The state should stop altering things without real cause AND scientific data supporting the change. Neither of these things is in the cards for schools till people actually vote politicians that are for public education.

  • Utah Teacher Orem, UT
    Jan. 31, 2012 7:07 p.m.

    If this passes can we at least get a Utah company to write the software and implement the testing program?

    I worked on writing some of the CRT test that we now use and the state contracted with some company back east to write the test. What did the company do? They came to Utah and hired us teachers to write test questions at $100 a day (yes it was that pitiful). We did the work, they collected the money. Then the company chose the most obscure, hard to understand questions that were in the pool. The CRTs have been a joke and pretty worthless. I'd be happy to see them go away but hope that we get something much better to replace them.

  • jp3 Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 31, 2012 3:50 p.m.

    As a secondary ed. teacher in the Granite District, I can attest first-hand to the extreme waste in technology funds--hundreds of thousands of dollars on software and programs that are not used or that nobody wants to use.

    I wish the D-News would do some investigative reporting on where all the technology appropriated funding goes. Case in point, "Canvas"--the dopey brainchild of Superintendent Bates--basically a homework blog that no one uses because it's so convoulted and un-user friendly--Granite already has homework blogs that work perfectly, but Mr. Bates spent hundred of thousands of dollars on this piece of software--without testing it first and without the approval of the users (teachers, parents, and students).

    This is a rampant problem in education with "technology money"--you've got a bunch of slick salepeople making their pitches to administrators who feel they need to spend the technology money on something--anything. I encounter software program after software program that leaves me scratching my head because no one has bothered to see if it actually works without a million glitches (My Access, SRI, Accuity, etc.).