One small step

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  • Rufus1 Highland, UT
    March 12, 2012 9:37 p.m.

    This bill though well intended is too radical in its sweeping changes. It has the potential to do far more harm than good. I am a public school elementary educator. I belong to no teacher union and have no political bias as my motivation for my objections. The group most likely to be hurt the most by a heavily weighted performance based pay scale isn't the teacher. It would be the student- particularly those with special needs including English Language Learners, autistic, Downs Syndrome, or any other student who struggles and frankly doesn't need a bigger target on their backs. By basing over half a teacher's pay to performance, these students could become liabilities when they should be embraced as assets. This bill would not motivate teachers to seek further specialized training to become more skilled because it would have no bearing whatsoever on their pay. A trampoline salesman never sets pay scales for doctors and neither should overreaching politicians for teachers. Many factors influence student performance-many of which are beyond an educators's powers to control. What other profession bases over half its pay on one week's performance? Politicians should properly fund public education- not dismantle it.

  • Aragorn Utah, UT
    Feb. 22, 2012 9:26 p.m.

    I think teachers should be paid according to how good they are. Partly because my dad is an excellent teacher according to his students. He has to teach voice lessons too. If teachers were paid what they were worth my dad could be home with us more.

  • Lifelong Republican Orem, UT
    Feb. 18, 2012 11:28 p.m.

    The best thing the legislature could do is to take Sen. Stephenson out of anything to do with public ed. Go back over the last 10 years and see what he has done to our kids and teachers. You won't find much good in the mess he has created.

    Now take a brand new Senator that actually wants to listen to teachers and you will get some good results. Teachers are not the enemy. It is so refreshing to have a politician come in with what he thought was a great idea, have meetings, realize he was wrong, change his bill, and make progress.

    This bill will do more for education than anything proposed the last 10 years by the other guys that are just out to make public ed seem like the enemy.

    The teachers have been saying it for years. They aren't the enemy. They want better things for our schools but their hands are CONTINUALLY tied by the legislature.

    Charters and vouchers are NOT the answer. They are just more of the problem.

    Get more legislators that actually listen to what the teachers have to say and you will start to solve the problems.

  • worf Mcallen, TX
    Feb. 18, 2012 7:56 p.m.


    High failure rate looks bad on teachers, schools, districts, and will result in a bad teacher evaluation. Students are passed to prevent having a bad image. Allowing teachers, to be honest with their grading would solve many of our problems.

    As a result, students can cruise through school with little effort, than take remedial classes in college in an effort to get through. Many colleges are starting to pass students for the same reason, and we now look to other countries for competent skilled workers.

  • squirt Taylorsville, ut
    Feb. 18, 2012 7:37 a.m.

    It is so distressing that the DNews continues to point out their negative bias to the UEA. What deserves attention is the fact that yes, Senator Osmond brought the parties together and that is truly commendable. However, it was all those entities which helped create this bill. Credit goes to Senator Osmond, the UEA, the State Board of Education, and the Superintendens and School Boards Association.

    UEA members are parents, taxpayers, and mostly Republican. They want the same excellent teachers for their children. UEA does not prepare, hire, evaluate, remediate, or provide professional development at the district level. Yet, UEA gets the blame when a poor performing teacher is in a classroom.

    As Senator Osmond has repeatedly said if employees of a business are not doing well, look to the management.

    DN it is time you stopped with the misinformation and rhetoric about the UEA and recognize the positive step all stakeholders took in creating this bill Be a part of the solution, not the continual agitator of division.

  • rjtolman Taylorsville, Ut
    Feb. 18, 2012 6:46 a.m.

    Accountability , accountability , it is a three legged stool. Utah will never see real growth in true educatin until it is willing to solve this puzzle. There is no,no,no student accountability until the ninth grade. Students know that by the second grade. They see their fellow students move along with no real consequences, then they reach secondary school and are so far behind it becomes a Hugh problem. Teachers who try and increase the difficulty of their curriculum, to challenge students, are often ridiculed by both parents, and administrators. We have forgotten that students learn as much much more from failure than easy assignments. Students show real progress by being given difficult tasks that require some thought. What teachers often here from parents is that you are destroying my child's self concept. Self concept is not gained by giving students easy grades or easy assignments that lead to nothing. It is gained by showing themselves that they can take on difficult assignments, no mater what the grade level, and succed. We all fail our students in both the short and log term when we fail to demand their best. We must find ways to meet this challenge or our children become good at taking multiple choice tests and are never truly educated.

  • worf Mcallen, TX
    Feb. 18, 2012 2:26 a.m.

    "For years, Utah lawmakers have been flirting with ways to make public education more accountable for the way it prepares students for the real world,"

    When lawmakers create the rules, why aren't they more accountable? They need to be accountable for these useless tests which are costly and time consuming. Teach more and test less!

    Holding children and teachers accountable is not the purpose of schools. It's teaching and learning.

    I'm really surprised parents don't help their children by speaking out against these tests.