Utah public education

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  • RedShirt USS Enterprise, UT
    Nov. 14, 2012 1:02 p.m.

    To "Steve Cottrell" why is it that we spend $8,000 per child, with only 60% of that reaching the classroom? Why do we think that money is the answer? I can send my kids to a private school for less money than what the government spends, and get a better education.

    If you look at the nations that do better in math and science than the US, they spend less per child, have more kids in each classroom. Why spend more when other nations do more for less?

    Now, you can also look at spending over the past 30 years, and find that we are spending more now on education than during the 1980's (adjusted for inflation), yet the results are not any better. If what you claim is true, and we just need to spend more, why haven't we seen significant changes in test scores since the 1980's?

  • Steve Cottrell Centerville, UT
    Nov. 13, 2012 5:02 p.m.

    In Utah you can't buy an average car for 2/3 of the national average price

    In Utah you can't buy an average home for 2/3 of the national average price.

    In Utah you can't buy the average gallon of gas for 2/3 of the national average price.

    In Utah you cant buy the average bag of groceries for 2/3 of the national average price.

    Why should we expect to buy an average education for our children for 2/3 (or less) of the national average price?

    Our schools do an amazing job with the resources they have.

  • educated_conservative Springville, UT
    Nov. 13, 2012 2:25 p.m.

    Good letter.

    One comment on the low test score issue. While it is true, as the letter describes, that Utah students' test scores are pretty average nationally, it is a little misleading. When you compare Utah to "peer states" (states that most closely resemble our demographics) we move to last place. In other words, when you even out the effects of other important variables like socioeconomic status, ethnicity, parental educational attainment, etc. we get a more accurate picture of where we stack up. It is not a pleasant picture.

    The adage is true: "You get what you pay for." We must do as Wyoming did and make a firm commitment to fully fund education.

  • The Real Maverick Orem, UT
    Nov. 13, 2012 8:36 a.m.

    Great letter.

    Unfortunately, many in our legislature want public schools to fail as they have financial ties to charter and private schools. Would you really expect the flock to be defended by a pack of wolves?

    Absolutely not.

    So why are we surprised to see public education repeatedly attacked and gutted by folks who benefit financially by the public schools' failures?

  • Twin Lights Louisville, KY
    Nov. 13, 2012 7:53 a.m.

    Eventually a tipping point is reached and you cannot do more with less. In every field and every venture more resources (appropriately allocated and used) are the key to doing more.

    In the mission field, we want more missionaries. In our wards, we want more home and visiting teachers. We clearly see the relationship between more folks involved and more results. The same is true here (again, assuming appropriate usage).

    No, more resources do not automatically mean better results. But when you are already at super thin margins, you need more resources in order to mobilize a new plan to get better results.

  • one old man Ogden, UT
    Nov. 13, 2012 7:35 a.m.

    And Utah teachers are still subsidizing our schools by purchasing needed materials with their own families' money.

    Back several years ago, it was estimated that the average Utah teacher spends something like $900 per year on his or her classroom and students. That amounted to somewhere in the neighborhood of $11,000,000 per year donated by teachers.