Natalie Gochnour: Utah falls short in dealing with at-risk students

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  • Orem Parent Orem, UT
    April 6, 2013 8:38 a.m.

    Howard is right. The youngest teachers get the biggest classes full of the worst behavior problems. If we really want to tackle this we would need to limit 1st grade classes to around 20 students. Of course this would cost money and when it comes to education in Utah, we don't put our money into the classroom. We have beautiful 6 lane highways for the school bus to drive on but we can't get a 1st grade classroom with 20 students.

  • Howard Beal Provo, UT
    April 5, 2013 10:49 a.m.

    I don't know what the solutions are necessarily but I know this, sticking at-risk kids in with a rookie 23 year-old teacher who has 35-40 students won't provide an answer either.

  • Really??? Kearns, UT
    April 5, 2013 9:06 a.m.

    The students who refuse to work and insist on misbehaving do so because they have learned that there are no heavy consequences to their choices. They act up and refuse to do their school work in elementary school, and guess what happens; they move on to the next grade just like all of their peers. Never mind that they didn't master the concepts they were supposed to learn in that grade. Social advancement has caused major problems in our public schools. When students learn early in life that their are big consequences to their choices, they will continue behaving the way they do.

    Imagine the difference in our schools if the true stakeholders were suddenly expected to be accountable for their own behaviors and learning.

  • Badgerbadger Murray, UT
    April 5, 2013 8:46 a.m.

    There are vast resources spent on at risk students, but to no avail. By junior high, there are students who simply refuse to do anything at school except disrupt. Unless you are willing to pay them to behave at school, I doubt you get them to graduate.

    Perhaps better intervention younger would help, but the resources spent in secondary schools are not so much too little, as too late.

  • ECR Burke, VA
    April 5, 2013 8:29 a.m.

    Thank you, Ms. Gochnour, for bringing this issue to light. Having been a resident of Utah I know somewhat of what you speak. We left Utah 25 years ago but it sounds as though things have not changed for the better in regard to this issue. My son was displaying behavioral problems in his third grade class. The only resource his teacher could offer was a suggestion to hold him back for a year and suggested that we might want to wait until a time when we moved to a new school, to avoid embarrassment. But when we actually made plans to move later that spring she backed off and said he would be fine. But just two weeks into our new life here in Virginia we got a call from the school administration and together we took action to help my son using the excellent resources available in our school district. An interesting note was that in grade school and high school his worst subject was English. But with the schools help and his hard work he graduated from a top University and is now working as a journalist. Early intervention is the key.

  • Wastintime Los Angeles, CA
    April 5, 2013 8:15 a.m.

    "Utah — for all of its love of children and commitment to families and contributions to the national and world economies —"