Some solutions in place to close education gap, but is Utah willing to pay for them?

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  • Orem Parent Orem, UT
    June 28, 2012 12:17 p.m.

    Howard hit the nail on the head.

    This has been the goal of our legislature all along.

    Destroy public ed.

  • Howard Beal Provo, UT
    June 27, 2012 1:38 a.m.

    Utah's schools are in trouble in the sense that they have been starved by the legislature and are ill equipped with low teacher morale, high class sizes etc. to deal with the increasing diverse education. This could be the end game for the Utah Legislature, starve public education then redesign it in some form after it dies (private, charter, vouchers, home school, who knows, do they know?) but unless things change it will not only be painful for students of color, it will be painful for all students.

  • Chris from Rose Park PROVO, UT
    June 26, 2012 2:36 p.m.

    I am excited to hear that people are thinking about how to close the education gap. It is very much needed. I haven't made my opinion on which methods are best but I support we are trying different tactics to find what works.

    I, in general, am a fan for decreased government spending but I am a strong supporter of investing in education for our younger generation. All American children (natural born and immigrants) deserve all the help we can give them. I am against illegal immigration but I feel it's constant discussion has made many people think most Hispanic immigrants are here illegally. I know I have been guilty of that and when I realized it I was disgusted with myself. I think it is good to understand there is a problem but to not let it get in the way of us helping disadvantaged citizens because we might be helping illegals at the same time.

  • trueamerican Huntsville, AL
    June 26, 2012 2:14 p.m.

    Chinookdoctor, it is NOT about immigration. It is about ILLEGAL immigration. This is what people have the issue with. The U.S. should not have to foot the bill for the entire world to "reach their potential". Other nations must come up to the line and do their part. They do not, though. Rather, they want the U.S. to do it. In fact, nations like Mexico cry out if we do not let illegals stay here and rake in the benefits on the citizen taxpayer's back. Being anti-illegal immigrant does not mean that one is anti-family. How in the world can one come to that conclusion?

  • staypuffinpc Provo, UT
    June 26, 2012 1:22 p.m.

    So, a few ironic things.
    First, I am married to a legal immigrant (now a citizen), and it's frustrating when those who don't follow the rules get a 'free pass.' That said, I think many on here exhibit an unhealthy entitlement attitude because of where they were born, blaming society's problems on the closest darker-skinned targets.

    Second, not doing everything we can to educate those in our schools is about the dumbest thing we could do (or not do, as it were). If they're not educated and in school, where will they be and under what conditions?

    Third, I've taught adult literacy in rural Mexico and, guess what? They had free health care and school breakfast. Those suggesting that folks come here for a free lunch are ignorant of illegal immigrants' reasons for coming here. Most of them come to work to make a better life for their families.

    Fourth, it's completely disingenuous to constantly criticize the financial burden brought on by illegal immigrants without acknowledging the financial benefits (i.e., cheaper products, a largely consumer-based population whose salaries are poured back into society, etc.)

  • Ted H. Midvale, UT
    June 26, 2012 12:43 p.m.

    If I go to another country, is my MY responsibility to learn their language. It is MY responsibility to get my kids assimilated.

    More examples of the left and those who support leftist policies trying to throw one person's responsibilty on others.

  • DN Subscriber Cottonwood Heights, UT
    June 26, 2012 11:14 a.m.

    We could afford this if the only people attending were the people here legally.

    Illegal immigrants and their children are a huge expense to our education, medical, welfare and criminal justice system. That is why we cannot afford better education.

    Legal immigrants deserve lots of help and I hope they can get it, even if it means tightening enforcement of our immigration laws.

  • Kitenoa Salt Lake City, UT
    June 26, 2012 10:55 a.m.

    This program has NOT closed the achievement gap at all. THIRD GRADE? My, you have got 9 more years before high school graduation. There has to be a better way of educating young children, besides providing privileged and unsustainable education to a few selected students.

  • Carolyn Sharette Sandy, UT
    June 26, 2012 10:41 a.m.

    Tigger - explicit instruction is the only type of instruction shown to effect positive academic changes in preschoolers. Headstart's failure over decades to provide academic preparation for preschoolers is finally being revealed and explicit teaching's successes cannot be ignored.

    While it is also great for preschoolers to participate in discovery learning activities, like finger painting, sandboxes, arts and crafts and dressups, for non-english speaking children these activities are not effective in preparing them for school because the children do not have the language to talk about all those activities. The more creative activities are powerful because of the language and discussion that they promote, but in children who can't speak English, they don't provide the same experience.

    Fortunately we now know that if we explicitly teach language and vocabulary, number sense and pre-math to non-english speaking preschoolers, the achievement gap can be closed. This is VERY exciting news. We now have the expertise and understanding to fix the achievement gap.

    The question is, do we have the will to implement it? If we do, Utah can lead the nation in academic achievement for all students.

  • tigger AMERICAN FORK, UT
    June 26, 2012 9:43 a.m.

    Well, ya had me on board until I read the "explicit instruction" at the preschool level. Apparently someone hasn't done their research.

  • my 2 cents worth West Jordan, UT
    June 26, 2012 8:55 a.m.

    Interesting that the stats for American Indians are the same as for Hispanics. And yet, we aren't bending over backwards as a state or a nation to teach and print everything in Navajo or Ute or Shoshone. The ultimate irony: caring about illegal immigrants and ignoring the natives.

  • dalefarr South Jordan, Utah
    June 26, 2012 8:54 a.m.

    The history of our one party legislature suggests we won't pay. Every year subsidies and exceptions for businesses increase and every year we refuse to have an extraction of minerals tax equal to the extraction tax in Wyoming.

  • trueamerican Huntsville, AL
    June 26, 2012 8:39 a.m.

    I am just sick of having to pay out benefits for illegal aliens and their children due to companies not wanting to pay a competitive wage. The corporate world gets a pass to not pay out benefits and make the rest of us taxpayers foot the bill. Meanwhile, the CEO gets to make more money off the backs of illegal immigrants. I want the border plugged and laws enacted and enforced to prevent companies from hiring illegals. It is not a racist issue. I know even some LDS sensitive to illegal immigrant issues like to keep calling this a racist issue. It is most certainly not. It is about a sustainable economy with jobs for Americans. Contrary to some popular opinion, citizens of other countries, who come here illegally, are not American matter how hard they work.

  • Utah Teacher Orem, UT
    June 26, 2012 8:25 a.m.

    I teach in Provo at a school that is roughly 30% hispanic (although that number has been shrinking the last two years due to the bad economy). The problem isn't the schools. We have many hispanic students that are high achievers. Usually they are the kids that come from families farther away from the border. Their families are immigrating here in order to get a good education for their kids. They do all that they can to help their kids and it pays off.

    The problems in the schools come from the families that don't value education. Their culture values hard work over education which isn't a bad thing in my opinion. However it doesn't fit into our mold of school until 18. Those kids just want to get a job and start earning money. Of courses that is short sighted and they would be much better off in the long run if they got more education. Until a cultural shift happens, we will continue to see this group of students doing poorly in school.

    Don't blame the schools for this. We can't change their cultural background. We can only teach.

  • sally Kearns, UT
    June 26, 2012 8:24 a.m.

    It is nothing but free daycare for these families. Children mature at different times in the early years. By the time they are in the fourth grade their brains can usually assimilate the information on more of an equal level with peers. Children crawl and walk when they are ready. It is a natural progression. Learning should also be a natural progression. It should not be this difficult to teach a child when they are developmentally ready for the information.
    The parents need to step up and embrace being Americans when they come to America by learning English and the culture. These are parents looking for a free lunch in America. Learning English would help the children appreciate the value of learning and adjusting to new environments in life.

  • luv2organize Gainesville, VA
    June 26, 2012 8:22 a.m.

    On a more positive note I find it so amazing how quickly young children can learn a new language. I have lived in South America for 2 years now and continue to struggle with Spanish even with classes while my now 6 year old can speak and understand spanish just fine! Moderation in all things should be considered with all programs and wisdom in spending our money - the tax payers.

  • chinookdoctor PASADENA, CA
    June 26, 2012 8:03 a.m.

    Many commenters assume that all immigrants spoken of in these stories came illegally and that all Asians do well. Please, do some research on the "Model Minority" myth, the fact is that many asian students who do well after landing on our shores are not exceptional because universally asian parents value education, it is frequently because these kids come from families that were wealthy in their parents home country and themselves had great educations. In fact, many such families were elite financially and educationally, so when they move to the US they just assume the social roles they would have had in their own countries. Also, if the commenters on this site are usually LDS, it is shocking for me as a member of the Church to find out that many of you are in fact anti-family and anti-child. You have to be in the gall of bitterness to deny children the fundamental and basic opportunity to reach their innate potential. Many Hispanics who immigrate now are part of a wave of basically economic refugees seeking jobs, they are generally poorer in their home country and frequently have less access to education there. This is well documented.

  • Say No to BO Mapleton, UT
    June 26, 2012 6:25 a.m.

    It's touching that the reporter focuses on pre-K and the little children, but the students aren't dropping out of 4th grade. Asian students do well primarily because they have a cultural expectation of academic success in their homes. Hispanics do not.
    Throwing all this public cash into the children isn't working. Did you notice that? More tax money down the rabbit hole as we try to implement Hillary's village.
    As the Brethren have been saying for 50 years, you need to fix the family. Of course, it isn't very PC to suggest to any racial/ethnic group to become more like the WASPs.
    Personally, I don't care if they assimilate or not; let's stop wasting money where it could be better spent on our own kids.

  • fed up Provo, UT
    June 26, 2012 6:07 a.m.

    But why are we put in a spot where it drains the financial resources so much for children whose parents aren't here legally?????