State superintendent says Utah schools among world's most effective, efficient

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  • worf Mcallen, TX
    Nov. 20, 2013 10:58 p.m.

    @LDS Liberal:

    While you're laughing, list some states with better education than Utah.

    Sorry, but I don't trust, or rely on test scores. I have designed some math, and science tests for Texas, and have a good reason for my statement.

    Again, list some states with better education than Utah.

  • Howard Beal Provo, UT
    Nov. 20, 2013 10:12 p.m.

    I agree with those that say teachers are dedicated and doing a great job with limited resources. I still think we are heading in the wrong direction, very wrong direction. As our state's diversity increases and funding per pupil decreases along bringing larger class sizes and lower teaching morale, we are headed into the abyss. However, I actually think this is the intention of the majority of the legislature. They want to kill public education in Utah by starving it to death. And while public education starves, blame the teachers and the system etc. instead of giving it the sustenance it needs.

  • first2third Elmo, UT
    Nov. 20, 2013 10:57 a.m.

    @Johnny Triumph Hip Hip Hooray for doing OK. Let Utah celebrate mediocrity!

  • Johnny Triumph American Fork, UT
    Nov. 20, 2013 10:35 a.m.

    As long as families place emphasis on education we will continue to thrive and why we seem to do better than many other places in the country. We're certainly not perfect in our education processes but we're doing OK.

  • Malihini Northern, UT
    Nov. 20, 2013 9:34 a.m.

    The problem is that Utah students continue to lag behind their peers when you look at College attending students across the country. Students who come from Utah schools, that have a higher curriculum focus on the social sciences and are used to easier grading criteria, struggle when compared to their peers in college who come from similar demographics. This claim comes from my experience of raising kids in other states, seeing them compete against UT students and from my experience as a staffing manager in a Fortune 100 company who evaluates college graduate talent every day. I'm sorry to say, but students from Utah have a difficult time competing when they are going against talent from other states.

    I would hope that the superintendent would be aware of and use more appropriate and more useful data in order to get more realistic measures. Things such as regional demographic benchmarking data or hiring and employment data would be more useful. Also, ACT, AP scores, and graduation data would be appropriate as long as it is comparable to students with similar demographics and educational goals.

  • Malihini Northern, UT
    Nov. 20, 2013 9:35 a.m.

    I agree with both "LDS Liberal" and "TMR". The superintendent's claim that Utah's education policies are "effective and efficient" are both laughable and offensive. Claims of effective and efficient are euphemisms for a poorly funded system that is kept afloat by a high number of involved parents. Furthermore, for a professional educator to use these statistics to claim that Utah is achieving high results, even "the highest in the nation" is embarrassing. We all know where these results come from (compared to other states where 100% test taking is mandatory). But, as has been pointed out, the demographics of Utah differ from these other states significantly. Therefore the relative measure does not add any value. I agree that it is time to look beyond the Utah borders and understand the world that is out there.

  • Fred44 Salt Lake City, Utah
    Nov. 20, 2013 9:20 a.m.

    The point of the article was efficiency. Many who post on here don't like to talk about money, but money matters. It matters in your home, in your business,and in education. When you don't have money you are limited in what can be done. The argument that you because you cannot draw a direct parallel between money spent and academic achievement does not mean that money doesn't matter.

    Whether Utahn's want to accept it or not, Utah has reached a point where achievement is decreasing because of lack of funding.

  • TMR Los Angeles, CA
    Nov. 20, 2013 8:32 a.m.

    As a parent whose children have graduate from high schools in Utah, East Coast, West Coast, and DC metro, I can say with confidence that the claim that "Utah's schools among world's most effective, efficient" is bunk. It is no surprise that Utah scores are "relatively" high: its demographics lend itself to this status - the state does not have sizable areas of urban or rural blight that drop the average scores. However, I have found education in the state at best to be mediocre. Yes, the teachers are dedicated, but teachers are dedicated in most places: that is why they teach. The reasons for Utah's mediocrity is too complicated to lay out for a post of this size, but I do find the self-congratulatory stance on the state's education to be amusing.

  • LDS Liberal Farmington, UT
    Nov. 20, 2013 7:46 a.m.

    The Teachers here do a great job - DISPITE their School District Administrators!

    As for Utah's education being the best in the word?
    This guy needs to get out of his tiny little "Utah Bubble".

  • DN Subscriber 2 SLC, UT
    Nov. 19, 2013 10:59 p.m.

    Utah's educators do a tremendous job with the resources they are given.

    Utah's parents do a tremendous job reinforcing the value of an education and encouraging students to learn, and to graduate.

    Utah's schools are funded adequately, but not generously. Likewise, most Utah taxpayers earn adequate incomes, but not generous ones. Therefore, it is unreasonable to automatically agree to the perpetual demands for "More Money!"

    Instead, Utah's education system needs to look closely at what it does, and why, and how. The "tooth to tail" ratio between classroom educators and administrative staff is ripe for savings, and elimination of unnecessary functions. Like it or not, kids today are more attuned to digital media and learning potential there is nearly unlimited. We need to exploit that, and get away from the dogma that "seat time equals education."

    We also need to admit some kids are disruptive or perhaps mentally challenged but for whatever reason a negative influence on learning. Quit wasting time keeping them in the "mainstream" and the rest of the students will achieve more, with less teacher effort. Deal with the few difficult students separately.

    Keep up the good work, but within our funding limits.

  • Orem Parent Orem, UT
    Nov. 19, 2013 10:58 p.m.

    Yes we get an enormous bang for our buck. I want to personally thank the teachers that my kids have had here in Utah. I have never seen a more dedicated bunch of people than our local teachers. Thank you for your hard work and long hours. They do amazing work and we are all the recipients of having a well educated population.

    Thank You!