John Florez: Maybe farmers should run education

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  • Chuck E. Racer Lehi, UT
    Feb. 17, 2014 5:21 a.m.

    Amen to "Getting Older!" Get the legislators in the state and especially the nation OUT of educational affairs. Divide the school districts to a community size, Build schools of a neighborhood size, and let the local people and local educators govern the education of their own children. It won't guarantee a great education, but it sure makes it a lot more likely!

  • Wonder Provo, UT
    Feb. 16, 2014 10:30 p.m.

    @Mike Richards -- Do you love your job more than your paycheck? I assume you don't care how much money you have, right? It's easy to say that teachers should live on a substandard income and "do it because they love it." But why don't we ever say that about, say doctors? (No, I'm not a teacher. I'm a lawyer.)

  • Getting Older Riverton, UT
    Feb. 16, 2014 5:54 p.m.

    Until the Federal Government gets completely out of education there will be no improvement in education. For 50 years we have thrown more and more money and programs at education. "Common Core" will lead to more educational rot and federal control. Now we want to throw $300 million dollars worth of technology into a rotten system. A wise man once said, "You can't put new wine in old bottles." Get the Feds out of education, let the legislature set broad goals, shrink the size of school districts, give the local district authority, get the unions out and watch education flourish. I guess I can dream.

  • freedomingood provo, Utah
    Feb. 16, 2014 3:23 p.m.

    Mabey not farmers huh?

    MILWAUKEE (AP) -- Dairy farmers expressed frustration this week with Congress' failure to pass a farm bill, saying the uncertainty made it hard to do business and some could go under without changes to the federal milk program.

    Farm bill passed - Long-stalled farm bill, representing nearly $1 trillion in spending over next 10 years, passes in rare bipartisan vote of 68 to 32

    As state and local governments slash spending and federal stimulus dries up, school budget cuts for the next academic year could be the worst in a generation.

  • Mike Richards South Jordan, Utah
    Feb. 16, 2014 9:46 a.m.

    We do not live in a Communistic country where a "teacher" is assigned to teach. If a teacher thinks he is underpaid, then let him find a job teaching at a school that pays what he is worth. He may be very surprised to find that his salary is even less than he's getting now with all of the protections in place.

    Why would anyone think that a failing set of school districts have the answer? They are failing our children. Why would anyone think that a newspaper columnist has the answers? Why would anyone think that the legislature has the answers? Why not ask the teachers and the administrators in successful Utah school to lead the way? They have proven that they can teach, that they can inspire the students, that they love their jobs more than they love their paychecks. The secret of success is to do what successful people do.

  • RWSmith6 Providence, UT
    Feb. 15, 2014 11:46 a.m.

    With population in Utah set to double again in the next 35 years, an extraordinary problem few states face, an extraordinary solution is needed for public education: long term planning for for the development of a reliable, adequate, dedicated stream of revenue to fund it. That planning should be initiated during the current legislative session rather than passed up in favor of the usual (and failed) annualized patch, patch, patch budget to budget.

    There's a problem ever more apparent in our state's governance: refusal to accept that K-12 teachers are under-compensated, overburdened, under-appreciated, and, increasingly in this era of too much testing, micromanaged to discouragement. The goal should be finding the best and brightest to train as teachers, recruiting the best and brightest and most classroom-worthy from among the trainees for our classrooms, and, then, just as difficult, retaining them for full, effective careers as teachers.

    Our governor and legislators, it should be obvious, are doing great harm to public education. Long-term planning, with the help of experts, is called for. Now.

  • UTAH Bill Salt Lake City, UT
    Feb. 15, 2014 8:49 a.m.

    Florez is mistaken about farmers. As noted by another poster, farmers are heavily subsidized for their work. The U.S. business model of farming is one of the most socialized in the world.

  • PeanutGallery Salt Lake City, UT
    Feb. 15, 2014 8:33 a.m.

    John Florez is an intelligent guy, but I have a hard time figuring out his columns. This one follows his usual pattern. Namely, take continual potshots at our state legislature but offer no solutions, rather offer only vague, grand-sounding generalities.

    Naturally our legislature isn’t perfect, but they are much more competent, wise, and effective than Florez seems to think. They do a pretty decent job with education, especially considering Utah’s unusual demographics.

  • Hutterite American Fork, UT
    Feb. 15, 2014 8:24 a.m.

    Primary agriculture production gets way more government funding than education.

  • Twin Lights Louisville, KY
    Feb. 15, 2014 6:25 a.m.

    More specifically, we need the political will to follow the recommendations we get.

    On both a state and a national level I have seen many "blue ribbon" panels created to address a variety of issues. They generally come up with great bi-partisan recommendations. Recommendations that are seldom followed because, well mostly because they are bi-partisan. When it comes time to vote, folks tend to vote their party biases rather than for recommendations that may stray from the party talking points.

    Few aspects of our society are more subject to being a political football than is education. We need to keep as much power in the hands of the educators as we can. Legislative oversight should be directed at keeping fraud out the system and overall performance. Not a constant tinkering with the machine.

  • Orem Parent Orem, UT
    Feb. 15, 2014 2:34 a.m.

    Preach on Brother John.

    The legislature of Utah has done more to destroy public education than any other group of people. It is almost like they sit up on the hill and say to each other, "what can we do to screw things up this year?"

    I seriously wonder if they have that discussion. It isn't too far fetched if you look at what they have done since the mid 90's.

    First they change the state constitution to take hundreds of millions of dollars out of the education fund each year. Then they earmark future revenue for our roads. They pass vouchers. Now we are grading the schools based on a flawed formula. Now we suddenly have $300,000,000 to spend on iPads for the kids.

    The inmates are running the asylum!