Lockhart's iPad-in-every-backpack plan lacked vision

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  • JMHO Southern, UT
    March 14, 2014 8:30 p.m.

    The teacher haters are out in full force. I think it is funny people think all teachers majored in education. Maybe elementary teachers. It is also appropriate since on the elementary level, delivery and creating an atmosphere to love learning are more important than content and the content level is low enough any college educated person could handle it. However, on the secondary level, most teachers have a major in a field of study. They also have added courses on teaching methods. Most teachers have master's degrees in various disciplines. Also, those great salaries Utah teachers get paid really attract doctors and lawyers to defect as noted by all the BMW's in teacher parking lots at schools. In reference to those who want us to follow other countries in their methods like the reference to Finland above: don't make me laugh. Utah schools can't even pass dress codes that are similar without people complaining. Imagine what would happen if we tried to hold students accountable in some of the other ways other countries do.

    March 14, 2014 4:31 p.m.

    "But regardless... proposals they KNOW we don't have money to fund make no sense. It's just posing. And we have too much of that going on up on the hill as it is. Making proposals they know we can't fund (because we can't even afford to pay our teachers or reduce class size).. should be frowned upon from the start... not at the last minute."

    Respectfully--I couldn't agree with you more!

    Could it be that we have "revealed" the reason why the $300 million proposal went nowhere with many teachers? I think we have a winner!!!

  • 2 bits Cottonwood Heights, UT
    March 14, 2014 11:36 a.m.

    Re: Respectfully--it isn't going to MORE zeros in teacher paychecks"...

    I know that. That's what I posted.

    That's the point (that the money would be spent on technology and education, and couldn't be diverted into paychecks... was the reason teachers fought AGAINST it).

    They didn't want THIS $300 Million.... Why?.... because it couldn't end up in their pockets.

    They'd rather turn down the $300 million... than let it go towards education, because they couldn't get their hands on it.

    They fight against the $300 million... because it would actually go to the children in the class room (not teacher paychecks or benefits)

    That seems revealing to me.

    March 13, 2014 3:06 p.m.

    "Not more zeros in teacher paychecks (or retirement accounts)."

    Respectfully--it isn't going to MORE zeros in teacher paychecks.

    Teachers in my district haven't had even a cost of living raise in SEVEN years. During the same time frame, there have been fewer zeros in teacher paychecks and not more (somewhere between a 8-9 percent DECREASE in salary and benefits during the Great Recession).

    The money earmarked to teacher retirement is going to meet ONGOING obligations and promises--not new. It is going to "pay now" to try to prop up the Utah Retirement System so that the wonderful taxpayers of Utah don't have to "pay later" which would be a disaster for all involved.

    Thank you to the great citizens of Utah for being people of honor and integrity. Thank you for realizing the need to fulfill the obligations and promises make by our elected officials to public employees.

  • 2 bits Cottonwood Heights, UT
    March 13, 2014 11:39 a.m.

    I think the fatal flaw in this legislation was... there was no chance of the $300 Million being snatched into the pockets of the UEA and teachers. It was earmarked for technology investments (not salary/benefits increases). That's why it was resisted by teachers.


    Every increase we give education seems to be snatched into salary or benefits for administrators and existing teachers before it can be used to hire MORE teachers (which would enable us to reduce class sizes).

    Until an education budget increase actually makes it to the class room (in the form of smaller class sizes)... I'm going to continue to be critical of how these yearly increases are spent and not be a passionate advocate of sending more and more money to education each year, to no avail.

    The budget increases were intend to help the children (not the teachers). But they always get snatched up in teacher salary or benefit increase... before they can be used to hire more teachers so we can reduce class-size. That needs to end before I'm on board.

    We need more teachers and more buildings first. Not more zeros in teacher paychecks (or retirement accounts).

  • SAS Sandy, UT
    March 12, 2014 11:01 p.m.

    Come on. Of course Lockhart's plan had a vision....a vision of lots of money for whoever sold the iPads.

  • marxist Salt Lake City, UT
    March 12, 2014 10:23 p.m.

    I don't like Lockhart's politics. But I think she meant well with the I-Pads. But she needs to talk to teachers. I have been primarily an instructor at the college level, but I have put in some time at the secondary level. If Lockhart were to ask me what the most important issue is in high school I would answer - motivation. Teachers are charged with the need to motivate and inspire students. We do this with as much personal interaction as we can muster. The computer toys can help (and help with a certain type of student a lot), but the motivation thing is a personal human on human interaction. It is labor intensive. I wish there were magic toy to help that, but such does not exist.

  • David Centerville, UT
    March 12, 2014 1:49 p.m.

    Liberal Larry presents a good idea, but leaves out an important point. Teachers in Finland are compensated equal to their value.

    Because the teachers unions have thrown their hat with Democrats, education has become politicized. Republicans attempt to penalize and weaken educators because union money goes toward democrat campaigns.

    Obama's efforts to spend federal money on preschool education is not about improving student outcomes (research shows no benefit by 3rd grade). It's about unionizing more teachers for democratic party purposes.

    I agree with Lib Larry. Employ professionals as teachers. Pay them well. Depoliticize education (stop teaching liberalism, and eliminate union contributions to any political party).

  • Jamescmeyer Midwest City, USA, OK
    March 12, 2014 12:02 p.m.

    Indeed. Echoing another article, there just isn't one single or simple fix for education; public schooling stands at a unique intersection between culture at home, culture in public, and administrative considerations. Simply using more recent technology doesn't make more teachers available, increase teachers' credentials, fix broken homes, energize apathetic students, or eliminate unionizing or tenures that could be maintaining faculty status quo.

  • Henry Drummond San Jose, CA
    March 12, 2014 10:12 a.m.

    I think you got this one right Jay. iPads don't teach students, they are only a tool in the hands of teachers. I think money would be better spent developing software for both teachers and students to use than by buying more hardware.

  • Strider303 Salt Lake City, UT
    March 12, 2014 10:02 a.m.

    I think liberal larry makes a significant point that should be seriously considered in all debates on academic improvement of public schools.

    "Education" may be a major but public schools need teachers who have majored in subjects taught, such as English, Mathematics, Chemistry, Physics, History. A serious study and mastery of the subjects to be taught is critical.

    A second idea is to seek graduates from the upper quartile of graduates. Too often we let the bottom level students enter into teaching, reinforcing the adage "them that can't, teach".

    Young people are not well read, nor are they able to write legibly or coherently because the school system has not demanded basic mastery of how to live in a society. A tablet instead of a book would only reinforce the idea that they are entitled to something for nothing.

    Pay should be improved for well qualified teaching professionals.

    IMO "Education" should not be a major, but a skill set taught to complement a major and minor course of instruction, for qualified applicants seeking a teaching career.

  • liberal larry salt lake City, utah
    March 12, 2014 7:27 a.m.

    Maybe instead of trying to radically change our educational system we should look at other countries successes and see how we can work on improving what we have already. Individual states could be testing grounds for new ideas that are based on sound science and proven workability.

    For example, one of Finland's advances was to only hire teachers from top tier schools, and to make sure they had majors, and even masters degrees in the subjects they taught!

    Remember, at BYU or the "U", all those education majors who ended up in law school, or who got their MBA's, or became real-estate moguls?
    In Finland they are the one's who ended up teaching!

  • The Real Maverick Orem, UT
    March 12, 2014 1:00 a.m.

    Thanks jay, for sugar coating it. If Lockhart were a democrat, I'm sure you would have been just as easy on her as you were with this article.

    It was a bad idea.

    It obviously didn't include any input from those who are in the trenches, teachers.
    It obviously ignored all the research from LA Unified, which has shown that their invesent in iPads to be a failure.
    It didn't address ESL students. Or class special education. Or class sizes.
    It didn't help the teacher.
    It didn't help education.
    It was clearly either her grand standing or an attempt to give away hundreds of millions to a campaign do or/family member.
    It should be considered criminal how our elected officials have taken it upon themselves to choke out public education in this state.'our children suffer because our legislature wants to privatize education and make millions off of it.

    I know of several educators. They'll never vote for her for governor now. So it was again, another misfire from someone desiring power and control over what is best for our children.