John Florez: School boards don't do takeaways

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  • The Real Maverick Orem, UT
    June 29, 2014 10:30 a.m.

    @ Mark

    It's a really sad day when you cannot or will not look back and see how public education has benefitted you. Yes, it all begins with parents. However, I look back and see several educators who had a profound impact on my life.

  • The Real Maverick Orem, UT
    June 29, 2014 10:29 a.m.

    Amen at everything Howard Beal said.

    However, I'd like to add that Utah, unfortunately, has a very strong contingent of legislators who want to kill public education. They desire to pass student vouchers, privatize public education, and make a killing from their private school connections.

    In your posts, you mentioned how teachers haven't seen raises in 10+ years. You also mentioned how public education has never been in worse shape than today. With such a push to privatize education and then propose ridiculous bills like $300 million for iPads just drives teachers crazy. Especially when the iPad handout was going to a company that the speaker of the house husband works for.

    It's just sad that here in Utah, we will literally try a thing but fund education. We have money to enrich the speaker of the house via iPad handouts, we have money to enrich ken Ivory, governor Herbert, and Neiderhouser with the prison removal. We have money to waste on vouchers so Howard Stephenson and Curtis Bramble can enrich themselves. And we have money to continuously sue the Feds over gay marriage and federal lands.

    Who ends up losing? The kids. So sad.

    June 28, 2014 4:55 p.m.

    Education happens in spite of government not because of it. Parents are the key to educating children, they know what is best for their children.

  • Howard Beal Provo, UT
    June 28, 2014 4:55 p.m.

    And those pesky administrators we all love to hate. But it seems like every parent wants their children's administrator to be available any time they drop in, they want them to evaluate every teacher every year several times. Administrators also need to keep the school safe, be at every extracurricular event, balance their budgets and fundraise for more money.

    But it seems to me there has been less investment in public education in Utah than ever at a time when critical challenges lie ahead. This includes a population bubble generally and significant increases of ELL students in the system.

    As far as these innovations Mr. Florez criticizes, I agree in a sense that teachers would love to be left more alone to drive the way they teach and what they teach. Most often these ineffective innovations and policies either come from the legislature or administrators reacting to the political environment around them. In the end it leaves teachers overwhelmed and ultimately leaves our children with a lesser education than they could have otherwise. It really isn't complicated, we need to invest in education by lowering class sizes and do it now!

  • Independent Thinker West Jordan, UT
    June 28, 2014 2:15 p.m.

    Thank you Mr. Florez, for an insightful column that articulates the thoughts of many taxpayers. We want up-to-date programs and innovative approaches that directly enhance students' educational experienc. We don't want to pay for wasteful, ineffective, and outdated programs. Separate the wheat from the chaff.

  • Howard Beal Provo, UT
    June 28, 2014 1:31 p.m.

    I would suppose most teachers want to be left alone to teach. They too, Mr. Florez, grow tired of programs and "innovations" in education. One of the programs I talked about in a previous post was one actually started by the teachers. But ultimately it got the axe. Most of these programs and other stressors thrown at teachers come from administrators or from the legislature or finally from administrators trying to figure out what the legislature wants. Most teachers have a general idea of what will work and not work in their classrooms. But also bottom line, teachers have a hard time teaching 40 students, at a certain level a teacher quits being a teacher and just becomes a manager trying to keep their students under control. Until Utah wants to invest in cutting class sizes, this mediocrity you claim to be pervasive in our schools Mr. Florez, will continue. It's know more complicated than that.

  • Howard Beal Provo, UT
    June 28, 2014 1:25 p.m.

    i don't know Mr. Flores, the local high school in our area has reduced staff quite a bit with teachers and support staff. This has led to very large classes and support staff doing multiple jobs, all of this leading to even more stressed out teachers and staff and lower morale. Some programs like a service-oriented field studies program and the International Baccalaureate (IB) program were cut at this high school, pretty much as for cost-cutting ventures. These programs served at risk and gifted students alike. Budgets for extracurricular programs have been cut or held static though inflation continues. Raises for teachers in our school district have been basically non-existent for nearly 10 years while benefits have been cut.

    So Mr. Florez, I think cuts have been made and I'm sure our local school district/board isn't that much different than other districts and boards. Tough times for those involved in education but I feel the real victims are our children who are continually stuffed in large classes with overburdened teachers while other support staff and programs that can help students find connections are either lost or have reduced sources.