I can already hear it now. The legislature is going to try to enact yet another
"program" to improve our schools that will have absolutely no effect
on achievement. In order to fund it, the teachers will now be
giving up more prep time and will now be paying the entire cost of their health
insurance. We would take the money out of their retirement accounts but we
completely wiped out teacher retirement last year. Health insurance is all they
have left to cut so here we go....
So, yet more hoops to jump through?!?We already have multiple layers
of "grading" just to keep federal funding and meet state guidelines.
Why not just refer to those?More things to add to the checklist of
unfunded mandates from the state ed. office. I have YET to meet more than one
of these pie in the sky employees.Oh, that one that I met? They
canned her for being too innovational and bucking the status quo.The
rest, I swear, just collect a paycheck thinking up ways to make those at the
bottom of the heap that actually do something just have to work harder.
The grading system is important. I appreciate Superintendent Shumway's support
of such a system which has proven to assist parents, students and school
employees to clearly understand the goal and focus on moving toward it.Accepting the truth of our performance is the first step toward improving it,
and this will directly benefit students. Adults must be willing to model this
healthy and productive behavior - looking at our performance results honestly,
and making changes for the better. How else can we teach students this powerful
life strategy? Students will benefit from a universal grading
system. And this is really all about the students, isn't it?
So, exactly what would be the criteria for the grades?
School performance reports are already available for anyone who wants to look at
them. Test scores, poverty rates, ethnicity, teacher training levels, mobility
rates...are all public record and available online for anyone who wants to look
at them. Why do we need more levels of measurement? What's the purpose?
Personally, I think seminars on teaching parents to teach their kids would do
more good. Parents can do so much more with their 1 or 2 then teachers can do
with their classrooms of 40 or 50, and their lesson plans that have to apply to
every student rather then targeting a few and the specific levels they are
at.For example, many studies suggest that parents taking some time
to read to their children makes a world of difference.
Perhaps the powers that be could look into how Finland improved its educational
system from mediocre in the 70s to what is considered the system with the best
results in the world. That country's plan is almost opposite of the direction we
seem to be going here in the United States. The
"innovations" I see proposed to improve education are doomed to only
stifle creativity even more. We are falling behind because the at-stakes testing
does not encourage creativity and higher-level thinking. We are going in the
*Utah last in U.S. in spending per pupil again. By Molly Farmer and Lee
Davidson 06/29/10 DSNews Line:The census found that Utah
schools spend on average $5,765 per student in 2007-08. Idaho was second-lowest
at $6,931 but that was still 20 percent higher than what was spent in Utah.
The Finland model works, problem is it takes more money than Utan's spend. Utah would need to reduce class size, pay an honest wage, change the
curriculum model, and spend 20x what they do right now on professional
development to meet the Finland model.Utah's legislative branch
continues to bring programs to "fix" the problem when they can't fix
the basic problems overcrowded rooms and we don't attract the best individuals
for teaching. Those two things are paramount for Finland's model.
If I read correctly the proposal is for the parents to grade the schools. As an
employer I find that often parents think both their child and school are doing
great. I observe that they can't even make change for a dollor or figure sales
tax when it is not shown on the register etc.I went to school a long
time ago and I am not good at some things, but of course we had large classes
and underpaid teachers.Why don't we come up with something to
motivate the parents. Maybe a 50% reduction in school taxes for those with an a,
40% with a B etc. That way those who play will pay.What about that
There are plenty of ways to grade schools right now. What the proponents want
is a simplified way of giving an F to a school.This could be because
they got an F in the past and want revenge.Possibly it is to prove
that their own school is BETTER than some other school. (There isn't any joy in
being good, just in being better than someone else.)Most likely it
comes from those who are just anti-public ed. and want another way to hit at
them.Grading schools with letter grades won't accomplish anything
except to bash a few schools. It won't make them perform better.
I agree with "Goet" 110%!!If the legislature REFUSES to
come up with the money to fund public education adequately - JUST SAY SO!Whats the point of just more and more "feel good" measures?Public education needs MONEY not just talk!BTW - I realize
it wouldn't make a whole lot of difference to public education, but imagine how
much psychological difference it would make to those doing the actual teaching
if they just cut some of the administrators and THEIR salaries!Why
do we need to have administrators at BOTH the district and state level?
This sounds like another way to point at the poor students and kick those who
are trying to raise and help them. In order to mean anything, the grading
system must include marks for:1. The percent of students qualifying
for free or reduced lunch.2. The percent of mobile students (those
who transfer frequently).3. The percent of homeless students as
defined by the McKinney-Vento act.4. The percent of students
speaking English as a second language.5. The percent of students
from single-parent or step-parent homes.6. The percent of minority
students.7. The percent of students needing special education.8. School budget per student, including in-kind donations, money and
volunteer time from local supporters, organizations, businesses, and parents.9. Average parent educational attainment.10. Average
student time spent on extra-curricular activities.11. Percent of
students suffering from abuse/neglect.We all know that teachers
matter, but these risk factors matter even more. Give every teacher and school
administrator more credit for the risk factors they must deal with. A fair
grading system must also rate the families and the society behind each student.
How would you fairly grade Elizabeth Smart during the school year after her
rescue? What about a school that specializes in helping victims of any kind?
@Chuck E. Raser"Most likely it comes from those who are just
anti-public ed. and want another way to hit at them."And we
have a winner!Why else would Carolyn Sharette bother to reply. This
is all about getting charter school equal funding and nothing else.
LOL, Utah's public schools may start getting "graded" in the future as
part of a concentrated, cost-effective way to improve the quality of education
in the state, as in YOU, you, YoU and you illegal's get out, there's no free
lunch here, and American kid's really want to learn, you don't.
It's working well in Florida?.Google Gov. Charlie Crist, he vetoed
it, after the people wanted it.Don't be a "copy kat", or
the same will happen too ya'll also.Your Gov. is more liberal that
our Gov. Charlie Crist is.
"YoU and you illegal's get out, there's no free lunch here, and American
kid's really want to learn, you don't."Yep, let's get them out
of school and on the street. Nice call, brother chuck.One of my best
friends an his brother came here illegally in the 1980's leaving his older
brothers (3 of them) in Mexico to learn a trade.Now my best friend,
and his brother are BOTH principals of different schools in poor areas of CA,
(one primary grades, the other a middle school) and both pass AYP every year.Meanwhile the older brothers came here legally through the process, and
work cheap labor jobs, accept welfare, and state aided medical.Why
dump the kids out of school again? So they can't be productive, and all of your
predictions come true?Fact is, let's stop treating educators like
trained rats, pay them a fair wage (OHMYGOSH???), and help them produce
productive students who learn.Before telling teachers how to do
their job, every legislator should have to prepare lesson plans approved by an
educator, teach a class, and assess learning for a week before they pass ANY
What a waste of time and money! Howard Stephenson is one of the most
anti-education people in our government. He has no idea what makes a good
school. Very few do. We've been bombarded by "programs" and
"innovations" and "new methods" for years. The only thing
that matters is good teachers and motivated students. Look at any school
with good programs in music, drama, journalism, debate, math, science, English,
foreign languages, etc. It's the teacher who drives the success. It's not the
latest (expensive) books nor computers that are responsible.
Unfortunately, we don't/can't get the best and the brightest anymore because we
don't pay them a decent living wage. And all the training and mentoring in the
world can't replace a bright, creative, idealistic mind that loves his/her
subject and students. Raise the teacher's pay and give him the freedom
to innovate, and you'll raise not only school achievement, but the respect for
those who should be the most highly respected in any society.
I have no interest in getting more funding for charter schools - or public
schools of any type. I happen to be perhaps the only person in the state who
thinks we actually receive adequate funding to educate students well.I have been responsible for operating two schools, for a total of 9 years. I
suppose that is more experience running a school budget than most other posters
here - and I can tell you the funds are adequate. I do think teachers could
earn more and I would support any additional funding to go toward teacher's
wages.I do have interest in ensuring students receive the best
possible education. Scoring the schools is one way to help us know how we are
doing as educators. I have no interest in "bashing" anyone - only in
helping all of us to do our very best - and the more information, the better.I am quite sure that I have never said or implied that more funding is
needed for schools - charters or otherwise.
CHS85When comparing Charter schools to District schools for funding,
Charter schools which have less funds to begin with have a larger faculty.What is more perplexing is the percentage of monies spent on faculty is
fairly low in Charter schools. My present school pumps in about 65%. That is
very similar to other Charters I have worked for. Districts spend a much higher
percentage on the employees. I have read that some spend more than 80% of the
yearly budget on it.Considering the additional layers of expensive
management at a District, I can see how they burn more money. The truth is we
as a state aren't using the money efficiently enough.As far as
schools being graded THAT ALREADY HAPPENS. This new scheme might make things a
little easier for some to understand, but will be largely ignored. I doubt most
people even care as long as they are happy with their own child's teacher and
If you want to see how Finland totally changed their education system go do a
search on Finland education. You will find a nice article that tells you
Finland, Singapore, and South Korea all recruit teachers from the top 1/3 of
their students.They pay them similarly to engineers and they are the
cream of the crop.In the U.S. we belittle our teachers and pay them
a barely livable wage to start out. This is the main problem with out
system.My Republican party is much to blame for the low wages for
teachers in Utah. I am trying to do my part to change them.