"Sooner or later people in Utah are going to have to say 'this is not
acceptable, we've got to change it.'"I will say it right now.
It is not acceptable. Let's be "efficient" in other ways besides
teacher/student ratio. It is not acceptable to say that we can't afford
reasonable class sizes.
Education is only a priority to GET ELECTED. Once elected the Republicans work
on things truly important to them like business and roads. We vote them in by
overwhelming majorities like Margret Dayton over established educators by 60%,
despite how much damage they have done to Public education because the wolf is
an R.The voters have made 35 in a kindergarten class acceptible by
who they elected. In fact, Utah voters have given a mandate to be more efficent
in government by voting more anti-education Republicans in. We even sent
Herbert back!! Things aren't going to change until the people wise up to the
Sorry, Ms Walker, but the "reality" of class sizes and a broken
education system have been around for longer than when I taught over 35 fourth
graders 30 years ago. There are many more pressing problems facing education
than class sizes that pushed me away from teaching 30 years ago, and Federal
control over State education, including the NEA, is the primary problem. The
Feds are corrupt in every way, and they have no respectable place in issues
facing education on a local level. Dump the Feds and educaton will take a turn
for the better.
It's time to admit that we need to raise taxes for education. I challenge
fellow Republicans to respond.
I so much wish Olene could have been governor for longer. Unfortunately the
good ole boy club shoved her out the door.She would have been the
one to finally change the education system in Utah.Now we have 35
kids in a kindergarten class.My son has 40 in his high school
class.It is completely unacceptable and morally wrong.
So, the lobbying starts again for education. Every year the same old song. The
question should be, Why are we only able to educate 35 students per class? Why
not 50 or 100 students? Are we really trying to educate students or reduce the
work load and increase the pay of the teachers? With the technology we have
today, it is inexcusable to continue to be this under productive and over
It's a bit frustrating when I see/hear people complain about the political
parties in Utah when it comes to education. The problem isn't the reps or dems,
but the union. I remember the public wanting to change and improve education
through vouchers and charter schools. The union had that overturned. Now they
want to complain about class size?!
Propaganda Ms. Walker! The biggest change Utah needs is Transparency and
Equalization for all Utah Students in the way Utah Funds Education. "You
can not count apples and oranges"! The WPU is intentionally kept low and
does not count all the money we spend for Education in Utah!Let's support
equalization of education funding in this State, as other States do. In Utah,
Park City spends $20,000 per pupil whereas Tooele spends less than $2,000 per
pupil! Utah does not count local property taxes! In that way they keep the
propaganda of "Poor Utah" going strong! There is a bill sponsored by
Merlynn Newbold that we all should back! It calls for equalization.Insist that the Lies Stop! The UEA lobbyist will continue to keep class size
high, teacher salaries low and pay fat building and administration cost until
the sleepy Utah Public Wakes Up and demands accountability,transparency and
equalization of Education funding.
If Utah were to introduce a moderate severance tax on minerals, this would help
education.The price of minerals has soared in the past several
years. Some of this new found wealth should help go to help solve Utah's
education problems.Why a severance tax? Because if its moderate,
these companies aren't going anywhere. They need to stay here to get Utah
40 or 50 students in a class at the high school and even junior high school
level really isn't a bad thing. In the Orient this is quite common and they
still do much better academically than states in the United States where class
sizes are much smaller.What needs to happen is we need to pay
teachers more, so that they can devote their full work related efforts to their
school teaching career, also so that the many quality people don't discount
school teaching as a career because it pays so low.Our math
education has declined a lot since I went to school. Back then, it was taken for
granted that all students needed to understand how to add, subtract, multiply
and divide; fractions and decimal numbers. Many educators today don't believe
this is true, they say students have calculators.Also the AP math
track doesn't offer as high of quality of mathematics as it used to. Geometry
education has been gutted, gone for the most part are the proofs and medium and
challenging problems. Ditto for the rest of the AP math track classes but to a
lesser extent. Education is hurting.
Here's a crazy idea. How about we change the child tax credit for the state?
Sure you can have a credit up to "x" number of children but after
that, no more credit. It's a choice to have more children, to "tax"
the school system and add expenses, so why are those that are creating the huge
numbers of students not the ones that are paying for it? I'm not saying this to
be cold or callous, or to pick on the predominant culture here, I have children
of my own in the school system and am a part of that predominant culture. It
just doesn't make any business sense to allow those utilizing the system the
most not to contribute more for it. Is there any business model that
allows the largest consumers to contribute less than those not utilizing the
service that is successful?
Comparing our schools to Asia or anywhere else in the world is an irrelevant
argument on most levels. Only in American Public Education do schools have to
educate EVERYONE. Schools can't send the worst students away. Also, most
countries in the world, say like Japan, have a homogeneous population. In Utah
that has actually been the case (and is the case still in most schools) but this
is changing fast, especially along the Wasatch Front. Not only is our
population more diverse, their needs and challenges are also more diverse. Governor Walker isn't the only one in tune of the increased challenges
that lay ahead. Instead of meeting these challenges, Utah is "stacking them
deep and teaching them cheap." The old efficiency model will fast be
outdated. With increased diversity in our schools, with more ELL students, more
at-risk students, more students from broken homes etc., doing things the way we
used to and expecting the same types of results won't work. Governor Walker knows what many of us know--Utah Education is in serious
trouble if we don't change things. Class size does matter, let's get serious!
This study of peer states were spending three times as much for an average of
$15000 per student per year. Whereas Utah averaged $5000 per student per year.
the Peer states score averaged 250 where as Utah scored 240 only a three percent
increase. The 3% difference divided by 200% difference in money spent a 0.015
correlation between money spent in similar states and tested results. When historical trends are looked at the amount spent on education has hyper
inflated while scores have steadily declined in every state resulting in a
negative correlation! This might lead to a conclusion that spending less will
lead to higher results!At its core education is a poor substitute
for apprenticeships and other forms of on the job training, but there aren't
enough jobs for that. The industrial age and its productivity has resulted in
130 million people employed in a nation of 300 million.Another
potential explanation is that the historical decline of education accelerated
with the unionization of teachers and government monopolization of education.
Both union and monopoly have historically lead to higher costs, scarcity, and
reduced quality. This calls for eliminating the monopoly and instituting
competition through vouchers.
Education is a small part business, but 99% service. Kids are not machines and
neither are adults. They come in all sizes and attitudes and abilities. They
change all through out life. That is one thing Republicans do not understand and
some businesses don't either. You would think they would since most are married
and have kids. Kids are in a unique formative part of life. Not all teachers are
the same or abilities the same. The key is to help the teachers develop what
they can to be able to reach most of her/his students. Not every body can be a
teacher, in fact most people don't have the talent to become a good teacher. But
teachers must be thought of as priority vocations and provided with adequate
funding and supplies. But Utah's leaders has nothing but businesses on their
minds so they can get reelected and how to "run things efficiently"
but even they don't run that way. Get education back to where it belongs as
number 1 priority.
I agree with Mr. Jarvis' observation that education is election rhetoric,
however I must disagree with his example of Margaret Dayton. Mrs. Dayton tried
to pass a bill that would have required the Union to pay for teacher
representatives time off from classroom duties. As it stands now, school
districts pay for union activities by teachers. This law would have put the
financial burden for their activities squarely in the lap of the unions. I
applaud her efforts! The USBA (Utah School Boards Association) and the UEA were
the only two organizations that spoke out against this bill. Until we loosen the
ties that bind our Unions and tax-payer funded lobbying organizations such as
the USBA from our state represenatives, we will not see improvement to our
educational system. These two organizations are holding back real progress in
educational reform, solely in the name of protecting teachers and union coffers.
I think there are people here that are greatly exaggerating the power of the
UEA/NEA. By attacking it they also greatly suggest it has power that doesn't
really exist.But here's the teaching reality in Utah:*Most teachers have had cuts in pays. Raises have been miniscule on the base
pay but in practicality pay has been cut as teacher quality days have been cut
and districts have even furloughed contract days.*Insurance benefits
over the past several years have got worse. Teachers pay more of their premiums
than in past years.*Class sizes have increased.*Supply
stipends have been cut.*In many schools teachers now work more
hours.*Many programs in our schools have been cut causing teachers
and coaches to dip into their pockets to pay for student/program needs.*Many districts have cut retirement benefits, the state now makes new teachers
work longer to earn retirement.I don't see where more work for less
pay in deteriorating working condition with reducing benefits is a sign of a
strong union. If this is a strong union, I'm not sure what a weak one looks
The education establishment (of which Olene Walker is a very long time part)
will never be happy with how much funding it gets.The reality the
educators must face is that there will be no more money. Learn to do more with
less, and eliminate ineffective programs, fire ineffective teachers, cut the
bureaucrats who infest the school systems. Find a way to stop
wasting resources on those who refuse to learn, and those who are (admittedly
through no fault of their own) are mentally incapable of learning. And, enforce
our borders to eliminate the waste on people who are here illegally.End the waste of paying teachers union reps to do union stuff while paid by
taxpayers, and make it easier for teachers to opt out of the union and their
forced contributions.Walker and her career eduction friends are much
of the cause for our present problems, and not part of the future solutions to
It all comes down to money. Utah has more childred per capita than any other
state. Consequently, we need more teachers per capita. To have class sizes go
down 25% we will need 25% more teachers. That is hundreds of millions of dollars
over the next few years that would have to be raised mostly through higher
taxes. I have 5 children in the mainstream public schools in Utah. Both my Wife
and I work. What I have noticed is that the more involved with my children I am
the better they do in school. I am all for paying teachers a good salary but the
reality in Utah is that we would bankrupt our state if we pay our teachers
significantly more and have smaller classes. You can't have both and there are
too many people who are struggling to make ends meet to raise taxes. I would
prefer to pay teachers more, have larger classes and hold parents more
accountable for their childrens performance and behavior that distracts in their
classrooms. Children who struggle should be getting more help at home.
It is laughable to hear from posters on here, such as advocate4U, who want to
blame large class sizes and low teacher pay and bloated pay for administrators
on the UEA. I mean, I am laughing out loud here because you do not have a CLUE
as to what goes on. Not a clue. The UEA does NOT represent administration.
Supposedly they are the ones (and yes, they do do this) wanting to increase
teacher pay and reduce class sizes. When you post like that it tells me you
don't know what is going on in reality.
Blah, blah, blah. We've heard it a million times before. "We need more
money to solve our education problems..." Blah, blah, blah...What is it going to take for our educational establishment to get to the root
cause of our education ills? When are the parents of the children, in our
public schools, going to realize that they, and only they, are the managers of
their children's education? When are we, the public, going to tell the NEA, the
UEA, the boards of education and the administrations to start doing "our
will" and stop it with your failed policies?When are we going
to tell our teaching universities that your long loved professors need to be
fired and new ones hired that understand that it doesn't take more money to
change and create a good education establishment? Until all this
happens, Mrs. Walker, you are right, we are facing a crises and all we can do is
to cry about our failures.
Walker, if you want more funding get your stingy, wealthy GOP friends to cough
up their fair share of money.
Let's stop teaching our kids in the old fashion linear/rote learning methods.
Let's use the knowledge that is out there to teach to ALL of the kids and not
just those that fit in the perfect mold. Spec. Education is growing only because
of this problem. All kids learn different. Money won't help with the exception
of training the teachers to teach using more efficient and creative ways. Kids
suffer continually because old style teaching is alive and well. Raising taxes
is NOT the answer. There are so many good books out there - read up on this
stuff and become better educated to possible solutions.
Blah, blah, blah,....it is all the UEA's fault.People that try to
blame any problem in Utah on the UEA are completely CLUELESS! The
UEA has absolutely NO POWER in these matters.I wish they would go
away so that they could stop being the lightning rod for all the funding
failures. Fact of the matter is the Republican legislature loves
the UEA. Whenever the legislature wants money they take if from education and
they KNOW they will be fine because the old timers out there will say,
"Blame the UEA and the unions".Same old story, same old
song.Do we care about our kids or our mansions? Kids or the new
BMW? Kids or the trip to Tahiti?That is what I thought.