This information must be incorrect. Since Utah is last in spending per pupil
and liberals tell us spending more is always the answer this number 7 place
simply cannot be correct.
Chris B nailed it exactly! This is the measure of performance by Utah's
students, teachers and parents that is meaningful, not the dollar amount
spent.Let's stop listening to the perpetually unsatisifed
teachers' unions who trot out the "last in funding per pupil"
talking points every year to demand that taxpayers give up more of their money
to fund bloated educational establishment.Well done to all the
teachers and kids and families who put in the hard work to achieve these
Speaking from the experience of having helped a 14 year old pass 4 STEM AP tests
with the score of at least 4 on each - all you need is a good textbook, internet
access, some sample tests, and a motivated kid. The first three are easy to
obtain. The fourth is achieved by proper instruction from a young age in the
right environment - which is where the focus should be. I think the 7th place on
this benchmark for Utah is an indicator that we have a group of families that
raise motivated kids, and now it has reached a size that is statistically
significant. You will not see much traction on the ACT averages because
everybody takes it and it drowns out the performance of this group, but with
fewer people taking AP tests the group can be small and still stand out.
I agree- this is great news! But be careful not to make such huge leaps here!
This is a "passing rate", or percentage of students who pass the test
with a 3,4, or 5 from the graduating class.Could it be higher? Sure,
especially if we had more involved parents and had increased access (i.e.
funding) to Advanced Placement courses/teachers. It is not uncommon for students
to find AP classes at neighboring high schools, or to even do it independently
with help of teachers/parents.This "Advanced Placement"
group accounts for a minority of the students in our schools, and like Sasha
Pachev said in her comments above, this is most often the result of not only a
good teacher teaching a great AP course, but a motivated kid with most likely an
involved parent, family, with access to the tools he/she needs to learn.
Translated, this is often in the higher socio-economic areas.
Would Utah be even higher if students had increased access to AP courses and
even more were prepared to take them? Probably. How is that done? Funding.NY state is first in per-pupil spending at a whopping $19,000 per pupil.
Utah is dead last at $6,200. How did we achieve 7th? Can we attribute our
success to our low funding? Is financial investment a factor? Could it be that
the reason that NY state is 7th in the nation is because they invest more than 3
times the amount of money per student than Utah, helping 1/4 of seniors to pass
one or more AP tests? Probably. Where would NY would place if they only spent
$6K per kid? 7th? Probably not.I wonder what would happen to the
academic success of NY schools in 5-10 years if they made a 67% budget cut.
Surely they'd stay at 7th because funding has nothing to do with it,
right?The real question is where Utah would we be if we had even
$1,000 or $500 more per student in funding? Our state probably couldn't
choose to afford a $50/student, but I know it would make a difference.
I love when we get a straw man argument from the first poster and the 2nd poster
totally agrees with it. Two straw men do not make it true no matter how many
times you tell yourself that. Once again you miss the target. Utah
is 7th in the nation. What that should be telling us is that we have some
awesome teachers, students, and families. Now the real leap we
should be making is if we can do that well with the worst funding in the nation,
imagine where we could be if we raised our spending to even the middle of the
pack! We could be so far ahead of every other state. But no, we will have a
few that claim money doesn't matter.Seriously, how can anyone
make a serious argument that spending more money in educating our students
wouldn't help things? Of course it would. We could be so much more! Stay
satisfied with mediocrity. We could be the best.
Nothing like being satisfied with being worst in the nation.
Please tell us which high schools had the most students taking and passing the