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.
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.
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pay for wasteful, ineffective, and outdated programs.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
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!
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.
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.
@ MarkIt'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.