Book Review | The Generals: American Military Command from World War II to Today by Thomas E. Ricks

Rumor has it that Utah Superintendent Brad Smith had recommended to his staff at the Utah Office of Education Thomas E. Ricks’ The Generals: American Military Command from World War II to Today. I had no idea if it was true, or why, but with Smith’s reputation for a disruptive leader and the apparent waves he was making to Utah education, I decided it was worth picking up the book to see if it shed any light on his philosophy. I’m glad I did. After finishing it in late August, I find myself recommending Thomas Ricks’…

Howard Stephenson: Why Utah’s rank on per student spending is just one data point – not a vice

When State School Superintendent Brad Smith spoke at the recent Utah Taxes Now Conference on May 28, he struck a nerve with protectors of the education status quo when he said that a high ranking on per student spending is not a virtue and Utah’s ranking at 50th place is not a vice.  “It is simply a measure of input variables and it is one input variable, and that’s all,” he said. Smith had been similarly criticized when he decried those complaining about the Legislature’s 9.4% education funding increase in…

Utah State Superintendent Finalists Announced: Backup Plan for Some?

Utah State Superintendent Finalists Announced: Backup Plan for Some? John Barge, Martin Bates, Rich Crandall, Brad Smith

The Utah State Board of Education has released the list of the four finalists for the state superintendent position. You can almost hear the howls of the Utah Education Association from here.  Of the four applicants to survive to this stage, only one has ever taught in the Utah education system. On the other hand, it’s hard not to look at the list and wonder if Utah’s educational system is just the back up plan for some of these applicants. Earlier, UPH predicted two of the four that are on the list below.…

Buzz: Who Will the Board of Education Hire as State Superintendent?

Applications are in and interviews will begin soon. Since a GRAMA request won’t divulge who has applied for the Utah State Superintendent job opening, here’s who we have heard has applied. If we’re wrong and one or two of these haven’t applied, well, maybe they ought to. Martin Bates, Superintendent of Granite School District. Bates has been in his current post since 2010 and is frequently mentioned for the job. Prior to appointment as Granite Superintendent, Bates was an Assistant Superintendent in the Granite District over Administrative and Legal Services. All three of Bates’ degrees,…