The Utah Education Landscape Is a War Zone

No one wants to live in a country or a state or a city or neighborhood…or anywhere, with stupid people. It’s why we provide (mostly) free (or, rather, tax funded) public education. We share a common belief that educated people make for better citizens, neighbors, and friends. And yet, public education, at least in Utah, is a bureaucratic warzone. Entrenched interests are at war with each other, scrambling for control, resources, and money. Whether it’s for the votes on the Board of Education, for funding from the Utah Legislature, or in…

USOE Negotiated $5.4M SAGE Contract with Florida without Board Knowledge or Legal Counsel Review

In recent weeks, the Utah Board of Education faced a strange situation when Judy Park, an assistant superintendent,  negotiated a contract estimated to be worth $5.4 million with Florida to share SAGE questions.  The State Office of Education did not give  full disclosure to the Board until after the fact, admitted that it lacked expertise in negotiating the contract, and did not conduct the negotiation with the advise of counsel. If it seems like news coming out of  the Utah State Office of Education (USOE) and the Utah Board of Education (UBOE)  is a bit…

[UPDATED] BUZZ: Official State Office Of Education Blog Endorses Candidates

[UPDATED 5-13-2014 3:20 PM: Superintendent Martell Menlove responded on the USOE Official Blog: Yesterday a post was published on the UtahPublicEducation.org blog that contained personal opinions that are inappropriate for posting on this site. I appreciate those who brought this to our attention and apologize for this mistake. We have reviewed our procedures for posting documents we receive and believe our procedures will assure that a similar mistake is not made in the future. If anyone finds any items on any Utah State Office of Education website that they find objectionable,…

To the Utah Board of Education: Don’t Rush to Replace Menlove

Utah’s State Superintendent of Public Instruction Martell Menlove is retiring, and the questions raised by his exit from the State Office of Education don’t have anything to do with the LDS mission he may serve with his wife. Selected unanimously by the state school board after just ninety minutes of deliberation in 2012, the process of Menlove’s appointment was seen as less than thorough by some legislators, though none criticized the selection itself. Menlove is well-regarded throughout Utah, with Governor Gary Herbert and former State Superintendent Patti Harrington thanking him for his…