Thoughts on Utah Policy’s Common Core Poll

Last week, the Utah Policy poll on Common Core was all over the news.  The tidbit often highlighted was that while 41% of Utahns strongly or somewhat oppose the Common Core, only 21% correctly identified where the Common Core standards originated. While I found this fact interesting, I had a few other thoughts on the poll and related  articles: First, the poll fails to address a number of quite relevant questions about the public’s knowledge on Common Core.  Maybe more data from the poll will be released, but it seems to be missing some…

How to Make the State School Board More Friendly [The Hub Debate]

This is a Hub Debate on the role of boards of education. For more background, read this.  Participate in the comments or submit a response for publication to UtahPoliticoHub@gmail.com. The question is: “Who do you think the board should serve? Parents? Students? Why? Good policy options generally are not universal solutions for all geographies and situations. For public education, final policy decisions should reflect the informed desire of parents in their area.  That is why I believe in greater power and choices for parents at the school level – whether we are talking about…

State’s Duty to Children Only Secondary to Parents [The Hub Debate]

This is a Hub Debate on the role of boards of education. For more background, read this.  Participate in the comments or submit a response for publication to UtahPoliticoHub@gmail.com. The question is: “Who do you think the board should serve?  Parents? Students? Why?“ Thomas Jefferson addressed who should be in charge of education nearly two centuries ago.   ‘…[I]f it is believed that these elementary schools will be better managed by …any other general authority of the government, than by the parents within each ward, it is a belief against all experience.’ Parents have a…

Dear Salt Lake City School District, You’re Welcome.

Salt Lake City School District, still bristling from bad press around dumping  kids lunches at Uintah elementary school, resulting in a show of bi-partisanship from Senators Jim Dabakis (D – Salt Lake City) and Todd Weiler (R – Woods Cross), apparently needed to request bids to help their image problem. Not realizing that the problem was never with their messaging, but their tactics, they decided to engage a public relations firm, who said “We can fix all your problems for the low price of $50,000.00 $49,999.00. Why an arbitrary number like…

15 Parents, 40 Hours, and 10,000 Test Questions – Was It Good Enough? Will It Ever Be? [Utah Moms Care]

This session Rep. Kennedy has a bill, HB 81, which will allow any parent to review standardized test questions prior to the exams being administered under specific circumstances.  There is a lot of concern about this compromising the validity of the test, which would cost the state millions of dollars.  But Kennedy maintains that parental review can happen, and that it is needed to ease concerns about the tests containing any agenda.  In 2012 Rep. Hughes carried HB15, which created a 15 parent member committee which was appointed by the Senate President, Speaker of the…

Audit: Utah’s “Ghost Student” problem.

Editor’s note: This article is specifically written to highlight serious allegations and problems noted within the State Board’s audit. This is in no way written, or meant to infer that home schooling and charter schools are bad. It highlights specific issues, and specific actors. Who have committed acts that must be addressed and fixed if school choice, and educational freedom are to be able to function without scrutiny. Recently, the State of Utah requested a performance audit of distance and online educational programs from the Utah State Board of Education. The results, released on…

Technology in education. Rolling out 600,000 devices state wide.

I think one of the biggest things I am asked as “the IT guy” is, “how can we use technology within the classroom?” I am in a unique position. Aside from working in higher education, one of my favorite aspects has been the ability to work in K-12 education technology. I cut my teeth on this topic working with a good friend of mine who is the technology director in a rural school district.  One of the challenges they had is how to get the technology from the schools spread apart…

Competing Plans on Funding Education

http://www.flickr.com/photos/fulanna/8482679716/

Last year the Senate and House passed S.B. 169, which created an Education Task Force made up of Senate and House leaders. Members of the Legislature touted this as a way to get all legislators on the same page, for the Legislature to define its role in education, and for the creation of a path to move forward together. The task force met during the interim and issued its final report in December, which included specific goals and strategies. Two goals of note were: “To pursue and support the devolution of control from…

10 Easy Ways Even Busy Moms (& Dads) Can Be More Engaged During The Legislative Session [Utah Moms Care]

Utah Capitol Hill

We are all busy.  Really busy.  There are always more things that we would like to do, then we can actually do.  But here is a challenge, for just 45 days can you pay attention to what is happening at our State Capitol?  I know you can.  I know you care what happens there because you read this site.  So here is a list of a few ways even busy Moms can be engaged this year during the 2013 Session of the Utah Legislature: