Students and Teachers: Worthy Investments

I recently read that one of the greatest determining factors of a student’s success is the student’s perception of whether or not the system believes he/she is a good investment.  What? I had never considered the idea that students might think that we – teachers, parents, administrators, even the general public – do not believe they are a worthy investment. Public education is an enormous machine.  Millions of dollars and thousands of hours are spent preparing curriculum and lessons for mastery of concepts.   How could these kids not know…

When the School Board must put students first [The Hub Debate]

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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?“ Many excellent posts here at The Hub over the past week trying to answer the question of who should matter most the school boards: parents or students. One of my favorites was this, suggesting that it needn’t be a choice between the two.  The interests of parents and the importance of…

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…

Utah’s Parents Denied Due Diligence and Due Process

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Utah’s State Board of Education adopted the Federal Common Core State Standards Initiative before they, or anyone else knew, what the Standards would be. The Federal curriculum, assessments and other materials had not been written and some are still being drafted. We, and our legislators, had no notice of this action, and have no voice in the ongoing production of Common Core. This procedure has usurped basic education policy and content decisions from parents and our elected representatives. The National takeover rolls on despite the fact that most conservative legislators…

Students Should be Central to School Board Decisions [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? Students should be at the center of every decision made by a state or local school board.  Educating students and preparing them to be productive members of society should be at the forefront of the work of school boards.  School boards should ensure that all students have the opportunity to learn…

No Difference Between Serving Parents and Children [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?“ For me the question as stated has neither legal nor logical weight. I acknowledge that sometimes the system shifts too far from parents.  A good example may be those former attendance policies created by local districts that prohibited parents from removing their children from school more than a certain number of…

Board must do what’s best for students [The Hub Debate]

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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?“ The Utah Constitution requires the State Board of Education to serve the students who participate in the public education system even if that service conflicts with the preferences of their parents. The Utah Constitution vests control over the public education system in the State Board of Education: “The general control and…

Public Education’s Focus is the Student [The Hub Debate]

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  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?“ Public education’s target for change is the student. The evidence of excellent or poor teaching is based on assessments (test scores) of our students.  Every aspect of education reform is judged by its effect on student achievement. If schools were to serve parents, perhaps parents would, or should, be the…

Do Teachers Matter?

As we near the end of another school year, my thoughts turn to our teachers. Those men and women on the front lines of K-12 education preparing our children for their future. Maybe I think of teachers at this time of year because I was raised in a home where my parents were educators. My dad took the administrative track and my mom taught K-3. I was taught there is a certain nobility in teachers. That there is a special place in Heaven for teachers who influence the lives of young…