May 28, 2017

Tuesday Night Notes on the Granite School District Town Hall

Tuesday night was the Granite School District’s annual town hall. At least, I think it’s annual, since it finished with Superintendent Martin Bates telling us he would “See you next year!” (If the rumors are true that Bates has put his application in for the state superintendent job, and if he gets that job, then […]

The Utah Education Bureaucracy Could Use a Dose of Transparency

Last week, the Utah Legislature was recognized for its efforts at transparency by an award from a national group. While “how a bill becomes a law” is still an obtuse process to most Utahns, it has to make Jason Williams proud to see the Legislature make efforts to inform citizens. Meanwhile, elsewhere… Perhaps a similar […]

What is the Cost of Not Extending the NCLB Waiver?

On July 17, the Utah State Board of Education met to discuss whether to extend the  No Child Left Behind (NCLB) waiver, or the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) Waiver. It allows Utah to avoid certain aspects of NCLB while still receiving federal dollars for education. I recommend reading Karen Peterson’s treatment of the topic (here) for […]

Are We Asking the Right Questions About the Board of Education?

A couple weeks back, contributors to the Utah Politico Hub examined the role of the State Board of Education in students learning. Does the Board have a duty to parents or to students? The response was impressive, with parents, activists, and even a couple members of the State Board of Education weighing in. You can find […]

Is College Worth It?

Is college worth it? A new study seems to indicate that college graduation, even with the growing cost of tuition, still returns income far above that of high school educated workers. Further, it isn’t the 1% that is the biggest cause of inequality in America–it’s college. I hate my student loans. I hate them with the heat […]

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

In recent weeks, the Utah Board of Education also 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 […]

Senator Lee: “America’s crisis of crony capitalism”

In a speech  on Wednesday (find the full speech below at bottom), Utah Senator Mike Lee took on what he sees as a major problem causing a loss of opportunity for the poor and middle classes–the rise and expansion of cronyism in the growth of government to benefit well-connected special interests and businesses. The more power […]