Dear Legislators: We want to help!


3/2/2011

by Sharon Gallagher-Fishbuagh

In the Utah Legislature this year, we are tracking about 110 bills that directly or indirectly impact public education. I can’t think of another profession that faces so many policy changes year in and year out.
But I’m not necessarily as concerned about the quantity of proposals to change public education as I am about the quality. You see, the vast majority of these bills are conceived, drafted and proposed by individuals who, despite their best intentions (I’ll give them the benefit of the doubt here), are not experts in education.
Call me crazy, but if I were a legislator drafting a bill about, say, nuclear waste, I’d probably want to consult with a nuclear waste expert before I got too far into the process. Yet far too few legislators look to those of us in the classrooms everyday when crafting legislation that impacts what we do.
I suppose there are those who feel 13 years as a public school student qualifies them as an “expert.” Others may think parenting public school students or teaching youth on Sundays gives them “expert” insight into the role of a public educator. Is it too much to think those of us who have dedicated our lives to the profession may have a somewhat upper hand in public education knowledge?
I’ve extended, and will continue to extend, an open invitation to any legislator sponsoring public school legislation to consult with us, as representatives of Utah classroom teachers, when considering how best to teach our children.
After all, shouldn’t we all have the same goal: A quality school for EVERY Utah student?

Comments

Dollar Signs in the Seats

Date Posted: 4/25/2011 2:06:04 PM
Name: Lyn Phillips

Your goal is to keep all those dollar signs in their seats.

Are you serious?

Date Posted: 4/25/2011 2:04:16 PM
Name: Lyn Phillips

My, my, I did not read this paragraph until now: "I suppose there are those who feel 13 years as a public school student qualifies them as an “expert.” Others may think parenting public school students or teaching youth on Sundays gives them “expert” insight into the role of a public educator. Is it too much to think those of us who have dedicated our lives to the profession may have a somewhat upper hand in public education knowledge?" Will you please send this in to the Deseret News and Salt Lake Tribune? Everyone who doesn't take the time to get on your blog ought to read what you think of the rest of us. Yes, obviously those of us who went through 13 years of public school are shmoes. Are you admitting that conventional public education is mediocre? Yes, of course most of are not certified teachers. My roommate was a certified teacher and she came home at the end of the day to complain and show the art work her students did. She called them all, "retards." and ridiculed the work. My brother-in-law is a vice-principal and lectured us all on the vouchers, when that was an issue a few years ago. His argument was that the "good" kids from "good" families would leave the public schools and all that would be left were the "troubled" kids. He also said a lot of other things that he remembered from the UEA flyer he got. Unfortunately, we debunked everything he said, because we actually read the bill and he did not. Because he's got the benefit of the UEA telling him how to vote and not find out the truth for himself. Yes, you guys are so far above us. We and the legislature are just shmoes and don't know how to care for our own children. We don't even know our children. We have to wait until parent-teacher-conference to find out what our children are like. Oh, and especially us primary teachers in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, who volunteer our time and faith to teach children about Jesus. We're the biggest shmoes of all.

What's New

Date Posted: 3/2/2011 5:04:32 PM
Name: Laura

In the 15 + years that I've been watching the legislature, this is only getting worse. I know that UEA works hard to support education friendly candidates only to have them shut out in the elections. We need to think out of the box. Our members better get their heads out of the sand before it caves in on them and then they cry what happened.

 

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