Education Task Force looks at ways to improve student achievement

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SALT LAKE CITY -- Lawmakers are looking to raise the bar in Utah schools.

The state’s Education Task Force is considering some high goals that would put Utah students in the top 10 nationwide for math, reading and graduation rates.

But based on recent ACT test scores, the majority of students aren’t ready for college level math and reading.

Of all the juniors who took the ACt statewide this year, only 38 percent achieved benchmark scores in math and 45 percent in reading.

State Schools Superintendent Martell Menlove testified before the task force Monday saying if lawmakers want to improve student scores it’s time to make some changes.

“It’s the highest priority on new money from the State Board of Education – to look at math, particularly at the middle level,” Menlove said.

Menlove said there are three things the state can do to improve student achievement – put more technology into classrooms, beef up the technological infrastructure in schools and provide more training for teachers, especially for middle school math.

“Funding is not the answer for everything,” Menlove said.

Although, he said, more money from the legislature would go a long way.

1 Comment

  • Bruce Deitrick Price (@educatt)

    Seriously, if you want to raise scores, you have to get Reform Math out of the schools. If you want to improve reading, you have to get sight-words out of the schools. Our Education Establishment is motivated by ideological dreams. If they put an idea in the schools, you almost know by that alone it’s no good.

    I don’t think this is rocket science. Pick three private schools out of the phonebook, call the people in charge, and ask them what they are doing. Probably they are using systematic phonics for reading. They’ll be using Saxon Math or Singapore Math for arithmetic. And in knowledge generally, they’ll hire teachers who actually know something and tell them to get busy teaching it! Meanwhile, our dysfunctional public schools are trying to turn teachers into facilitators. Don’t do it.


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