Parents Sound Off About Proposed Education Changes

Parents Sound Off About Proposed Education Changes

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Samantha Hayes reporting A large group of parents Wednesday night told the State Board of Education what they think about proposed changes to education.

The changes are part of the controversial education reform bill passed by the legislature earlier this year.

The proposal calls for increasing graduation requirements and testing student competency each year.

Don't know much about algebra? Under new proposals outlined in "Performance Plus," a "D" average won't cut it anymore for Utah students.

Advancing to the next grade will require proficiency in required units in math, English, and science, and earning a sufficient score on yearly tests.

A high school diploma will require more graduation units.

Tim Beagley/ Board of Education District: "The most frequently asked question is what does this mean for my student? And parents are very concerned. Will this proposal limit the prospects for elective courses that students would like to take?"

Students and parents are signing a petition to change the propsals.

Amy Anderson/ VP Student Body/ Cyprus High School: "Not everyone in the world is going to be a science professor, a math professor. There's going to be actors, people who enjoy singing. Where goes Broadway if you can't pass your classes?"

It's uncertain whether these standards will be implemented next fall. State Superintendant Steve Laing estimates in some districts 50 percent of high school students would not meet the new requirements.

Steve Laing/ State Superintendent of Public Instruction: "There's no question that students who take advantage of the opportunities that exist in our public schools do extremely well, but we have indentified an increasing number of students that are seemingly lagging behind."

For this to work, educators say schools will need more academic counselors, additional teacher training, and programs like tutoring and remedial classes.

One board member says the state will need $200 million in new money.

Several more public meetings are scheduled this month. To find the date and time of one near you, check the box above.

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