Summit Raises Questions about Funding

Summit Raises Questions about Funding

Save Story

Estimated read time: 2-3 minutes

This archived news story is available only for your personal, non-commercial use. Information in the story may be outdated or superseded by additional information. Reading or replaying the story in its archived form does not constitute a republication of the story.

ST. GEORGE, Utah (AP) -- At the latest education summit held to discuss the state Board of Education's plan for competency-based graduation requirements, questions were raised about the funding and problems with class size.

The Performance Plus proposal would set competency standards for all grades, add more diagnostic assessments and establish competency-based graduation requirements.

More than 100 educators and a half dozen parents attended Wednesday's summit at St. George.

Some legislators have said that there is no way they'll provide the more than $200 million projected cost of the program.

Ilene Jones, a third-grade teacher at Panorama Elementary, said frequent assessments take a lot of time away from the classroom.

For each of the six tests required last year, she spent 30 minutes on each student, she said.

"Last year I did so much assessing that I didn't feel like I was teaching," she said.

State Board of Education member Debra G. Roberts, whose district includes Washington, Kane and Beaver counties, said schools might be able to hire teachers aides to do testing,

Don Taylor, a St. George father of five, said students in his generation benefited from the old system and he questioned how the proposal would affect students.

"For the most part, I don't think it'll change anything," he said. "If you cant read, you shouldn't move to the next level."

Mary Emett, a sixth-grade teacher at Desert Hills Intermediate School, said regulations often make it difficult for teachers to prevent low-performing students from advancing to the next grade.

Roberts said Performance Plus will require more remediation on low-performing students, and teachers may have to spend more time on them after school.

Emett said that if that is the case, teachers should be compensated.

Evan Johnson, principal of Enterprise Elementary School, said changes will be hard if teachers have large class sizes.

He said the state has reversed its efforts to reduce class sizes.

"Now we have sacrificed class sizes.... We are asked to do more again with less," he said.

The board will revise its plan this fall after it finishes in series of summits.

(Copyright 2003 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

Most recent Utah stories

Related topics



Get informative articles and interesting stories delivered to your inbox weekly. Subscribe to the Trending 5.
By subscribing, you acknowledge and agree to's Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.

KSL Weather Forecast