Clara: Educators’ Pessimism Doesn’t Help Students (Tribune)

Clara: Educators’ pessimism doesn’t help students BY MICHAEL CLARA PUBLISHED: SEPTEMBER 14, 2013 01:01AM In recent days, many oppositional voices have been raised over Utah’s new school grading system. Mine was not one of them. As a local school board member, one of my statutory responsibilities is to “use progress-based assessments as part of a plan to identify schools, teachers, and students that need remediation and determine the type and amount of federal, state, and … Continue reading

District Launches Poorly Written Webpage on School Grading

  TEXT OF LETTER I SENT TO THE SUPERINTENDENT:  1 September 2013   DELIVERED VIA ELECTRONIC MAIL Mr. McKell Withers, Superintendent Salt Lake City School District 440 East 100 South Salt Lake City, Utah 84111-1891 Re: School Grades and Accountability Website Dear Dr. Withers, I wanted to expressed my opposition to the current tone and format of the proposed School Grades and Accountability link on the school district’s web site, that you referenced in your … Continue reading

Utah Dems Fire at GOP Lawmakers in Defense of Teachers, SLC School District (Deseret News)

By Benjamin Wood, Deseret News Published: Friday, Aug. 30 2013 4:17 p.m. MDT SALT LAKE CITY — A significant portion of the agenda at last week’s meeting of the Education Task Force was given to Salt Lake City School Board member Michael Clara and his oft-repeated criticisms of his school board colleagues. Clara accused the Salt Lake City School District of neglecting the needs of west-side schools and failing to address the graduation rate of at-risk and minority students. … Continue reading

West High School: 9th Grade Orientation

Had a great time this morning at West High’s 9th grade orientation. We all met in the auditorium and then broke up into five groups and we rotated into various workshops. I was particularity impressed with the fact  that the staff and administration was aware of the dropout rate of their freshmen and were not afraid to to embrace that ‘truth’. Unlike the mindset and masking I see happening in the Echo Chamber (school board … Continue reading