John Florez: Utah School Boards Get an F Grade (DNews)

  By John Florez , Deseret News Published: Saturday, Sept. 14 2013 12:00 a.m. MDT If Utah’s local school boards were graded, they would get an F, or at best an incomplete. Some seem to suffer from chronic public absenteeism and don’t do their homework. When the law went in to effect requiring schools be given a grade for their performance, there was an immediate outcry by school administrators, teachers and some parents for its … Continue reading

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

iSchool Controversy in the Salt Lake City School District

  In the 2013 Legislative Session, SB 284- Educational Technology Amendments was passed into law. Modifies a pilot project known as the Smart School Technology Program by requiring the State Board of Education, to issue a request for proposals for the deployment of whole-school one to one mobile device technology in public schools. I questioned the school district’s process in applying and being awarded this grant. See my blog entry: Public School Bureaucracy Running Amock (Again!)   … 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