Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Stephenson and Utah Taxpayer Association's pre-legislative conference agenda: A voucher by any other name...

Long time, no blog. I'm Twittering now and again for shorter examples of the hammer coming down on Utah Public Education from powerful legislators. @UtahTeacher

Saw the Utah Taxpayers Association's agenda for their pre-legislative conference today. Lots of coded voucher varieties and increase of state control over education. Reduce local district funding and control to give the legislature more power with less opposition.

Some items from the pdf agenda:
10:00 Ed. Savings Accounts = Super "Backpack funding" = vouchers that students could just keep the money if they graduated early, also they virtually eliminate districts as entities and totally gut district programs, busing, Special Ed., ELL, magnet programs, closes schools in poor areas
Further info...
Further spin...
(Talking points = It's for the children vs. greedy teachers/districts, reward high achievers, family controls education, strategically ignore effects of destroying district programs = money directly to kids will solve all problems and provide all needed)

10:05 Anti-voucher Student Opportunity Scholarship = Tuition Tax Credits = vouchers from front end of funding rather than back
10:20 HB 15 Statewide Adaptive Testing = test multiple times per year with low statistical "validity" (tied to performance pay/value-added measures) -- there is good to these as instruments, but rhetoric behind implementation and reality of multiple administrations and use as an objective data comparison = problems
10:25 Charter School Bonding - Charters get permission to use public bonds? Screw districts?
10:30 SB 10 College & Career Readiness Assessments = New UBSCT = ACT?, eventual financial penalties for schools
10:35 Eliminating Funding for Phantom Students (presented by Sheldon Killpack??)-- Their dishonest way of saying local district bonding authority will be eliminated and sales tax increased to provide more $ for charter schools. Local control is only sacred when opposing Obama.
11:05 SB 27 Taxpayers Right to Refund -- No idea, but most likely more income tax taken from schools, right?

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