To: Dean Sanpei,
Subject: Vote YES on HB342, HB397, HB228
Date: Sun Mar 02 03:46:21 MST 2014
I am asking you to vote YES on the following bills in the House Education Standing Committee meeting this Monday:
- Agenda item #1: H.B. 228S01 Utah State Board of Education Elections and Reporting
- Agenda item #2: H.B. 397 Student and Family Privacy Amendments
- Agenda item #3: H.B. 342 Powers and Duties of the State Board of Education
I feel these bills are important for the following reasons:
H.B. 342: This bill is vitally important in allowing the state of Utah to develop our own standards in the core subjects of English, Math, Science, and Social Studies. This bill would give the State Board of Education the ability to maintain control of the standards and the power to modify the standards which will provide the opportunity to improve them, if needed, over time. These standards would be specific to the state of Utah and will be developed by parents, teachers, and educators within our own state. The one-size-fits-all approach of the nationalized Common Core standards written and developed by private organizations is not what is best for Utah students. Utahns know this. Thousands of people in other states who have adopted the same standards know this as well. I believe Utah can develop and implement our own higher standards that will be far better for Utah schools, teachers, and students. I urge you to vote YES on this bill.
H.B. 397: I appreciate any efforts made to give parents the opportunity to give their consent before any surveys or assessments are given to their child in school that would be used for research or studies. The purpose of a survey is for research, so I think it is imperative that parents are aware of what information the survey will be asking their children. I also appreciate that this bill prohibits schools from incentivizing students to get their parents to sign the consent form. Offering a reward for signed consent forms is wrong because it pits parents (who may have legitimate concerns with the survey) against their child (whose only motivation in taking the survey is to receive a prize that they see as being denied them because of their parents).
H.B. 228S01: The current system of electing State Board of Education members is flawed. I’m in favor of this bill because it removes the nominating committee and allows state school board candidates to go through the same election process as other elected officials. I believe this will bring more attention to the state school board elections and allow voters the opportunity to have a better idea of candidates’ ideologies. I know there is a debate as to whether partisan or non-partisan elections would be best. I think it would be beneficial for the debate to continue on the House and Senate floor.
I appreciate your time in reading my e-mail. Thank you for your consideration.