State School Board gets sneak peek at ‘Utah Education Roadmap’


SALT LAKE CITY — Lt. Gov. Spencer Cox on Thursday gave the Utah State Board of Education a sneak peek of the “Utah Education Roadmap,” which will be released in its entirety in early 2018.

The plan, the product of Gov. Gary Herbert’s Education Excellence Commission, has four components: ensuring early learning; strengthening and supporting educators; ensuring access and equity to students; and completing certificates and college degrees.

The 10-year plan was developed by a diverse group of stakeholders who created “a living document,” Cox said.

The plan details “where we want to go when it comes to funding education, where we want to go when it comes to providing resources, making sure we have teachers involved, that we have early education, that we have kids involved in technical education, all of those things. Let’s make sure we put it in one document,” Cox said in a short interview after briefing the State School Board.

Cox, filling in for Herbert who was handling other business, released an early copy of the plan to the board, acknowledging board members and State Superintendent of Public Instruction Sydnee Dickson who served on the commission.

“The governor’s message is the importance of uniting and focusing. This is a message he shares often. He believes that is the Utah way. It’s a message he shared with our president when he was here Monday that you get a lot more done when you try to bring people together. That’s what we’re attempting to do here, bringing all those governance roles together with a vision,” Cox said.

The plan is not intended to replace the strategic plans of either public or higher education, the document states.

“Rather it is designed to be a planning guide that brings together the common elements of stakeholder plans, providing greater alignment of the P-20 (preschool through graduate school) system, as well as momentum in the work to improve educational opportunities and outcomes for Utah students,” the plan states.

The plan acknowledges that family and community support are “foundational” to the educational roadmap, noting the state’s economic future depends on the education children receive and “their readiness to participate as productive citizens in work, civic and home life.”

Parents are a child’s “first and most influential teachers,” and play a role in their education and their transition to postsecondary education.

“Systems must empower parents to assist and lead their children, ” the plan states.

With respect to early childhood education, the “Utah Education Roadmap” envisions expanding optional extended-day kindergarten for all students, regardless of risk factors, at a cost of $65.9 million. For some 16,000 students “likely at risk of academic failure,” the plan calls for expansion of optional extended-day kindergarten specifically.

This would be in addition to increasing preschool services for at risk students ages 3 and 4.

With respect to educators, the plan seeks to “elevate the education profession” through better pay for teachers in public schools and postsecondary education.

The plan also calls for improved teacher and administrator preparation, providing “high quality and engaging professional growth opportunities” and providing specific compensation for “teacher …read more

Source:: Deseret News – Utah News

      

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