The 1983 publication of A Nation at Risk was intended to create significant improvements in public education.
The study was followed by an array of simplistic reforms, including a teaching-for-the-test mentality and an emphasis on outcome-based education, as reflected in the No Child Left Behind and Race to the Top programs.
Unfortunately, none of these have succeeded in significantly improving efficiency and accountability in American schools.
The issues troubling education nationally are especially prevalent in our state. In most of Utah's schools, academic results are at or below the national average. Utah teacher salaries are equal to those in Alabama, South Carolina and Mississippi. Worse yet, Utah has the highest student-teacher ratio in the nation — 24.4 to 1.
Education must be improved in Utah.