School Grading Bill Pyfer’s biggest disappointment of Utah legislature

As a member of the Utah State Board of Education, Logan resident Tami Pyfer says she is grateful that the Utah legislature provided funding for enrollment growth in public schools during its 2011 session that ended on Thursday, March 10. Pyfer says she is also grateful that a bill that would have put the governor, rather than the state school board, over education was put on hold. Pyfer says her major disappointment was that lawmakers approved a School Grading Bill that will actually grade schools based on a Florida model that she says is not applicable to Utah. “They did a variety of things,” Pyfer said of Florida’s comprehensive system. “They increased their amount of spending per student. They lowered class sizes, they mandated it by their constitutional amendment. “They give teachers incentives for increasing scores. They give schools more money for increasing grades, etc., etc. Our state, all that they’ve got so far, is we’re going to grade you if you’re kids are proficient or have these scores on a reading and math test.” Pyfer says the grading system is not based on sound research or sound practice. Although the board will do all it can to make the program successful, Pyfer says it won’t be easy with so little money to work with.

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