Failing Grades | Hits & Misses | Salt Lake City | Salt Lake City Weekly

Failing Grades 

Also:Land Comes Last, Count Us In

Pin It
Favorite

click to enlarge miss_1.jpg
Failing Grades
Much has been said about the new school-grading system, which has spawned a chorus of conspiracy theories. Many are convinced that the conservative legislature has it out for public education and would like to, if not privatize the entire system, at least turn “failing” schools into charters. Worse yet is the Legislature’s pride in modeling the system after Florida’s, whose superintendent, Tony Bennett, resigned from the position in Indiana amid allegations of cheating on school grades. His actions in Indiana were deemed “plausible” by legislative leaders, so he’s now continuing his quest for accountability in Florida. Utah is also looking for accountability, although all these systems depend on one unquantifiable factor—“an invitation to engage.” If schools had figured out whom to engage and how to do it before, they wouldn’t be in this predicament now. The Legislature gets an A for engaging fear and anger.

click to enlarge miss_1.jpg
Land Comes Last
Utah seems to be going through a “to-hell-with- wilderness” period. First, it’s part of the Book Cliffs being leased out for oil production, and now the release of North Carolina mountain goats in the La Sal Mountains. Wildlife officials just really want to establish the goats there—probably for hunting—despite pleas from the U.S. Forest Service, which worries the goats will hurt the delicate ecosystem, especially its rare plant species. Nevermind—hunters rule in Utah. Meanwhile, the U.S. Department of the Interior has voiced concerns that the West Davis Corridor extension would permanently harm the wetlands there. Whether the Utah Department of Transportation will heed the warning is anyone’s guess. But their business is transportation, not wetlands.

click to enlarge hit_1.jpg
Count Us In
There’s some good news for Utah democracy, although it may come to nothing. First, the Count My Vote group has raised a boatload of money—mostly from a few rich folks—to boost its campaign against a caucus system that favors the fringe activist. It does, however, need to broaden its base for a statewide initiative. Now there’s Move to Amend, an opinion survey of Salt Lake City residents about whether corporations are people. The strategy is to get local resolutions passed and moved up to the state and national constitutions. MTA first got 11,000 signatures for a ballot initiative, which was oddly determined to be illegal. Apparently, you have to be changing law to run an initiative. Now they’re going for opinions and, ultimately, a resolution to add to a growing number nationwide.

Twitter: @KathyBiele

Pin It
Favorite

Speaking of , Failing Grade,

More by Katharine Biele

  • Citizen Revolt: Oct. 18

    Meet some of the women running for office, learn about everything else on the ballot come November and discuss available programming to help Salt Lake's homeless population.
    • Oct 17, 2018
  • The Three Kings

    Where are the critics of Utah's proposed billion-dollar railroad? Utah's place in the climate change debate and a Utah journalism project shines a light on the dark side of housing.
    • Oct 17, 2018
  • Citizen Revolt: Oct. 11

    Candidates get a chance to meet our youth, unpack those ballot initiatives and March for Our Lives gets creative.
    • Oct 10, 2018
  • More »

Latest in Hits & Misses

  • The Three Kings

    Where are the critics of Utah's proposed billion-dollar railroad? Utah's place in the climate change debate and a Utah journalism project shines a light on the dark side of housing.
    • Oct 17, 2018
  • Judge Wad-duped

    What ever happened to the public part of public lands? The Legislature whittles away on ballot initiatives and don't say "Mormon" anymore.
    • Oct 10, 2018
  • This Mormon Moment

    Jeff Flake earns some credit, more red tape for beer retailers and was there any celebrating in Utah for National Public Lands Day?
    • Oct 3, 2018
  • More »

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Readers also liked…

  • High Anxiety

    A new study suggests link between altitude and high teen suicide rates, coal is still king in Utah, for now, and an unhappy former mayor.
    • Jul 4, 2018
  • Dear Jon

    A letter to Jon Huntsman Jr., more kids means fewer taxes in Utah and some perspective on the inland port debate.
    • Jul 25, 2018

© 2018 Salt Lake City Weekly

Website powered by Foundation