Adams bill regarding school grading needs veto

Thursday , March 06, 2014 - 11:13 AM

Richard M. Heath


Sen. Stuart Adams represents a large portion of Davis School District, one of the finest school districts in the state. During the 2013 legislative session he sponsored SB 271 S3, school grading amendments which will have a profound impact on Davis School District and which now will require two different grading systems for public schools in our state.

According to all media accounts and the reports of reliable legislative watchdogs, Sen. Adams carried this bill for Parents for Choice in Education (PCE), a private school consortium whose mission includes the dismantling of public schools and instituting vouchers for private education instead. It was PCE that helped him develop and present the bill to the Senate committee.

Senator Adams referred all committee questions to the PCE lobbyists. The PCE lobbyists were at his right hand when the Utah State Office of Education was trying to make sense of the ill-conceived bill. Why doesn’t Senator Adams represent the vast majority of public school parents (92 percent of Utah children attend traditional schools) who elected him rather than PCE?

This bill should be vetoed by Gov. Herbert. It creates an untried grading system for schools, a system that does not adequately account for the reality that not all students enter any grade at the same level and perform equally over time. It imposes a second grading system that will surely confuse our parents and public; one which has neither validity nor reliability and may misrepresent the fine schools in our district.

Even worse, it was substituted and rushed through without public input on the last day of the legislative session. Even the legislators in the House did not see the final bill until it was presented for passage.

This bill should be rejected, and Sen. Adams should take this as a strong reminder that we expect him to represent us, his constituents, not a small group pushing for private schools!

Richard M. Heath


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