Brad Smith, it appears, is one of those men that Oscar Wilde described as "knowing the price of everything but the value of nothing." I am a product of the Ogden School District; I learned to read early, at home, but my lifelong love of reading came mainly from Phyllis Dixon Shaw, the librarian at Horace Mann Elementary and one of the two "Dixon sisters" (the other being Dot Harrison at Grandview Elementary) who, among many other innovations, were responsible for beginning the first gifted and talented programs in Ogden.
Mrs. Shaw recognized early that I was bored at story time (this from a Utah story teller of the year), and gave me permission to roam the library and find something that I'd like to read; she also worked with the administration to give me access to reading classes in higher grades, something unheard of at the time. Librarian-teachers like Mrs. Shaw are--and should be--the foundation of a good elementary school; they can (as they did with me) instill a lifelong love of reading, and thus learning, in any and every student they encounter.
Now, especially, as technology provides access to much more information than in the past, it is critical that our children are taught how to access that information and how to analyze it. There's a lot on the Internet, but much of it is, generally speaking, misinformation. Good librarians can help a student learn how to filter the good from the bad.
Whether it's librarians in the elementary schools or adult education classes, the value of a solid education is--or should be--obvious. That Brad Smith can only see the price tag of those valuable educators and programs in the Ogden School District tells me it's far past time for him and his bloated administration to be replaced.
Salt Lake City