Education Task Force looks at ways to improve student achievement

Posted at 10:10 PM, Nov 11, 2013
and last updated 2013-11-12 00:10:20-05

SALT LAKE CITY -- Lawmakers are looking to raise the bar in Utah schools.

The state’s Education Task Force is considering some high goals that would put Utah students in the top 10 nationwide for math, reading and graduation rates.

But based on recent ACT test scores, the majority of students aren’t ready for college level math and reading.

Of all the juniors who took the ACt statewide this year, only 38 percent achieved benchmark scores in math and 45 percent in reading.

State Schools Superintendent Martell Menlove testified before the task force Monday saying if lawmakers want to improve student scores it’s time to make some changes.

“It’s the highest priority on new money from the State Board of Education – to look at math, particularly at the middle level,” Menlove said.

Menlove said there are three things the state can do to improve student achievement – put more technology into classrooms, beef up the technological infrastructure in schools and provide more training for teachers, especially for middle school math.

“Funding is not the answer for everything,” Menlove said.

Although, he said, more money from the legislature would go a long way.