Curriculum transparency bill critics say is ‘punitive’ to Utah teachers stalls in committee

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SALT LAKE CITY — A bill intended to provide greater transparency of what is being taught to students in public schools stalled in the House Education Committee on a tie vote Thursday.

HB344 It was requested that local school boards establish policies for curriculum transparency, but it was voluntary.

Opponents Teachers saw the bill as punitive, suggesting they can’t be trusted. However, supporters claimed it would reduce controversies since parents could know ahead of time what their children are learning.

The bill’s sponsor, Rep. Jordan Teuscher, R-South Jordan, amended legislation encouraging charter and district school boards establish policies “the content and method of student instruction that generally promotes transparency to parents and students.”

Teuscher Many lawmakers were approached by constituents, said one. “with concerns about what may or may not be taught in classrooms.”

Teuscher According to him, he’s seen situations where administrators need to work with teachers in order to ensure that what they’re teaching matches the curriculum at their charter school or district.

‘Very transparent’

“Generally, I think the concerns come from a lack of transparency. Parents simply just don’t know what’s happening in the classroom and so when they hear a story here or there, and maybe it gets exaggerated, they tend to believe that. So if we can dispel those myths by providing more transparency of what actually is being taught in the classroom, we’ll be in a much better place as a state,” He said.

Mark ClementDeputy President of the Utah School Boards Association An Alpine School Board member, said HB344 should be “very transparent” To educators

“They understand very clearly that it’s punitive and it will hurt teacher morale. Although the representative has mentioned that these are optional things, they come across to teachers as being very punitive,” Clement said.


This This is a way to tell teachers we don’t believe them.

–Emily BastianParent and PTA member


The The bill was not able to move to the next stage House A 6-6 vote was obtained with some Republican committee members joining Democrats In opposition

Some The committee members stated that, even though the law is not a mandate it would increase workloads for school boards who have to prepare multiple policies to address legislation passed in Congress.

“A strange request”

But Others wondered why HB344 didn’t limit itself to content. It Also, asked if transparency policies for charter and district schools included teacher instruction methods.

“It kind of feels like the difference between what the materials are versus how they’re delivered,” Rep. Karen Peterson, R-Clinton.

Nichole MasonPresident of the Utah Parents UnitedShe said that she was unable to determine the objectives of the teacher who taught her child in her class. So she appealed to the school principal for an interview with him.

“They both looked at me sideways and said, ‘That’s just such a strange request.’ So what parents are saying is, we want to know what is being taught to our children. I think that’s that’s easy and I think we need a standardized process so everyone’s on the same page,” Mason said.


Parents They don’t really know what’s going on in the classroom so they believe whatever they hear, even if it’s exaggerated.

–Rep. Jordan Teuscher, R-South Jordan


Others Teachers often send information to parents at the beginning and end of school terms. CanvasA web-based learning management system that is used in K-12 schools, is called.

Emily BastianParent in the Nebo School District He is also a member of the school community council, and a PTA member. He said that HB344’s message is not that parents should advocate for their children.

“This is sending a message to the teachers that we don’t trust them,” She spoke. Bastian They urged lawmakers instead to adopt a resolution encouraging parental involvement in schools.

This The second session is for those who are interested. Teuscher A curriculum transparency bill was sponsored by the author. Last He pulled the legislation in an era he called “a” “coordinated misinformation campaign.”

That bill, HB234It was a desire to require Utah Public school teachers will post all learning materials for each day of instruction to parents for them to see.

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