Turning Education Funding Around

Written by: Dan Bammes

Governor Gary R. Herbert was asked about the recent Utah Foundation report on growth in Utah’s public school population during his monthly news conference at KUED on Thursday, May 14th. The report Reaching Toward 2050: Education in the Midst of Population Growth urges the creation of a long-term, statewide plan for Utah’s public schools and includes an explanation of how past policy changes have limited the funding base for the expected growth of Utah’s K-12 … Continued

Public schools shoulder the burden of tax cuts

Written by: Stephen Hershey Kroes

For many years, Utah Foundation has written about the decline in Utah’s investment in K-12 education. In the 1990s, it was common to hear about Utah’s “education paradox” – a term Utah Foundation coined to describe how a very high funding effort could yield a small amount per pupil. In 1995, for example, the proportion of income that Utahns paid for public schools ranked seventh highest in the nation, yet per-pupil funding was last in … Continued

“Made in Utah” Collaboration Grows from Utah Breakfast Club

Written by: Dan Bammes

At the first meeting of the Utah Breakfast Club on Thursday, January 15th, leaders in the digital media and movie production industries talked about the need for a place where new startups and established businesses could connect with colleagues and with potential financial backers. One outgrowth of that conversation is the new Made in Utah page on Facebook. It was created by a member of the panel invited to discuss the film and digital media … Continued

Top Research Findings of 2014: Part II

Written by: Shawn Teigen

There is only one tie in the top-ten research findings of 2014, and it happens to be a three-way for 5th place… 5 (three-way tie): “…the difference between the projected 2030 and 2060 65+ dependency ratio is more significant in Utah (24.2 to 33.7) than in the nation (35 to 37)…” and there will be a lower percentage of kids.   While the Baby Boomer boom is already happening elsewhere in the nation, there is … Continued

Top Research Findings of 2014: Part I

Written by: Shawn Teigen

Each December, top-10 lists start popping up to reflect the events and highlights of the past year. We encourage you to add our Top Research Findings of 2014 to your year-end reading list. Selected by Utah Foundation staff, the Foundation’s board of directors voted on these findings last week to determine their order of importance. This posting includes the first three from that list (10 through 8), with the remaining seven to be announced within … Continued

Get a job! Now hiring at Utah Foundation

Written by: Stephen Hershey Kroes

Two great opportunities are available at Utah Foundation. If you enjoy our balanced, nonpartisan research on the major issues facing our state and you think you could add to our strength, please apply. Thanks to wonderful board members helping with fundraising, we are expanding our staff to bring more of this great work to the public and policymakers in 2015. We are recruiting for a research analyst and a communications specialist. Both are full-time, salaried … Continued

Slides from our 2014 Annual Meeting: Higher Education and Utah’s Economic Growth

Written by: Shawn Teigen

Utah Foundation thanks the generous sponsors that made the 2014 Annual Meeting possible: Fidelity Investments, Love Communications, Salt Lake Community College, Utah Education Savings Plan, Utah System of Higher Education, and Utah Valley University Foundation. We appreciate the wonderful presentations from great speakers. Several attendees have asked for the presenters’ slides, which are included below. President Stephen Hershey Kroes – Utah’s Unique Education Challenges & Opportunities [visual presentation not presented at meeting] First Panel: Higher … Continued

Good News in Utah’s Reading and Math Scores

Written by: Stephen Hershey Kroes

In the past decade, we’ve written many times about the challenges facing our education system, describing Utah’s declining funding effort for schools while our rankings fell against other states in the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP). But today, we have good news to report! Utah has seen a noteworthy jump in reading scores in the latest figures (from 2013) and some recent increases in math scores. Take a look at Utah’s NAEP scores and … Continued

Rising Back up the Ranks in Higher Ed

Written by: Mallory Bateman

With the close of the 2014 legislative session, there were some positive outcomes for higher education in the state. A recent Salt Lake Tribune article called it the “best year at the Utah Legislature since the recession hit” for higher education. With a goal of 66% of Utahns having postsecondary certificates or degrees, it is important for higher education to receive support on all fronts. In preparation for our Utah Foundation annual meeting on March … Continued

Simpson’s Paradox and the Trickiness of Statistics

Written by: Shawn Teigen

Data are everywhere. They are used to inform, they are used to make statistical arguments for one thing and against another, and much, much more. But they are tricky. Mark Twain is quoted as saying that “facts are stubborn, but statistics are more pliable.” That pliability allows them to be used in tricky ways, both intentionally and unintentionally. One tricky thing to keep an eye out for is Simpson’s Paradox. Simpson’s paradox occurs when you … Continued