Over the past few years, several voices have spoken out about the need for a long-term strategic plan for public education in the state of Utah. The Utah State Board of Education, within its constitutional duties of general control and supervision of public education, has created such a long-term plan, entitling it “Promises to Keep.”
Promises to Keep envelopes both a vision and mission for public education in Utah. Our vision is based upon a premise that public education is vital to “secure and perpetuate” freedom and that citizens must have certain skills and abilities in order for this to happen. We believe, as the elected board responsible for public education, we have in effect a civic compact with our citizens that we can and must keep certain promises to our students in order for them to gain those skills and abilities they need to fulfill their civic responsibilities and to be able to pursue their own individual dreams. From this vision and mission, Promises to Keep, we have articulated a set of goals, key activities and measurements of progress.
To understand what we wish to accomplish, you must understand 1) the premises for public education within our constitutionally based governance system 2) the educational premises upon which Promises to Keep is based and 3) the transformation we seek in our educational system in order to serve individual students. In three subsequent blog posts, I will share with you my thoughts in each of these areas.