To the editor:

With all the highly publicized problems in Utah's education system today, you'd think we'd all be better off just saying "uncle" and starting the whole learning process over again.Unfortunately, the Japanese have yet to open up an efficient school in Utah, so residents are left asking the question of what to do about furthering their children's educations.

Believe it or not, many school districts have implemented student learning programs that have actually contributed to the bottom line finances of the district while improving student performance and learning.

For example: In Azusa, Calif., through the aggressive use of technology in the classroom, the district was able to keep more than 93 percent of its likely drop-outs in school and increase the average daily attendance (ADA) rate by 96 percent. This example is especially significant considering districts are compensated based upon ADA rates.

Additionally, after 20 years of research, as reviewed by the Hudson Institute, statistics show that compared with traditional classroom teaching, computer-based instruction produces at least 30 percent more learning in 40 percent less time at 30 percent less cost.

Oddly enough, as Utahns are wondering what to do about their own school systems, many people from around the country are coming to Utah to get answers to their educational problems.

That's because the technology that's improving student scores by leaps and bounds in Boston, Atlanta, Chicago, Dallas and Los Angeles is currently being developed in Orem and Salt Lake City.

Both Wicat Systems (Orem) and Wasatch Education (Salt Lake) are developers of integrated learning systems. (An integrated learning system is just a technical person's way of saying an advanced software package that helps kids learn faster, better and more efficiently.)

Technology in an educational setting. Think of the possibilities. Students of all ages and all economic backgrounds could go to class and learn efficiently with the help of computers and technology - technology developed just down the street by local companies.

Garrett Lyman