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I have read with concern the promotion to increase the school year length as a means to make Utah students more competitive in the global market. I am greatly dismayed that my own children's time is wasted by poorly trained teachers or teachers who are lazy or burned-out from discipline problems and excessive paperwork during the present number of school days. From my own experience as a college professor, I find that many students come to college poorly prepared.

There are many talented and dedicated teachers in Utah schools but not for every classroom or even every other classroom. Before the state spends money to increase the length of the school year, efforts should be made to prevent the crushing boredom, the stifling of creativity and the lack of a rigorous, high-quality curriculum that are prevalent in today's schools.It is true that teachers alone cannot remedy the problems. Parents need to take an active part in the education of their children. I applaud the Park City schools and the majority of the parents there who expect decent behavior in the schools. It is time to end the tyranny of the minority of badly behaved students abetted by their parents. It is also true that textbooks need to be more up-to-date and challenging. Equipment such as microscopes often seems to be lacking or in poor condition. Supplies also appear to be limited. This may require more money. I find it interesting that the teachers doing the actual work of instruction receive less pay than the administrators. I think there are too many bureaucratic layers in the Utah schools pushing paper but accomplishing little to enhance student instruction and learning.

The real solutions will come from parents, teachers and administrators working together to make tough solutions that in some fashion and to a certain degree will be unpalatable to all participants.

Joseph Papenfuss

Fountain Green