Citizens across the nation are fighting outcome-based education. Many Utah people don't know what it is even though millions of their dollars have been spent to promote it. Just how much is hard to determine.
A pamphlet titled "OBE in Utah," secured from the State Office of Education, reports that the Legislature appropriated $500,000 for OBE in July 1985, and since 1987, there has been formula-based funding. In fiscal 1990, a total of $1,098,000 was given as grants. In 1991, $4,015,100 was proposed for "experimental programs." We don't know how much of that made its way to OBE. There is a lot we don't know. A gentleman at the state office stated that OBE continues in Utah through Strategic Planning, Centennial Schools, Shift in Focus and other programs.When a request for OBE information was made to the state office, a pamphlet titled "Outcome Driven Developmental Model" was received. Twenty-three Utah school districts have been identified as models in this program. To be so identified they received training from Johnson City Central School District in New York.
There are 20 components to the Johnson City program. The first component requires districts to agree to make all decisions in accordance with research literature. This, undoubtedly, has had major influence on curriculum and attitude in Utah schools.
Another component of the ODDM program requires that districts arrive at a set of philosophical principles that guide all actions and decisions. Still another component requires districts to arrive at an understanding of human behavior and needs.
Outcome-based education has been in Utah for more than 10 years. We feel the major part of problems we see in education today come through OBE.
Dorothy Bryson, executor
Citizens for Common Sense