Policy

Education

Human beings are magnificent. We were born with a God-given ability to learn and the capacity to grow. As Aristotle put it, “All men by nature desire to know.” Education is broader than any one school system. It’s a series of opportunities to learn, which should be delivered in ways that allow us to meet the unique needs of children. The growing diversity of our student population requires an equitable education for every child, which contemplates both productive citizenship and employment and which is delivered by the best teachers – whoever they are.

This vision for education requires humility and the pursuit of good ideas – wherever they come from. We can achieve this by empowering parents to create learning paths as unique as the student, rejecting approaches that undermine decision-making authority of those closest to the student, respecting taxpayers as owners of the public education system, and protecting the marketplace of options and the innovators who contribute to it. Education is necessary because each individual has the potential to accomplish great things. Education should reflect these truths, and we believe it can.

Policy

Education

Human beings are magnificent. We were born with a God-given ability to learn and the capacity to grow. As Aristotle put it, “All men by nature desire to know.” Education is broader than any one school system. It’s a series of opportunities to learn, which should be delivered in ways that allow us to meet the unique needs of children. The growing diversity of our student population requires an equitable education for every child, which contemplates both productive citizenship and employment and which is delivered by the best teachers – whoever they are.

This vision for education requires humility and the pursuit of good ideas – wherever they come from. We can achieve this by empowering parents to create learning paths as unique as the student, rejecting approaches that undermine decision-making authority of those closest to the student, respecting taxpayers as owners of the public education system, and protecting the marketplace of options and the innovators who contribute to it. Education is necessary because each individual has the potential to accomplish great things. Education should reflect these truths, and we believe it can.

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Research & Insights

Learning about America through primary sources: Constitution of the United States

The Constitution of the United States is the supreme law of the United States of America. This founding document – created on Sept. 17, 1787 – lays out the rules, organization and operations of our government. This is part 2 in Sutherland’s new series highlighting primary sources from American history in the hopes of enriching civics education.

Sutherland Institute releases part 2 from major study on civics ed

In-depth discussion with Utah teachers and parents (over a five-day period) revealed how K-12 educators, as well as parents of K-12 students, feel about the state of social studies and civics education today.

Civics ed must return to top of the list for school priorities

It is time to restore civics education – both the current coursework and the broader mission of our schools. The successful navigation of the next controversial or perplexing moment depends upon it.

Better civics ed is the real answer in critical race theory debate

Both the State Board of Education and the Utah Legislature recently took initial steps to address public concerns over the possibility of the ideas of critical race theory (CRT) showing up in K-12 classrooms. But is the debate actually focusing on solutions to the problem, or symptoms of it?

Learning about America through primary sources: The Declaration of Independence

This is part 1 in Sutherland’s new series highlighting primary sources from American history in the hopes of enriching civics education.

The hard work on critical race theory is just beginning

Those who genuinely prioritize the improvement of Utahns’ lives (including the next generation’s education) through good public policy – as opposed to those who prioritize a personal, political, ideological or policy agenda – should strive to accomplish it. If we don’t, we will fail Utah’s students and its citizens.

Mask mandates. Instruction on race. Utah’s civic education is under debate. It’s time to seize the moment

Right now, Utah is experiencing challenging — even combative — debates over social issues and appropriate K-12 education curriculum. At its core, this challenging moment has to do with parents feeling a loss of control over the education and well-being of their children.

Sutherland on KUER: Discussing new civics education data

Christine Cooke Fairbanks, Sutherland Institute’s education policy fellow, chatted with Jon Reed at KUER to talk about the key takeaways from the data, including the fact that parents generally have a high opinion of their schools, Utah parents want more transparency in what’s being taught, and that capstone projects or portfolios are preferred over standardized testing.

Sutherland Institute releases part 1 from major study on civics ed in Utah

In an effort to understand more about the state of civics education in Utah – its connection to societal distress and to other relevant education topics – Sutherland commissioned a multi-part study conducted by Heart+Mind Strategies in March and April 2021.

What is Utah’s Portrait of a Graduate and how can it help parents?

With so much work to be done in Utah civics education, it can be overwhelming for parents to know what to do.

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