Often, when we think of education, we think of the three “R’s” (Reading, ‘Riting, and ‘Rithmetic), the core skills necessary for a child’s success. However, we often place such a great focus on these core curricula that we forget education, to be successful, requires a holistic approach that educates not only the analytic mind, but also the social and psychological as well. This well rounded education will produce not only “smart” children, but also resilient and adaptable ones as well.
With SB 122 – Student Leadership Skills Development, Senator Aaron Osmond (R – South Jordan, District 10) is seeking to start a pilot program through the State Board of Education to help develop what Senator Osmond calls these “soft skills.” Skills such leadership, emotional fortitude, social interaction, and the importance of education itself would be taught to underprivileged students in an effort to provide them a better chance success down the road.
The push behind this bill comes from the Granite School District’s current success in promoting these type of educational programs – they have seen great, data driven, results and the costs are minimal; schools in Park City and St. George have also seen positive outcomes from these development programs.
“The structured academic standards are actually quite strict,” Osmond tells us, “the teacher to student ratio is 1:10, and programs must provide structured courses and involve parents in the process.” These programs, Osmond goes on to explain, are completely voluntary to participate in and each individual school district would be able to choose from a series of programs which would best fit their community. By starting these pilot programs now, Osmond hopes that in the near future disadvantaged students from across the state will befit from such soft skills development courses.
With an initial price tag of only $240,000, combined with the current high success rate, passing SB 122 seems like an easy choice. If the programs ultimately do not produce desired results, we have lost little – however if they are successful (and all data points indicates they would be), then we as a state have made a solid investment in our youth, ensuring that they will grow up to become productive, educated, and involved.
To contact Sen. Osmond, Click Here or call 801-253-6853
Impact on Average Utahn:
High Impact 5 . 4 . 3 . 2 . 1 . 0 No Impact
Necessary 5 . 4 . 3 . 2 . 1 . 0 Unnecessary
Great Bill 5 . 4 . 3 . 2 . 1 . 0 . -1 . -2 . -3 . -4 . -5 Poor Bill