Flow of Information
Utah, if anything, is conflicted about education. A headline in The Salt Lake Tribune doesn't help: "Utah's open-enrollment law allows for 'white flight' from troubled schools, some parents say." Emphasis on "white." But reading through the story, you realize the flight has multiple reasons, likely none of them the racism implied in the headline. Parents look for schools near their work or with better test scores—an admittedly flawed system, said Salt Lake City School District Superintendent McKell Withers. The transportation issue relying largely on parents is a major problem for lower-income students looking to transfer out. But note that families aren't moving out of their neighborhoods. The focus needs to be on more accurately evaluating schools and solving the transportation problem. The Legislature, as it targets teachers and pushes for vouchers, hasn't been good at solving either question.
All the World's a Stage
It's time to give the Utah Shakespeare Festival kudos for maintaining a literary tradition in an era of technological quickies. The festival just bid farewell to its Adams Shakespearean Theatre, the outdoor venue where the company showcased the Bard's works. Yes, often those were the long and often abstruse plays that are still politically topical today. Coming next year will be the Engelstad Shakespeare Theatre, which is part of the $38.5 million Beverley Taylor Sorenson Center for the Arts. It will include a flexible roof cover for bad weather, which used to force performances indoors. The "old" guard—festival founder Fred Adams and 88-year-old architect Max Anderson—were honored before the final performance. The festival has worldwide acclaim and is a bright spot in Utah.
Call for Compromise
Do we think Congress will listen to Utah Republican Sen. Orrin Hatch as he calls for, ahem, compromise? That whole "compromise" thing didn't work so well for former Sen. Bob Bennett, whose 2010 ouster during the GOP convention heralded an era of Tea Party conservatism. But Utah's Republican elite have had a hard time with the ideological stalemate that followed. Zions Bank president Scott Anderson hailed Hatch's Senate speech in a Deseret News op-ed, pleading with our congressional delegation to collaborate. "In some respects, the Senate today is but a mere shadow of its former self, another casualty of the permanent political campaign," Hatch said, without wading into the Citizens United waters. "Courtesy and decorum foster an atmosphere where we can work in good faith to find common ground," Hatch said. Good luck with that.