Utah’s Governor Gary Herbert recently testified before the U.S. House Education and Workforce Committee about the three educational initiatives he is pursuing in Utah. Two are similar to Oregon’s educational reform initiatives. Like Oregon’s 40-40-20 goals, Utah has a goal of getting 66% of its citizens with some form of post-secondary education by 2020. And like Oregon, Utah wants more STEM educated workers. But Oregon, unfortunately, lacks Utah’s third educational reform initiative. From Governor Herbert congressional testimony (here):
The third initiative I wish to highlight today is Utah's expansion of dual
immersion education. Utah's
dual immersion programs in Spanish, French, and Chinese teach our students
cultural literacy and prepare them for a global economy. Dual immersion students
also perform better on standardized
testing. They show improved memory skills,
better attention-control, and higher problem-solving ability.
Utah is a leader in foreign language classes. In fact, one third of all Mandarin Chinese classes taught in the entire United States are taught in Utah. You may be surprised to know that there are 658 languages spoken in Utah. A large component of that is our culture; we have many residents who serve a Mormon mission for the LDS Church and they often gain language skills abroad.
Our multi-lingual students become a key part of our workforce, and that attracts business to our state, including Goldman Sachs, whose Utah office is its second largest in the America's and fastest growing in the world.