In the March 15 letters, a substitute teacher tells us teachers should be “revered.” Nice to see all that money for self-esteem training wasn’t wasted.
I do respect most teachers. I also respect roofers and farmers who sweat and toil 14 hours a day through the summer to earn money to pay property taxes. These people choose to work all summer while others chose to be teachers.
The argument that the only way to respect teachers is to give them what they want is old and tiresome. The statement “You should not try to screw them out of a lousy $15” is an insult to taxpayers.
That “grumbling from the bleachers” you hear may be because our starting line-up is determined by seniority. Twenty-three other countries spend less on education but get higher scores than the U.S.A.
Marcus Winters, author of Teachers Matter, says, “Defenders of the current system argue that those who propose reforms are anti-teacher. That is not true. It is the current system that fails to recognize and award great teachers. A system that doesn’t distinguish between skilled teachers and those who just get by is not a system that values teachers.
“Research shows that principals are capable of identifying ineffective teachers, but they don’t, because giving bad ratings creates headaches without leading to dimissal of inadequate teachers.”
Kenneth W. Krausse, of La Crosse, writes, “How can collective bargaining rules that make it nearly impossible to terminate bad teachers possibly be in the interest of students? How about the ones that pay teachers based only on time in service and largely useless degrees but never on reasonable determination of merit?
“Like everything else, teachers might be excused for advancing their own interests. But no more idols, no more sacred cows. America can no longer support their heft, and the stakes for average citizens and their children are entirely too high.”