NewburyportNews.com, Newburyport, MA

Opinion

February 6, 2014

This is my pet peeve

To the editor:

Throughout life we all face the reality of evaluation. As a youngster your parents make the judgment whether your hands are clean, whether you did a good job eating your dinner, etc. We get older and go to school and receive grades/evaluation on our school progress. We make, or don’t make, a team based on our ability to perform a sport. We are then hired for a job periodically evaluated for a pay increase or promotion. Most of us — but not all!

Society pays a very high price for this lack of evaluation. That price — the lack of teacher evaluation — results in our children being taught by some less-than-excellent teachers. Why? Because we have tolerated teacher unions that are more interested in protecting inadequate teachers than in ensuring excellent education. Isn’t it quite ironic that teachers can grade their students and at the same time claim that there is no fair way to be evaluated themselves.

The sad reality is that this ensures that all teachers receive pay and pay raises dependent only upon length of service and educational credits. It inversely ensures that the best teachers are inadequately rewarded.

I hope that a huge majority or readers agree with me and will demand reform in teacher pay scales. I know we all can reflect upon our school days and clearly remember a few teachers who interested and motivated us. Sadly we also remember teachers who bored us and taught us little. We are capable of evaluating them. But we were never asked for our evaluations.

Our academic department heads and school administrators claim, maybe under intimidation, that they can’t do similar evaluations. If they can’t, my belief is that they are already “in over their heads” and that we need to find replacements who are capable of fair evaluations. Our children deserve it!

And, the best teachers deserve differential pay increases to reward their performance.

Jim Chandler

Amesbury

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