Advertisement
YOU ARE HERE: LAT HomeCollectionsTest Scores

Seniority in the classroom

March 29, 2009

Re "Seniority, not quality, counts," Column, March 25

In his call for merit to prevail over seniority, Steve Lopez fails to let the readers know how it will be measured.

Will it be determined by a principal who visits a classroom one time during the school year? Will it be by parents who like a particular teacher? Will it be by test scores? If so, will chronic truants be counted? Will teachers get to choose their students -- just as every business, private or charter school and government agency get to do? Will teachers be able to get rid of students who refuse to work -- just as every business, private or charter school and government agency get to do?

Marlin Sobbota

Arcadia

--

Why does United Teachers Los Angeles get all the blame for the "boilerplate and trivial specificity" that is our contract? Have you ever read anything published by the LAUSD? They are certainly not known for being concise or respectful of teachers.

Yes, it's terrible that some wonderful new teachers have been pink-slipped. But what's wrong with seniority? Not all older or veteran teachers are burned out. Shouldn't someone who has given 20 or 30 years to the district have more job protection than a brand-new teacher?

By the way, teachers do get report cards. Teachers are evaluated by their principals -- at least every two years, and in some cases, as often as two or three times a year.

Theresa Patane

Sherman Oaks

--

Using Lopez's logic, his education and experience show he is a burnout, and he should graciously step down and allow an inexperienced, less informed, younger journalist to take his place.

My first sentence is nonsense; so is Lopez's opinion on the perils of teacher seniority. The majority of teachers who work for the LAUSD have made a commitment to their students, evidenced by their longevity in the classroom and constant professionalism. As in any profession, there exists a small percentage of teachers who are incompetent; they remain as the result of principals who fail to take the proper steps to remove them.

Helen Tackett

Gardena

--

Is it just too obvious to implement a standard business model of employee evaluations?

Most employees in today's workforce are regularly evaluated by their superiors and rewarded accordingly. This idea of seniority rules at all costs (one of the greatest costs being our children's education, of course) is antiquated at best and disturbingly precarious at worst.

Megan MacMeekin

Valley Glen

--

What Lopez failed to mention is that the "last one hired, first one fired" mantra exists with private, nonunionized companies as well. It's standard fare, and rightfully so. I was recently the subject of the same fate. I was on my job for three years, and my co-worker was on the same job for seven years. I was the one laid off, which made perfect sense to me. We did the same job, our quality of work was good, but she was there longer, so she got to keep her job.

Charlene Emerson

Inglewood

--

I understand your frustration that the union is not guaranteeing that you get the best teachers in the classroom, but really, that is not the union's job. Unions exist for the sole purpose of protecting the workers. Period.

Do you examine other union contracts -- police, autoworkers, firefighters -- to see if we get the best and brightest of those? What about the administrative personnel? Do they get graded to keep their jobs?

Rebecca Downs

Sherman Oaks

Advertisement
Los Angeles Times Articles
|
|
|