Re "A good teacher is hard to keep," Opinion, Aug. 19
Sujata Bhatt describes how too many teachers fail to receive validation or support from their schools or districts.
I have organized professional development workshops for more than 2,000 educators. I ask at each workshop if the teachers (usually 60 or more) feel appreciated at their school. One teacher may raise a hand.
Administrators could easily validate excellent teachers with brief email messages of support and by honoring those teachers who go the extra mile to attend workshops to become even more effective.
One state legislator told me they all get paid the same no matter how good or horrible they are. Ditto for teachers.
A good teacher is hard to keep because the system insists on keeping them all, with union backing to the hilt, as the sword is driven into the public's hopes and ambitions for effective education at a modest price.
The California Teachers Assn. spends more than any other interest group on elections in the state. When it protects accused child molesters and incompetents rather than seeking to upgrade the grade of teachers, the union is without any standing.
Bhatt scapegoats teachers. She cites a report that says it takes 11 hires by a district to yield one truly great teacher, and no doubt is confident that she is one of those rare ones.
The problem is that students aren't responsible for anything anymore. And a system that doesn't make students responsible allows low-performing students to slow everyone down. The students who are failing are, for whatever reason, just not dialed in. Show me a student who reads outside of school and I'll show you a successful student. Show me a student that does his or her homework, and I'll show you a successful student.
It's time to stop blaming teachers and realize that we have a societal problem that is aggravated by a lack of rewards or consequences for students. Too many of our students learn the importance of their education years after high school.
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