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Letters: Focus on keeping good teachers

December 26, 2012

Re "ABCs of firing a teacher," Editorial, Dec. 20

As a public school teacher and a vice president of the California Federation of Teachers, I agree that we need to streamline the procedures for terminating poor teachers. I don't want underperforming teachers in our classrooms, and neither does my union.

But what gets lost in this crusade to fire bad teachers is a much more serious problem: About half of the new teachers in our country leave within their first five years. It's not news to the young teachers that the job is tough; what is new is this aggressive tone we're taking with our teachers.

If we want great schools, we're going to need to find a way to attract the best and brightest to the teaching profession. And once we get them, we'll need to find a way to keep them.

Yes, streamline the removal process, but let's upgrade the retention process as well. We can't fire our way to great schools.

David Mielke

Culver City

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