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Letter: Teacher merit pay, not across-the-board raises
March 22, 2013, 05:00 AM Letter


Strike time is down time. No one wins. Teachers lose the time that they are responsible for students learning the curriculum at the grade level and/or subject they are teaching. Students lose the continuity of having the same instructor who knows the student's achievement level and should be providing the tools for the student to further their educational achievements. Enough other things disrupt the school year, a strike doesn't need to be added to the pile.

Let's utilize merit increases instead of across-the-board raises. Two parties enter into the learning process, the teacher/student. Both have the responsibility to work together to achieve the educational goal. Giving across-the-board raises to everyone is to reward the lazy or ineffective and to penalize the achievers. There are good/bad teachers; good/bad students just as there is good/bad in any profession/industry.

The article ("Teachers give green light to possible strike" in the March 20 edition of the Daily Journal) doesn't make mention the recent overall high school achievement statistics that the CDE is putting out which reveal an underachieving status by layman's interpretation. Elementary schools feed into the high schools so these statistics reflect what we might call an "after the fact" report.

Whether this is a reflection of unhappy, underpaid teachers; budget cuts, socioeconomic changes; or students not pulling their weight remains to be seen. Giving an across-the-board raise is not a solution to the problem. Merit increases seem to be an effective solution. Put those continuing education units to work.

Similar to state officials working on the budget: No production, no pay. More production, more pay equals results.

A. Real

San Mate

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