Printed letters, November 1, 2013

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Mr. Reynolds, have you been in a school since 1969?  Today’s schools are full of dynamic changes.  What teachers really want, though, are reforms that will stick and effect true change, not just change for the sake of change nor change that undermines the education profession.  Would you prefer to see teachers in the same school competing against one another or collaborating with one another?  Will parents feel comfortable sending their kids to schools that have been stripped of their morale, their autonomy?  The local association is more than just a union; it is a professional organization that advocates on behalf of the advancement of education as a whole.  Consider that a teacher’s working environment is a student’s learning environment.  Stronger teachers make stronger schools, which make stronger students.  In this election, pay attention to which candidates speak more about teachers and which ones speak more about students.  The Sentinel reporter and the letters in this forum have been very balanced, but extremists deserve to be treated as such.

Mr. Reynolds, it is misinformation disseminated from people like yourself who know little or nothing about the inner workings of our schools.  Evaluation processes are currently separate from negotiated contracts statewide for teachers.  However, collaborative efforts by District 51 and MVEA produced an effective evaluation tool including individual teacher goals and school goals based on student needs and staff development needs long before Senate Bill 191 was passed.  Now Senate Bill 191 streamlines processes for teacher and school goals statewide.

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