Teachers union leaders: obstructing, obfuscating

Dear Editor,
I appreciate the March 1 letter by Roger Anderson. Although he
is wrong, he made more sense and showed more class in one paragraph
than Dale Mor
éjon will in a lifetime.
Dear Editor,

I appreciate the March 1 letter by Roger Anderson. Although he is wrong, he made more sense and showed more class in one paragraph than Dale Moréjon will in a lifetime.

I had described the teacher evaluation system used in the math and science department used at a private high school with which I am familiar. Said system is a way to reveal significant differences between teachers.

Mr. Anderson said that “different abilities, interests, attention spans and study habits” and “different environments that change” (“moving, separation, divorce, new siblings, [and] new parents” were among those mentioned) cause too many differences for there to be a valid comparison between teachers. His claim that all students have to be absolutely equal describes an experiment (treatment vs. control). However, if the tests are the same and the students are divided up randomly, a comparison can still easily be made. It’s not just the difference between the mean test scores that need to be looked at, but how that difference relates to (divided by) the “standard error” (or “standard deviation”). If the ANOVA (analysis of variance) is done correctly – and that is the tricky part, because all the cross-factors and tiers need to be considered – a significant difference can easily be revealed with a large sample size. Significant differences can be used to determine merit pay as well as weed out incompetents. The issue is much more than “pay[ing] a teacher according to how [his] students do on a test.”

Conversely, it took “More Money” Morejon four paragraphs and three red herrings – including mention of Iraq, 9/11, and hero Carl Rove – to state that a successful teacher-evaluation system at a private high school would not work at a public high school. Public school teachers are forced to pay this man (through union dues) to distribute propaganda. But that is what a union hack does for a living.

Mr. Moréjon, ANOVAs can be tiered and multi-dimensional. Explain why the state of Utah spends the least per pupil and still consistently ranks among the best of the nation’s schools? When the teachers’ racket stops obstructing reform, you won’t find teachers “belittled” so often; until then, it’s open season.

Alan Viarengo, Gilroy

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