Use a fair teacher comparison

Dear Editor,
Once again Mr. Viarengo equates teacher evaluation with merit
pay. Paying teachers for student testing is a moneymaking
proposition not an evaluative tool. Evaluation is a multifaceted
process that might incorporate merit pay as one of the
criteria.
Dear Editor,

Once again Mr. Viarengo equates teacher evaluation with merit pay. Paying teachers for student testing is a moneymaking proposition not an evaluative tool. Evaluation is a multifaceted process that might incorporate merit pay as one of the criteria.

If merit pay were effective in differentiating competent from incompetent teachers in evaluations, wouldn’t it have been implemented years ago, somewhere? As a minor aside, Mr. Viarengo, where does a school district get the extra funds to implement merit pay when the state does not currently fully fund Proposition 98?

Visiting the National Center for Education Statistics Web site might assist Mr. Viarengo and his fixation on Utah’s educational successes. California teaches over 6.4 million students of which 62 percent are in Title I (qualifying for poverty) schools, while Utah has a meager 19 percent at the poverty level. Poor students come to school hungrier, less prepared, inadequately clothed, less healthy and have a greater percentage of single-parent households.

There are more students (4 million) coming to school each day from impoverished families in California than there are people (2.3 million) in Utah. Utah’s total school population is a meager 490,000 students of which 9 percent (44,000) come from non-English households. Compare this to the 25 percent or 1.6 million California students who don’t have English as their primary language. The recent Rand Report clearly states that California schools face extraordinary problems in funding basic education let alone the associated costs due to ELL and impoverished students.

Utah is not an anomaly; rather, it neatly fits the statistically derived data. Educational research demonstrates the relationship between the success of students and levels of poverty. Utah’s unionized teachers will continue on this path of success as long as the state’s statistics remain relatively the same.

Now, if only Mr. Viarengo would do a little research on his own.

Dale Morejón Gilroy

The Golden Quill is awarded occasionally for a

well-written letter.

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