‘Pathetic’ attempt to support merit pay for teachers

Dear Editor,
Alan Viarengo has once again written The Dispatch from beyond
the gravitational influence of Earth to render another bizarre
series of statements. Mr. Viarengo letter is a pathetic attempt to
justify a preconceived conclusion about teacher evaluations and
merit pay.
Dear Editor,

Alan Viarengo has once again written The Dispatch from beyond the gravitational influence of Earth to render another bizarre series of statements. Mr. Viarengo letter is a pathetic attempt to justify a preconceived conclusion about teacher evaluations and merit pay.

Mr. Viarengo’s statements are misguided, and in many cases factually incorrect. He states that students can be distributed randomly to teachers. As someone who has put together a high school schedule and who has lived with the results of high school scheduling, I state without any reservation that Mr. Viarengo is wrong. It is impossible to randomly distribute students to all teachers within a high school schedule. Period – end of debate.

Mr. Viarengo states that the ANOVA test can still be used without random distribution of students by simply switching the random variable to the progress that students make in a year. This is wrong. Without the random distribution of students to teachers, the ANOVA test is not valid. One does not change the validity of a test caused by the lack of a random sample by changing the variable under study and using the same test. Period – end of debate.

Mr. Viarengo continues to insist that Utah is doing something cheaper and better than California. It is normally incumbent upon the person making such assertions to perform the data analysis. I turn all of Mr. Viarengo’s statements about Utah back to him. “If you want to do something constructive, I suggest finding what Utah does so well.”

Until Mr. Viarengo does the study, there is nothing to discuss on this subject. Period – end of debate.

The statement by Mr. Viarengo that I am against reform is ridiculous. What I want is reform that makes sense, respects the teaching profession and is respectful of a teacher’s time. Mr. Viarengo proposed reform for teacher evaluation and merit pay is statistically incorrect and as such makes no sense. Period – end of debate.

In a previous letter, I wrote, “Alan Viarengo is usually so obviously far out of touch with reality as to be unworthy of comment ” and “Mr. Viarengo’s statements about data and statistics are to be dismissed out of hand like almost everything else he says.” I will be following this in the future by not commenting on Mr. Viarengo’s prattle and dismissing his statements out of hand. Period – end of debate.

Wayne Scott,

GHS Mathematics Teacher

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