I read the Jan. 17 letter (“What is a teacher worth?”) from Connie M. Kublis, a retired teacher. And, if we can believe all she writes about her teaching experiences — and I have no reason to not believe her — her point seems to be that teacher evaluations are difficult, and there are so many variables that can influence such evaluations that they are not always reliable. I agree.
However, I must offer another point of view from a parent. My late wife and I were blessed with four children. All of our children have grown into responsible, successful adults with college degrees. But I must relay an incident that occurred to one of my sons during his fifth grade. At the time we lived in Pennsylvania.
He had been an excellent student from kindergarten through fourth grade, always eager to run to the school bus, to enjoy another adventure at school. During the first few weeks of fifth grade, his behavior changed dramatically. Instead of running to the school bus, he refused to get out of bed, telling my wife that he was too sick to go to school. We became very concerned about his illness and took him to our pediatrician. After a thorough examination, the doctor said he could find no medical reason for his symptoms.
The doctor asked what school our son attended, and we told him. Then he asked who his teacher was, and we told him. The doctor told us he had seen several other children with similar symptoms, and they had the same teacher. He advised us to have our son moved to another teacher.
We finally did, but we had to jump through a lot of hoops to accomplish this. After changing to another teacher at the same school, our son returned to his old self and began again to look forward to attending school.
The point is that while there are many excellent and good teachers, there is the occasional poor one. We do need an evaluation procedure to identify which is which. Great teachers should be recognized and compensated accordingly. Good or adequate teachers need to be identified and compensated as such. Poor teachers should be identified and not be allowed to continue to teach. We do need a teacher evaluation procedure.
Jack K. Bowers
Regarding the Jan. 19 article, “Falls to seek opinion on Natatorium issue”: The injustice of discriminating based on sexual orientation is disgusting. For me, the article dredged up images of “Caucasian Falls,” the place where voters rejected fair housing laws.
It is disappointing that the city leadership is either unwilling or unable to learn from past sins.
My disgust and disappointment are compounded by the fact that Coty May is a veteran who was injured in war and wants to use the Natatorium for rehabilitation, with the assistance of Shane May. Common decency suggests that Coty be welcomed along with the person who assists him for no additional charge. He paid the price of admission in our country’s service.
Mitt Romney doesn’t get it. He thinks the Occupy protesters are acting the way they are because they envy rich people. That’s what he says it is: envy. He doesn’t think it matters how the 1 percent got that way, it only matters that they’re rich and the 99 percent aren’t. Well, we the 99 percent don’t envy the 1 percent. We just want them to play by the same rules we have to play by.