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Letter to the Editor: Governor's plan to teachers - 'pay raise for firing'


Editor:

In the greatest scam ever perpetuated on Virginia teachers, Gov. Bob McDonnell is holding teachers hostage to a pay raise by proposing new ways to fire teachers, regardless of their abilities to teach.

Labeled the "Educator Fairness Act," and a "Measure to Empower our Excellent Teachers," it does exactly the opposite. The proposal is nothing more than another way to "bully" excellent teachers into submitting to administrators' micro-management of their curriculum development and classroom management. As usual, the assumption is, the teachers are the problem. This is patently false; it is too much micro-management of teachers and their classroom preparation and management by the administrators.

New definitions of "incompetence" and "effective" will result in teachers being fired for no other reason than their unwillingness to pass a failing student or agree to an administrator's rules or procedures that are clearly at odds with the best interests of the students.

It may be easier to fire incompetent teachers, but it will be easiest to fire "uncooperative" teachers. All teachers will be forced to teach solely to please administrators, pass SOLs, remain unnoticed, and most of all to not offend their students who can write a false, anonymous letter about a teacher and be given credibility.

Perception of a student has now taken precedence over actual facts and truths. No teacher will want to teach in Virginia's schools with this type of system of highly subjective evaluation of performance; except maybe new teachers right out of college who don't have a choice.

Come to think of it, maybe that's why McDonnell will need a recruiting and retention program: to replace all those high paid long-term teachers who will quit or be fired and open the door for the lower paid, new teachers. What a great way to save money.

Jerry Scholder, Front Royal


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