Las Vegas Sun

November 24, 2014

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Letter to the editor:

Achievement mandate puts teachers in bind

Regarding the Las Vegas Sun’s Tuesday editorial “Keeping good teachers — Looming pay cuts and teaching to the test make classroom life more daunting.”

As a teacher, I would like to emphasize a point that was missed in the editorial: Nevada teachers, due to bill passage during this past legislative session, will, in the future, be evaluated 50 percent on “student achievement.” The details have yet to be released on what, exactly, that means.

However, considering that because teachers cannot force children to do homework, have no control over students’ natural aptitudes and cannot control the level at which students come into their classes — many are well behind in their skills — the future is beyond daunting; it’s Kafkaesque.

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  1. Apparently, Betty stands for the status quo - a continued high dropout rate; students graduating regardless of ability or learning, unprepared to face the "real" world; social promotions resulting in meaningless diplomas; students ignorant of our history and deficient in reading, writing and mathematics; plus no accountability for anyone tasked with "educating" these kids. What a future awaits the unlucky students forced into NV public schools. They don't stand a chance.

  2. Once again, glittering generalities have been enacted into law, and they will have predictable results: a muddled result that will prove to be a waste of public money to no end except short-term political propaganda.

    Basing compensation on "student achievement" sounds good. But, what, exactly, is "student achievement"? And how, exactly does teacher performance relate to "student achievement"? To leave these unexplored by Legislative Hearings and undefined in the law, means that the law is vague. It will be a source of mischief and a waste of public money.

  3. Once again, I would like to reiterate in this forum that NONE of these reforms will solve America's problems in education, hence society. NCLB was introduced at the beginning of the previous decade, and to this day, we are still facing the same problems, probably worst. NCLB requires that by 2014, 100% of students meet standards. What then? Fire all teachers? Close all schools? (I am sure there are many who would celebrate these events.) Any genius out there who can offer alternatives to schools?

    What we have in education and society is a disease. As in any disease, we determine the cause(s) of the symptoms to prescribe the correct medicine. What we are doing is applying band-aid to a deep wound that is infected and threatening to poison the whole body.

    We prescribe antibiotics; we treat the wound, but unless we remove that which caused to inflict the wound, we will continue with this same discussion until pigs fly.

    Unless of course that is what we want to do!

  4. @Airweare. Question for you. On May 26th of this year, you stated that you "make about 3 times a teacher salary now" however on June 29th you stated "I do 6 days/week of 2 or 3 a day making a teacher salary in a few weeks of having waay more fun than a teacher has all year".

    Which is it? Do you make about 3 times a teacher salary or do you make a teacher's salary in a few weeks? Clear this up for us. The links to these contradictory statements are below.

    Thanks!

    Link below is Airweare's post on May 26th , 2011 at 1:49pm stating he "makes about 3 times a teacher salary now".

    http://www.lasvegassun.com/news/2011/may...

    Link below is Airweare's post on June 29th , 2011 at 5:07am stating "I do 6 days/week of 2 or 3 a day making a teacher salary in a few weeks of having waay more fun than a teacher has all year".

    http://www.lasvegassun.com/news/2011/jun...

  5. @Airweare. I was just curious why you gave two different accounts of your income relative to a teacher's salary, that's all. I don't see why you think it's relevant to bring up what you earn relative to a teacher's salary at all whether it's 3 times or 11 times a teacher's salary, whichever is accurate. The average "Energy Auditor" yearly salary however is $37K in the U.S. so you make 13 times the average which is truly amazing! You must do a great job for your clients.

  6. @Airweare- But if you look at the post on May 26th , 2011 at 1:49pm you wrote the following:

    "I make about 3 times a teacher salary now, but I still use the same skills, mostly people skills, analytical skills, information transfer and skill transfer skills in a totally different field".

    Then on on June 29th , 2011 at 5:07am you wrote:

    "They pay me gobs to do simple and very cool stuff that almost any science teacher would find thrilling along with the $500 a piece plus 10% of the job. I do 6 days/week of 2 or 3 a day making a teacher salary in a few weeks of having waay more fun than a teacher has all year".

    There is a big difference between "3 times a teacher's yearly salary" and "making a teacher salary in a few weeks". The difference in yearly salary is $153K yearly versus $540K so I hope you understood why I was confused.

    Sorry you feel that others who post here are ignorant but it's your right to feel the way you do. Hopefully your future posts will not contradict one of your previous posts.

  7. Airweare,

    So if I extract this statement from your previous post:

    "They pay me gobs to do simple and very cool stuff that almost any science teacher would find thrilling along with the $500 a piece plus 10% of the job. I do 6 days/week of 2 or 3 a day making a teacher salary in a few weeks of having waay more fun than a teacher has all year".

    .....and extract this statement from your post above:

    "I do NOT work all the time. I work when I want to. I haven't worked more than forty weeks a year for several years".

    The conclusion based on these statements from you would be:

    "you work "6 days/week of 2 or 3 a day making a teacher salary" but you "do NOT work all the time. I work when I want to. I haven't worked more than forty weeks a year for several years".

    Got it.