State Of City Thoughts
Our mayor in his state of the city address has made education his major priority for his administration.
His solution is to take on the teachers’ unions and reward cronies with city coffers to run charter schools that will reward administrators with hefty salaries. He also recommends a two tier pay scale system for teaching staff based on performance.
A bonus for superior teachers sounds promising if we can believe that chicanery and personal preference by administrators will not play a role in evaluations. Already, scandals regarding test results have been part of educational reform across our nation.
Our mayor neglects the numerous social and economic issues that have an effect on student performance. Income inequality, high unemployment, abuse, neglect, parents who are forced to work two jobs because of the brutal economic times and so cannot assist or guide their children, poor nutrition, undiagnosed medical and learning disabilities and/or inadequate resolutions for their disabilities are some of the reasons for poor educational achievement. Education needs to be a collaborative activity among parents, children, social workers, teachers and administrators – not a competition! Blaming teachers is not a solution to inadequate educational performance.
JOHN PAUL CULOTTA