To the editor:
As a former teacher and someone who has devoted many years to bettering children's lives through education, I was incredibly touched by a parent's recent letter recounting their child's dramatic improvement in writing thanks to the work of dedicated teachers ("Bowditch School teachers helped son realize love of writing," letter to the editor, Friday, March 30). I know how much devotion it takes to be a great teacher, and it is comforting to see such dedication recognized.
However, the letter's conclusion about the Great Teachers/Great Schools ballot initiative is inaccurate.
In fact, through this effort, Stand for Children is trying to keep great teachers in Massachusetts classrooms by making sure they are recognized for their work.
A teacher's work matters, and the impact that teachers are having on their students should count.
That's why our proposal ensures that the work that is done in the classroom is considered first when decisions are made about retaining, placing and laying off teachers, instead of basing these decisions on seniority alone.
Some school districts in our state already consider teacher effectiveness when making staffing decisions, and in those schools, a teacher's work and commitment are noticed when they go that extra mile for students.
In many schools, however, a teacher's success in the classroom doesn't even count for them professionally. This harms students and is not respectful to the teaching profession, and this is what Stand for Children is trying to change.
Teachers throughout our state are making major differences in children's lives every day, and they should be recognized for the quality of that vital work, not just how many years they have been there.
Stand for Children Massachusetts