Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

Teacher's Salaries: What's Fair?

Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

Teacher's Salaries: What's Fair?

Article excerpt

Regarding your Dec. 4 editorial "Merit pay for teachers": The general public is not well informed as to why many teachers and teachers unions oppose it.

The problem is how and what determines merit. One frequently mentioned option is to tie pay to student scores on standardized tests. In poorer neighborhoods, populations tend to be much more mobile as parents move to find work or a place to live. Absenteeism is a chronic problem. How can teachers be accountable for a student's learning when that child may have been in that teacher's class only a few weeks at most?

Some way needs to be found to evaluate how well a teacher delivers instruction and interacts with students without weighing factors outside the classroom and outside the teacher's control.

Susan Palmer Albuquerque, N.M.

I was surprised by a letter in response to your editorial on merit pay for teachers ("Double the salary of all teachers," Readers write Dec. 11).

Having been married to a teacher, I know the amount of free time that career offers: three months in the summer, two weeks during Christmas, and one week in the spring for teachers-in-service days. Not to mention early retirement and full medical and dental benefits for the entire family. These should be included as salary. Who would pay double that?

Afke L. Doran Silverton, Ore.

Y'all listen up now

Your Dec. 18 article "Pegged by an accent" mentions a "Georgia" accent. There is no one Georgia accent. As someone who has lived and worked in different parts of Georgia for almost 30 years, I have identified at least three accents. They are more a function of geographic location than state boundaries.

There is the accent of the "mountains," which is probably what most would think of as a hillbilly accent; this accent permeates the southeastern mountain regions from northeast Alabama through eastern Tennessee and Kentucky and into southwestern Virginia and southern West Virginia. There is the "piedmont" accent, where "toe" becomes "two" and "show" becomes "shoo," shared by northeastern Georgia and the Carolina "midlands. …

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