Letter: Absenteeism can help grade teacher

File photo of children in a classroom. (Aug. File photo of children in a classroom. (Aug. 6, 2012) Photo Credit: iStock

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Regarding "Teacher evals not passing yet" [Editorial, Aug. 23], it's good that we are trying to make teacher evaluations more objective. Another measure should be teacher absence from the classroom.

Like testing as a measure, teacher absenteeism is complicated. Are we talking about a serious accident or disease? Or stretched weekends? Is a teacher out of the classroom because he or she is sick, or because the district sends teachers to conferences when class is in session?

Some districts let teachers out of the classroom to grade standardized tests. It would be better educationally and cheaper to hire a grading service instead of substitute teachers.

Teachers can't make up their work at home; they need to be at work when the students are. Higher teacher absenteeism is harmful to student education, expensive and shows a lack of dedication. It should be reported on an individual, school and district level.

Joseph Mirzoeff, Port Washington

Editor's note: The writer served on the Port Washington school board from 1995 to 1998.

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