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?

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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.