A file photo of a teacher in a classroom. (June...

A file photo of a teacher in a classroom. (June 16, 2006) Credit: Getty Images

I was appalled by the position taken by an elementary school principal who claimed that "institutions that train teachers have failed kids" ["Doubt about state's tests," Letters, May 8].

The letter states that graduates have no background in learning theory or practice, and that institutions of higher education accept the lowest SAT scores of any profession. SAT scores do not judge the ability of an individual. The innate qualities a candidate possesses weigh heavily in determining one's training potential.

A good educator has to have the compassion to teach, help and understand that all children should not be judged solely by test results. One must possess the abilities to properly plan an educational experience, allowing children to learn while enjoying the process. Potential teachers must demonstrate classroom managerial skills, creating an atmosphere so that children want to attend and learn.

The letter also stated that "parents have failed kids" -- a true insult to all the hardworking families in our community. Perhaps this principal should follow the guidelines that higher education institutions endorse of reflective practice.

The letter writer says she has hired 24 teachers in 18 years, and "none was adequately prepared for the job." Hiring inadequate teachers is not the responsibility of the institutions that train future educators; it is hers. The New York State tenure process also allows an administrator three years to observe and evaluate teacher performance. Teachers are not granted tenure unless administrators recommend them to the school board for approval.

This principal should apologize to the parents who entrust their children to the teachers she deems inadequate, to the fine teachers at her school for her harsh assessment, and finally to all institutions that train, motivate and select the best candidates to teach future inventors, leaders and parents.

Nick Parisi, Farmingdale

Editor's note: The writer is an adjunct professor of education at Adelphi University and Molloy College.

ONE-DAYSALE5¢ a week for 5 6 months

Get Unlimited Access

Cancel anytime