Many desks were empty in this classroom at Valley Stream...

Many desks were empty in this classroom at Valley Stream Memorial Junior High School as students opted out of taking the state's English Language Arts test Thursday, April 16, 2015. Credit: Newsday / J. Conrad Williams Jr.

The most recent worldwide education comparison showed the United States ranked 27th out of 34 countries in math and 20th in science [“Four-year halt on rating,” News, Dec. 15].

Why evaluate teachers? Is that not an evaluation of American education? Use any international data you choose, but the results are embarrassing for a country that considers itself a world leader.

What exactly are we hiding by avoiding teacher evaluations? Could it be that our students cannot compete internationally? The results should be the headline in every media outlet to focus on our failing schools. Aren’t there enough Americans with college degrees with low-paying, limited-future jobs?

Results matter, and that is why other countries demand better results from their schools. If this were a sports team, people would be yelling to fire the coach.

Rich Adrian, Huntington


New York State’s recent moratorium on tying student test scores to teachers’ evaluations is a step in the right direction.

If test scores are low because of a poor rollout of the Common Core program, teachers should not be held accountable for students’ inability to perform on state tests. This is a well-deserved win for teachers, but what about the students who are left floundering, the ones academically at risk? Who is looking out for the students who fall into these four years of waiting for students’ test scores to match up to their abilities?

We have failed these students by insisting that they take courses and tests they are unprepared for. We have made failure a part of their everyday lives. Some have lost out on academic and college opportunities.

We need take a more global look at this issue.

Ilyse Milberg, Oceanside

Editor’s note: The writer is a secondary school English teacher in Mineola.


Let teachers evaluate teachers. Good teachers know why they teach and how to teach it.

Example: Have students look in their kitchen garbage for artifacts when teaching archaeology. Does our society waste food? Do we fill “food” with poisons so it looks good and lasts longer? Are we poisoning ourselves? Do we overeat? Where does the garbage go when it leaves the kitchen? Are we wasteful?

If we examine the lesson plan, we will clearly see what teachers teach and how teachers teach. Ask a good teacher.

Joe Burton, Northport

Editor’s note: The writer is a retired teacher.


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