Teachers’ performance is already scrutinized

A Jan. 18 letter writer suggests, “The problem is that those in the public sector have never had to cope with being an employee in the private sector.” Prior to teaching, I enjoyed a rewarding private-sector career. My job was challenging and time-consuming. However, I was well-paid and highly respected.

I became a teacher 10 years ago. I have worked in the same district whose continuous evaluations deem me more than capable. My issue is not with my administrators; they, too, are caught in this tangled web.

The writer asks, “How many of us could refuse to accept our employers’ evaluation of our work and still keep our jobs?” The scrutiny of my work in the private sector pales to my teaching career. Teachers have an evaluation system. However, New York will not accept it because it is not linked to a singular testing component.

The Annual Professional Performance Review plan seems straightforward, but it is not. Propaganda paints a picture of lazy, incompetent teachers whenever we challenge it. Politicians are not aware of the injurious nature of high-stakes testing upon students. Teachers are. When defeated teachers reluctantly vote yes to such a plan, they vote yes to save their jobs. They vote yes to avoid public ridicule.

I work summers for “the same pay structure,” under $50,000. That is when I update plans, do research, attend classes and create resources. This is a clarification, not a complaint. I love being a teacher. And in two years, my district will have enough data to fire me. It will not do so willingly. It knows I am a good teacher. I just hope, for the sake of my students, the state does not insist upon it.

Rhonda Mills