Let’s not be swayed by teachers’ excuses

I appreciated the recent editorial about improving education in Buffalo. But The News touched on something that needs a lot more clarification and emphasis if we’re going to see real changes.

It is finally widely acknowledged that the best thing we can do for the kids is to get rid of the bad teachers and replace them with good teachers. Determining how good a teacher is shouldn’t be that hard. You test the kids at the beginning of the year, then you test them again later and see if they learned anything.

Unfortunately, teachers are not happy about finally being held accountable. So we’re hearing a lot of nonsense about the tests. “Teaching to the test – horrors!” The students aren’t “learning to learn.” The tests are too stressful, take up too much time, etc., etc.

I’m optimistic that the needed changes will eventually take place, even in a place like Buffalo with its, well, vested interests. But we owe it to the kids to expose the anti-test talk for what it really is. And then maybe we can stop handing paychecks to bad teachers.

Fran Bennatti