To the Editor:
The merit-pay part of the Ohio collective bargaining law, if it had not been voted down last week, would have made the children in a teacher’s class like numbers in the stock market (“Ohio Voters Reject Law Limiting Teachers’ Collective Bargaining,” Nov. 8, 2011). The similarity would be that a number score would determine whether you keep your job or get a raise, just like a stock going up or down. The students’ future or attitude or interest toward education would become irrelevant.
So the task of the teacher, just like the stockbroker, would be to look at his student and say: “How do I get the best test score from this child because I might lose my job if I don’t?” Or I might say I have to ignore one student and concentrate on another depending on whether I am judged by the overall score of the class or an individual child.
As far as I am concerned, this does not sound like education being compared with the private sector as much as it sounds like education control reminiscent of the Soviet Union that I thought President Ronald Reagan did away with in the 1980s.
The writer is a retired elementary school teacher.
A version of this article appeared in the November 16, 2011 edition of Education Week as Merit-Pay System Resembles Workings of Stock Market