Meanwhile, in the real world … |

Meanwhile, in the real world …

Don Rogers

We have to admit reading about that poor teacher’s “culture of fear” with a bit of a chortle. Poor tenured dear. Out here in the real world – laboring for at-will companies in an at-will state, where firing folks is easy – hearing about all this pressure to perform through a system that rewards merit more than simply showing up is all, well, a bit much.Culture of fear, indeed. Culture of mediocrity, unfortunately, has been far closer to the mark for the Eagle County School District these long years. Major kudos to this and the previous school board and administration for daring to aim for real improvment.Part of that was the election a few years ago to substantially boost the pay of teachers and other school district employees. Not much complaining in the ranks about that move. But ah, the ballot box proposal came with a promise to us voters who have been concerned about the rather obvious weaknesses in the quality of education the district has provided: Merit would become part of the picture. Teachers would have to actually earn at least portions of their raises.Yes, we know they work hard. We all work hard. Management is always wrong. New programs always stink. At least until it’s undeniable that they work. Change is a bitch.Now that the last of the schools are taking on the Teacher Advacement Program, the final wave of whiny teachers and parents who haven’t noticed the increase in focus on their children’s progress is rolling through.Some threaten to leave. Well, go ahead. The kids need teachers who will give them and the district their best effort. If you as a teacher cannot abide the program, well, you should move on. The culture of mediocrity is done. The public demands better. Vail, Colorado

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