Letter: Vote your values and Vote Smart x5
Two school board candidates (not Vote Smart x5) support connecting teacher pay to student achievement, based on their Vail Daily Q&As. As a third grade teacher, I find this very concerning.
The platform for these candidates seems to be their concern about student achievement. Across the nation, and in Eagle County, test scores are relatively predictable based on income. Recent data shows that more than 40% of Eagle County School’s students live in poverty. Paying teachers for higher outcomes means teachers may leave schools where students perform lower and go to schools where student scores are higher in order to make more money. Let’s work to fix poverty instead of pretending achievement starts when kids enter kindergarten.
Universal preschool and affordable child care are potential steps in the right direction. Structured and scientific reading instruction is a step in the right direction. Paying teachers for student outcomes is a step backwards.
Paying teachers based on student outcomes could push teachers out of Eagle County, where we already have a teacher shortage. I heavily researched this approach when I thought it sounded like a good idea, but concluded this is a slippery slope of leaving our students from low-income households even further behind. The two conservative candidates’ approaches (as described in their Vaily Daily interviews) would motivate high-quality teachers to move out of our low income schools, where students need them the most.
Please vote for Kelly Alter, Lelia Conlin, Michelle Stecher, Juan Peña, and Dan Reynolds, who have experience in our schools, understand the challenges firsthand and support every child in receiving the best education possible.