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Judging teachers
This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2013, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

Once again, the Legislature is rearranging the deck chairs while ignoring the gaping hole in the hull. SB133 would make classroom test scores public so anyone could see them. According to Sen. Howard Stephenson, R-Draper, "parents should have a right to look at data to hold teachers and teacher teams accountable" ("Should Utah parents get to see teacher performance data?" Tribune, March 4).

I and my teacher colleagues have no problem being "accountable," as long as you account for the number of special education students in our classes, students with chronic absences, students who move in, move out, don't speak the language fluently, or any number of other reasons affecting student performance.

Stephenson loves that word "accountability." I just wish he would apply it to the Legislature and its failure to adequately fund education or come up with a long-range plan.

The teachers I work with put in an average of two hours or more outside of their contract time every day. We must complete 100 hours of professional development for relicensure. We are observed and evaluated at least yearly.

Teachers are not the problem. They are the primary reason that things are not much worse.

Mark A. Besendorfer


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