Monday letters: Districts hire the teachers who are available

May 12, 2014 

— No one is likely to dispute Cindi Scoppe’s opinion (“The cost of one bad teacher,” April 23) that a bad teacher can leave students with deficits in their learning. However, her solution to make firing teachers easier has two glaring flaws from my perspective as a 40-year classroom veteran.

Many districts have little choice in who they hire. Teaching is not considered a lucrative career by top students due to salaries, working conditions and abuse from parents and students. We lose one-third of those hired within their first three years. Districts are left to choose from what is offered to them.

The current method for firing teachers is an attempt to make it as objective as possible. It also protects good teachers. Without such safeguards, I would have been fired by a vengeful principal who openly despised me after I refused to violate the law at his instruction. The process could be shortened but is necessary to measure the quality instruction without judging personalities.

My hope is that one day South Carolina will see public education as our most crucial investment as once promoted by former Gov. Dick Riley. He truly made a difference in his time. No one has since then.

Sarah Jane Byars

West Columbia

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