Lew's View - Teacher Evaluation

Lew Leone is the vice president and general manager of WNYW-FOX 5. He is taking to the airwaves with his thoughts on current affairs. It's called "Lew's View." The views expressed are not necessarily those of the station or its employees.

Here is today's Lew's View:

Here at FOX 5 we believe education matters, and we will continue to cover issues that affect our education system.

It has been interesting to hear teachers unions and administrators complaining about the new system to rate job performance on a 100-point scale as part of the federal Race to the Top program.

Most of the opposition to the rating system relates to how it is not fair to the teachers because there is no perfect system to evaluate teacher performance and effectiveness. In New York City, the United Federation of Teachers has filed suit to fight the release of teacher ratings to the public.

In the private sector all of us who don't work for the government or a union have been reviewed, assessed, rated and held accountable our whole lives on much less reliable and subjective job performance measurements.

The powerful teachers unions seem to have forgotten several meaningful realities. First of all teachers and administrators work for us the taxpayers.

Take a look at any union contract and you will see that we, the taxpayers, have bent over backwards to reward teachers with high pay, tenure, terrific benefits, summer vacation, huge pensions, and favorable work rules. In return we deserve and demand accountability.

So what if the ratings aren't perfect? It's time for the unions to step up, stop protecting the adults, accept that our system is failing and embrace reform to help put us on the right track.

Teaching is noble and valuable profession but it is not for everyone. Given the current state of the economy and our education crisis we have to ensure that we are able to reward the best teachers, develop the promising ones and help the worst ones find a new job.


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