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If you want to improve education, talk to teachers

Published: July 2, 2012
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Regarding “Narrative escape: School districts seek accountability waiver” (Our Views, June 22): Your call for including student test scores in teacher evaluations is understandable but lacks vital clarification. Not every subject can be evaluated yearly by filling in a bubble sheet. Art and physical education are prime examples. How does a standardized test measure a kindergarten teacher's success in getting a frightened child to stop crying when mom leaves? How much time and money is to be spent on annual testing?

Until these questions are answered in detail, any call for data-driven assessments are incomplete and inaccurate. The problem with education today is that politicians are in charge. Too many schools and school boards are run by people who have no classroom experience. If you want to improve education, talk to teachers.

Michael J. Maguire, Boston, Mass.

Maguire is co-editor of Boston Union Teacher, a publication of the Boston Teachers Union.