Letters to the Editor

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TACOMA: No gain from Tacoma teacher strike

Letter by Donald J. Fritz, Tacoma on Sep. 18, 2012 at 5:00 pm | 11 Comments »
September 18, 2012 5:00 pm

Re: “School strikes of choice – in Chicago and Tacoma” (editorial, 9-18).

The editorial highlights similarities between the Chicago teacher strike and the strike experienced by Tacoma last year, but there is one notable difference: Chicago is seeking improvement in education standards, whereas Tacoma’s school district sought no quid pro quo from teachers for higher pay.

If we (taxpayer/parents) are to pay teachers well, then we should expect a willingness on their part to work more than 180 days a year and/or longer hours, if that is necessary in order to ensure that “no child is left behind.”

Charter schools have no “magic elixir” to achieve the higher standards that most of them do. Rather, school principals and teachers simply commit themselves to working as hard as necessary to achieve success for all of their charges.

Yes, as one News Tribune letter writer noted earlier this year, some charter school teacher “burnout” can occur, and teacher turnover is higher than in most more relaxed schools. An accommodation needs to be reached between school reformers and teacher unions to ensure that student needs can be fully met, while teachers themselves are enabled to achieve long, fulfilling careers.

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