Letter to the Editor by Jessica Van der Veen
Re: Falcon's Merit Pay for Teacher Proposal
Letting a few bad apples drive our public agenda is silly, like making 300 kids stay inside at recess because just two kids were fighting. Most teachers (like most of us) work hard to do a good job every day. They are hampered by cuts to learning resources and especially by cuts to supports for special needs kids. The Liberal’s pattern of picking a group to bash and uniting the public against them must stop. In psychological circles it is called "triangulation": We develop a false sense of intimacy by gossiping about a person or a group we don't belong to. Good parenting catches this character flaw during the middle school years. In a potential Premier this is pathetic. Kids spend just 13% of their time between the age of 5 and 18 in the classroom. There are other factors influencing learning: As Health Minister, Falcon’s cuts to health care and programs for children and families at risk come to mind. Mr. Falcon and the Liberals have cut health supports like early intervention programs for autism and services for abused children. They have closed 190 schools and sold off 79 schools, sometimes the only school in a small town. These decisions have a far greater affect on academic achievement than merit pay will ever have.
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