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Our borough has a superior track record with many of the finest educators in the city. But they are being pushed around in all sorts of ways for reasons that have nothing to do with quality of instruction or service to students. One of these areas is the restrictions on a teacher’s freedom to decide criteria for judging student performance.

Don’t tread on teachers’ rights. All this fuss about how teachers grade their students is further evidence of the needless meddling of outside influences, usually political, driven by non-educators ( or those who got their credentials fast as instant rice), who do not like allowing professionals to have reasonable independence in their own classrooms. Teachers should be rigorously trained and then trusted by supervisors who should know at least as much as the teachers do, provided the supervisors rose up “the old-fashioned way.”

Teachers should have restored to them reasonable power to decide their own grading policy based on their unique insight and knowledge of their students. Standards should be spelled out clearly to parents and students and they should be enforced fairly. Avenue of appeal should be preserved. But basically it should be up to the teacher alone to develop and justify their own grading policy. That was how it worked in the glory days of public education.

Ron Isaac
Fresh Meadows

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