Good intentions don't make good schools

PUBLISHED on the Denver Post eLetters web site: re "For principal, A for effort" (Denver Post editorial, 9/7/07) To the Editor: While I applaud the efforts of a principal to get students back in school, the extreme efforts to which teachers’ unions go to oppose competition in education, merit pay for teachers, and the ability to fire bad teachers makes it hard to take seriously that they care much whether the students learn or not. Pat Sanchez is probably of pure intent in his chase for students, but it is still hard not to think of him like one of those circus games where you stand in an enclosed chamber with wind blowing dollar bills all around you and trying to grab as many as you can. As far as students who “can’t learn if they’re not there” and despite the unions and school boards grabbing a lot of our dollars, the kids don’t seem to be learning a heck of a lot even when they are there. I’m sure Prinicpal Sanchez is banging on doors because he believes in the value of those kids being in school (value to the kids and to himself), but until there are more incentives within and between schools to improve their product, namely education, the product will be just as bad as anything else the government provides, and at just as high a cost.
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