Letters to the Editor

Quality teachers

Recently The Bee ran an article stating that educators are lamenting how federal laws are tying their hands in their need to rotate substitutes in classrooms where highly qualified teachers cannot be found.

Instead of looking for a solution to the apparent teacher shortage, the discussion focused on a way "to change the teacher quality portion of the No Child Left Behind Act," said Jack O'Connell, state Superintendent of Education. Here again is a sad example of professionals looking for a quick and easy way to circumvent a problem rather than solving it.

I suggest the state Department of Education begin by researching why schools have such a difficult time hiring and keeping qualified teachers. Why do more than one-half of new teachers quit within five years? Why does California expect a huge teacher shortage in coming years?

It seems districts scramble yearly for teachers, with many poor to mediocre teachers moving quickly out of classrooms and into decision-making positions of school or district administration.

Allowing less than highly qualified teachers to teach will continue to erode the fabric of education. How many parents would be willing to entrust their children to a doctor who was less than qualified?

Steve Nahigian

Fresno

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