Editor: I am writing in response to John W.A. Curtis’s Feb. 24 letter (“A suggestion for PD days”) in which he advises the minister of finance that “the government can save money by not paying teachers until there are improvements in PISA scores.”
As an academically-minded Island student, I have had in the realm of 50 teachers over my 12 years of schooling, and I can count the number on one hand who I have felt were unequipped to teach. Sure, there are poor teachers out there, but no more than, say, poor security guards or poor gym instructors.
When it comes to PISA scores, I strongly believe teachers are not the problem.
The issue has a number of roots: many students simply do not care; many parents are unsupportive of their children in academics; many schools are not provided with the resources needed to educate in any manner other than one-size-fits-all.
You see classes with 30 students — some gifted, some struggling and some in the middle — and it is impossible for even the most talented teacher to teach in a way that benefits each individual to the fullest, no matter how many PD days that teacher has attended.
Yes, the question of academics in our province sorely needs to be addressed. No, the solution is not to scapegoat Island teachers. We have a great number of truly remarkable educators here on P.E.I. They definitely do not deserve Mr. Curtis’s failing grade.
Grade 12 student,
Charlottetown Rural High School