February 12, 2013

The Post and Kate Walsh, a former member of the Maryland State Board of Education and the head of the National Council on Teacher Quality, show themselves to be victims of “student as widget” syndrome [“A hard line on evaluations,” editorial, Feb. 10]. Education reformers tend to think that students can be measured as exactly and willingly as a piece of metal being tested by calipers.

Imagine your job and life being dependent on student test takers who are apathetic at best and hostile at worst. If those students have no direct, personal stake in doing their best on statewide exams, then those outcomes can never be considered a valid reflection of their real abilities.

I worked in Montgomery County schools for 30 years. I know that the existing evaluation process is very successful at both nudging some teachers to do better and getting rid of those who are unwilling to improve.

R.B. Lasco, Gettysburg, Pa.