As a teacher in Fairfax County, I believe that inasmuch as The Post endorsed the merit pay plan of Fairfax schools it should do some follow-up on the excessive costs of this program (which the school board and the Board of Supervisors also approved without careful scrutiny and foresight).
When this plan was proposed, did we hear about the salary increases for the tremendous amount of extra work this program requires of principals and secretaries? Did we know about the salaries for the review board members, the full-time consulting teachers and their administrators? What about the costs for substitute teachers for the many days missed by part-time consulting teachers (not to mention the educational loss to their students)?
Furthermore, how many educational funds will be wasted on county attorneys in trying to justify the capricious acts of certain principals and other administrators?
Moreover, while justice demands that the teachers not receiving the highest ratings be able to move up, common sense dictates that the county will not have the funds to pay for the increasing number of "skillful" teachers the program should produce. Therefore, shouldn't it admit this immediately rather than deceive these hard-working educators now and steal from them in the future?
In fact, this bleak future is already here: on Feb. 11 the school board voted to withdraw $3 million a year from its contribution to the teachers' pension plan. That's great, let the teachers pay for the bureaucracy and raises of the merit pay plan with their retirement savings!
In effect, while the teachers are losing sleep over the observations of any given day which may cost them dearly, and while the principals are passing restless nights deciding which teachers will receive several thousands of dollars more, the school board is sound asleep, unaware of the true costs of this unjust system of pay.
DON H. KERSTEN