"Shock of the New," Letters, April 10
Regarding the letter about Gretchen Kurtz from "Name Withheld":
Am I the only one who loathes a person who scathes people and projects and then doesn't sign his/her diatribe or give examples of the supposed egregious failures? Aside from the letter being sophomoric in content, the person is not correct in saying that Kurtz is reviewing only "hipster hangouts"; there's the Bop & Gogi Korean takeout that's on my radar because of her review, as well as any number of places on Federal and out on Peoria that are hardly defined as "hipster."
Kurtz has the chops for the column; she has proven this over and over. She is well-seasoned (excuse the pun!) — and she's a keeper. The malcontent who penned the anonymous diatribe must be some chef's mother or restaurant owner who is smarting from a less-than-glorious review: Get over it!
(By the way: I'm not Kurtz's mother or her next-door neighbor. Never met her, don't know what she looks like.)
"Wrong Answer," Melanie Asmar, April 10
As you read "Wrong Answer," you probably think: "What is going on here? If it's so bad, why doesn't the teacher just quit DPS and go to another school district?"
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It's how teachers are paid that keeps them "stuck." You get paid for number of years and education beyond your bachelor's degree. By Colorado law, if you leave and go to another school district, they have to pay you for your education beyond the bachelor's degree, but only for five years of experience. So if you have ten years' experience and a master's, you get paid for the master's but only five years' experience, so you get a "pay cut." Only in education...
If Tom Boasberg thinks there are "too many satisfactory" designations, then he needs to go and talk to his evaluators of teachers (all principals and assistant principals). Apparently they aren't spending enough time in the classroom observing, and he feels more should be "unsatisfactory." As a union president once told me: It's very easy to remove a teacher. Administrators just need to get into the classroom and observe what the teacher is doing and document it. And since he has never taught, what does he know?
As for those who "can't get a job," I wonder how many of them are union representatives. Hmmm.
So 57 out of 1,240 teachers can't find a job because they are no longer "entitled" to "forced placement"? Forgive me if I'm unsympathetic, but that's around 4.6 percent who are jobless — not a big number by anyone's standards, particularly when you take into consideration that the Colorado unemployment rate is 6.8 percent! Sorry, teachers, but work is hard to come by for anyone. Just be thankful that it still seems to come a little easier for you than for the sum total of the rest of our Colorado workers.