The Jan. 16 issue of Wednesday Journal contained a front page article touting the new reward system for District 97 “gold standard teachers” [D97 leads state in ‘gold standard’ teachers, News]. The article describes a study that actually shows substandard performance by these teachers. According to the article, board-certified teachers “produce annual learning gains that are about 4-5 percent of normal.” This means that for every 100 students, those taught by these special teachers have gains in the bottom 5 percent. In other words, 95% of students perform better without board-certified staff.

Why have we adopted a system that rewards poor performance rather than one that rewards gains at the top end? Or have we adopted a system based on evaluations by math-illiterate or language-illiterate consultants? And how did this get past the D97 administration, the board, the WJ reporter and the editors without any concern for data that does not support the story presented.

When my granddaughter starts D97 next year, should I trust the education she gets and how it is reported to her parents?

Alan Peres

Oak Park

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