Alexandria To the Editor:
In the Alexandria Gazette's Packet article titled "Raises for Teachers?" in the Jan. 17, 2013 newspaper, it states that "State Sen. George Barker (D-39) hopes that his Senate colleagues will agree to a 3 percent raise in teachers' salaries this year. Barker said increasing teacher salaries will help close achievement gaps in Virginia." Which one? Student achievement or teacher achievement? There is no correlation.
I was a teacher in VA for 30 years. Never once did dollars dictate my dedication and work ethic in giving my all in teaching. That's not to say teachers should not receive raises. But closing achievement gaps comes about due to the heart and soul of the educators giving all to their profession. Money does not drive dedication. Is this typical of Mr. Barker's lack of understanding as to what closes educational gaps? In the same article, it states that Mr. Barker said, "We'd like to go higher than that, but we want to operate within the budget constraints that we have." In other words, if the budget was very well supplied, giving even higher than 3 percent would help close the gaps even more. Mr. Barker appears quite misinformed as to what closes achievement gaps.