Re “Why pay good and bad teachers the same?” (Viewpoints, Nov. 8): Natomas School Board trustee Micah Grant's arguments in favor of merit pay for teachers seem well-intentioned and theoretically rational, but they are misguided. The flaw in his approach is twofold: fair and transparent assessments of classroom performance are hard to quantify, and he splits teachers into only two categories, excellent and bad. How do you pay the almost excellent? Was the teacher excellent last year, but had a bad run this year? What if the teacher seemed bad to some, but great to others? Who determines the criteria for excellent, good, fair, not quite there, and bad? When I student taught 30 years ago, a principal placed me with her "favorite" teacher, then with her "best" teacher. Neither inspired me. However, I do believe in mentor teachers being matched with newly hired untenured teachers. I agree the current seniority system is flawed, but Grant's merit system would be much worse.
David Kuchera, Sacramento