Teachers' salaries are far too low
After 35 years in the classroom in the Midwest, I've learned that good education is a reflection of good self-esteem. Everyone is concerned about student self-esteem because everyone knows that students expect they will do well in school if they have self-worth.
Why, then, is nobody concerned about the most important piece of the classroom — the teacher?
Recently, I studied the Pinellas teacher salary schedule. No married teacher can support a family making this kind of money. There must be a second earner in a family. These college-educated people can barely support themselves. Most work second jobs, and summer work is a must.
For the past several years, teachers in Pinellas have been forced to teach six classes instead of five without any financial reward. Where I come from, that is an overload worth a 20 percent raise in pay; however, teachers are powerless because there is no "real" union fighting for them. Their salary is at the whim of Florida government. Teacher evaluation is a confused joke bent on criticism instead of praise.
In teaching, like any other product, you get what you pay for. At this time of year, many of our good teachers are going to leave the field of teaching because they still have enough ego to say, "I am better than how I am treated."
This state will remain, sadly, lacking in good education until some things are done to support good teaching. Until then, the good ones will continue leaving for jobs and employers who value them.
Robert Clifford, Tarpon Springs
Cameras are just adding to danger
Murder and mayhem continue in Clearwater thanks to the city's red-light cameras.
I saw another rear-end collision last Wednesday afternoon at the intersection of Gulf-to-Bay Boulevard and Belcher Road. It looked like a motorist slammed on the brakes due to the red-light cameras at the intersection and was hit from behind.
Other accidents at this intersection are much more deadly. Drivers turning left speed up at the last second and can run head-on into vehicles going straight, which are also speeding up at the last second to escape the cameras.
As usual, one of the drivers will be charged for this "accident" and the real culprits, the Clearwater City Council members, will be seen laughing all the way to the bank with the cash they make from these accident-causing red-light cameras.
Bob Snow, Clearwater
Private sand a hot topic story, April 16
Arrogance along the beachfront
How arrogant! Beachfront property owners are trying to have it both ways. They want private use of the beach, but they expect the same public that they are excluding to pay for replenishing that beach when it eventually erodes.
Jeffrey Tomeo, Oldsmar
Shoddy work done on U.S. 19
What's up with resurfacing U.S. 19 in Palm Harbor?
This should have been a fairly simple project but it has dragged on over several months and it doesn't seem like it will ever be completed.
Workers did one lane northbound and one southbound. A month or more later, they did another lane in each direction. They didn't do a very good job of making them the same height so changing lanes isn't very smooth. A while later, they did the third lanes, which again don't seem to match up very well.
The turn lanes were stripped but still haven't been resurfaced. If you drive across U.S. 19 going east or west, it's like driving on an old-fashioned washboard.
I hope whoever is responsible for this botched job is reading this and will finish the job soon and competently.
Henry Goldhammer, Palm Harbor