I am your child’s teacher. I teach 75 of the brightest and kindest students at an A public school.

Let me define what a REAL public school is. The only way you can’t go to my school is if you don’t live in my school district. My students are autistic and artistic. My students are proficient in English and proficient in only Spanish. If students misbehave, we cannot ask them to leave. We can only ask them to make better choices.

This year, I have approximately 130 days to prepare my students to master more than 110 grade-level expectations or topics. In education, your end-of-the-year evaluation happens 50 days BEFORE the end of the school year. What other industry performs its employees’ end-of-the-year review evaluations with 25 percent of the year remaining? What other industry picks ONE day of the year to evaluate an employee’s yearlong performance? If my students are sleep-deprived because their parents fought all night or went to bed without any supper, their performance on that ONE day determines my “value” as a teacher.

For the record, I am not against teacher accountability IF it is fair and reasonable.

In order to determine my value, state officials compare the growth of my students on their fourth-grade test (LEAP) to their fifth-grade test (iLEAP). The tests are structured completely differently.

Let me give an example.

If a food critic goes to a restaurant and gives a five-star rating based only on the quality of the food, and another food critic goes into the same restaurant and gives the restaurant a five-star rating based only on the service, do you really know anything about the restaurant? No, the public is misled because the stars represent different things.

The tests are the same way. On the LEAP English language arts test, the majority of the test focuses on how well a child reads, while the iLEAP English language arts test focuses mainly on how well a child performs in grammar. These tests focus on two completely different areas, yet they are compared for growth.

All I am asking for is the creation of a valid system that measures what I do in my class every day.

Laurie Richard