While verifiably effective alternative teacher certification paths can welcome new practitioners into the profession, the conclusion drawn by Joy Pullman, of the Heartland Institute (letters, Aug. 19), is off-base and transparently ideological.

Of course, we appreciate the opportunities and advantages associated with making it possible for people trained in other disciplines to come into our classrooms. They can bring fresh perspectives and specialized information that can serve our students well.

However, Pullman exposes her bias against educators in general with her comparison of teaching to a 19th-century factory job.

Teaching, like law, medicine and engineering, is a profession. We can’t believe that Pullman would make the same assertion about physicians — that the idea of switching pro fessions “five times in their first 10 years” is a good one.

While conditions and a host of societal challenges may lead to burnout and cause some teachers to leave the profession, we reject Pullman’s apparent belief that better education for children will be the outcome of a transitional teacher corps.

Pullman’s letter is frankly insulting and does a disservice to honorable members of a most honorable and critical profession.

Steve Monaghan, president

Louisiana Federation of Teachers

Baton Rouge