Imagine our surprise. Teachers attending a Pittsburgh Public Schools in-service meeting titled “Supporting Common Core State Standards in Social Studies” opened the newspaper and found the letter “The PFT Is Wrong” (Jan. 22) by University of Pittsburgh School of Education dean Alan Lesgold, who attacks our union as one that wants to water down the standards for teachers, and presumably for students. Nothing is further from the truth.
The Pittsburgh Federation of Teachers has always encouraged high standards and improving teacher knowledge, experience and practice. It is not evaluations that are the problem, but rather the faulty, invalid and subjective data-gathering on teacher practice that many in higher education are criticizing today. I would hope that someone in Dean Lesgold’s position would do more research before leveling such a broadside attack on our union and Pittsburgh Public Schools teachers — many of whom are University of Pittsburgh alumni, including this writer.