I am writing in response to Eleanor Chute’s article with the headline “Pittsburgh Teacher Absenteeism Called ‘Startling’ ” (May 23). Perhaps a better headline might have been “Dedicated teachers take fewer than allotted sick days.” With teachers constantly in contact with sick children it is “startling” that they do not miss more days.
Every moment in a child’s education is precious. However, I know of teachers forced to leave their classrooms for six days in a row due to PSSA testing.
I wrote to Pittsburgh Public Schools superintendent Linda Lane and her Cabinet on March 26 concerning this absenteeism due to testing. It is therefore “startling” to me that Ms. Lane expressed surprise and concern when teachers used fewer than their allotted sick days but that she was not “startled” by missed classroom time related to testing. Perhaps instead of teacher bashing and using misleading headlines, you should focus on how to best support our hard-working educators.
The writer is a child advocate and reading specialist, who volunteers in the Pittsburgh Public Schools.