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A thorny path to teaching and to teacher diversity

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‘Tweaking’ layoff policy is the wrong way to go

The editorial “Where’s the urgency to fix Massachusetts’ longstanding teacher diversity problem?” (March 17) is correct in its claim that teachers of color can have positive impacts on students of color, but it fails and is, frankly, unethical in supporting “tweaking the teacher layoff policy” for some teachers of color.

The editorial board notes that public school enrollment is declining across the state. School closures, layoffs, and other restructuring measures, as painful as they are, are necessary to adjust for the system we have, not the one we had.

Furthermore, to spare the onus of layoffs from newer teachers elides the fact that these individuals tend to be better positioned to absorb the blow of unemployment. Older, more experienced teachers are more likely to have dependents, mortgages, and simply more to lose than younger colleagues.


Gaps in opportunity persist in education, and real solutions are required; however, the bill proposed by state Senator Pavel Payano and endorsed by the Globe, which would protect young educators — who are more likely to be teachers of color — from layoffs, is just not one of them.

Erich Mueller

Jamaica Plain

The writer is a teacher in the Boston Public Schools.

Becoming a full-time teacher should not be an impossible assignment

My former son-in-law, who is Black, has had a very hard time becoming a full-time teacher in the Boston school system. He is licensed and has the appropriate credentials, and he knows his subject. Indeed, he is a mathematician and an experienced programmer. Nevertheless, he has been given the runaround and has been unsupported by the system.

You might ask: Why does he bother? The simple answer is that he sincerely wants to help others.

The system needs to change so that prospective teachers like my former son-in-law can make it through the chaos that currently exists in order to do what they love.


Sara C. Sabo

Santa Fe

The writer was a school counselor in Stoneham for 27 years.