I read with interest the article on July 15 about Augusta Superintendent Cornelia Brown, who had “performance-based financial incentives added to her contract.”

Thus, she “will get bonus pay if Augusta students improve their performance on standardized tests used statewide….”

This is a bad idea, and equally bad for teachers and students. As a former high school teacher and a retired university professor, I know from experience that some students cannot learn to read, write and think at either high school or college level, and it is not the fault of the teacher or professor.

Some students do not do well on multiple choice tests, while other students don’t do well on essay tests, and then others do better on oral exams.

Intelligence is inherited, and the performance of the teacher should not be tied to test scores. As the saying goes, “you can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make it drink.”

Beatrice Reynolds


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