Regarding the letter from David Larsen (“Teachers’ pay should be based on performance,” July 20):

He has not taken into account that the atmosphere among a faculty is apt to be poisoned by those who curry favor and denigrate others in order to elevate themselves and their ideas.

As a retired teacher, I have seen this in action when merit pay was considered. Formerly collegial sharing adults became very protective of their turf and paychecks. Teachers who did not agree with administrators in everything would not even be considered for pay raises.

Fortunately, merit pay failed, as it should in all schools. I can imagine fields in which it might work, but not in teaching.

If an administrator observes teachers who excel, they could be given special assignments. In the same way, those who are inadequate should be guided toward better ways or put on probation and replaced.

Tenure, in my view, is not a good idea, and a very different thing. Job security should be earned, as with most jobs. (Of course there is age discrimination, etc., which shouldn’t happen in that or any field.)

Janet Darlington

South Casco