Michele Kerr, a first-year "highly qualified" math teacher, advocates in this opinion column for a compromise in the debate between policymakers and teachers unions over how best to assess teacher performance. Kerr suggests teachers be evaluated according to the academic improvement made by students who are present in the classroom at least 90% of the time. She also asks that teachers be given more authority to control day-to-day classroom conditions and prevent students who do not master skills from being promoted to the next class level.

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