Michael Marra's June 10 Commentary piece ("Uninspired teachers hurt our state's students") smacks of ageism and anti-unionism.

Just as our U.S. Constitution and Bill of Rights protect citizens, union contracts protect public school teachers. Tenure and seniority are important and necessary safeguards against any unscrupulous education officials who would attempt to dismiss veteran teachers for ulterior reasons, e.g., top-step compensation, favoritism, nepotism, personal bias or animus.

In any case, Mr. Marra must realize that teachers can be fired for documented gross nonperformance, moral turpitude, and crime.

As for which teachers are effective and inspirational, what are his criteria? How would he know if those doing the judging are worthy of making the call? Does he also advocate for merit raises and for teachers negotiating their own individual contracts? If so, how would these be done fairly?

Public school teachers have fought long and hard for contractual provisions and protections. Mr. Marra should not seek to undermine them.

Daniel T. Walsh

North Smithfield