Speaking as a retired independent middle school principal with 32 years of service, it was most disturbing to read The Sun's editorial that appeared to search for satisfactory criteria that would "tie a teacher's pay to performance rather than seniority" ("Baltimore schools' uncharted waters," Dec. 21).

In my opinion, there is no such method existing which would truly judge a student's inherent scholastic achievements since a tremendous difference definitely exists between the more able, stable students living in a corresponding environment than the weaker ones living in a less caring and non-attentive surroundings.

Personally, I firmly believe teachers' salaries should be based on tenure and their performances should be evaluated by committees appointed by the school system including some supervisors and principals who would visit the teachers' classrooms and observe them in action, giving careful attention to the teachers' personalities, personal interest and ability to adapt to the various changes in attitude and other challenges in the ever-changing communities. During this process, the committees could also use this opportunity to identify the teachers whom they feel could become supervisors and principals in the future.

Agreed, there is no perfect means for one to follow in order to resolve all of the problems discussed in the editorial, but I trust some of my suggestions might prove to be of assistance in reaching a better solution to some of the continuing problems discussed in The Sun's editorial.

Quinton D. Thompson, Towson