Dear Commons Community,
Upon learning that she would be involuntarily transferred to another Illinois school, Ellie Rubenstein, a fourth-grade, teacher submitted her resignation in the form of a video.
In the 10-minute spoken resignation, posted on Youtube Tuesday, Rubenstein explains why she is quitting and addresses several major problems she says she has faced as a teacher in the U.S. public education system.
“I was proud to say I was a teacher,” Rubenstein tells the camera, after describing how she abandoned a career in public relations to “do something meaningful” with her life. “But over the past 15 years, I’ve experienced the depressing, gradual downfall and misdirection of communication that has slowly eaten away at my love of teaching.”
“Raising students’ test scores on standardized tests is now the only goal, and in order to achieve it the creativity, flexibility and spontinaety that create authentic learning environments have been eliminated. … Everything I love about teaching is extinct,” she continues.
Rubenstein’s resignation stems from a dispute between four Lincoln Elementary School teachers — Rubenstein included — and North Shore School District 112 administrators. As Highland Park News reports, Rubenstein and her colleagues received letters detailing their mandated transfer to other schools in the district and were given 21 days to respond.
In the video, Rubenstein states that the letter cited a “poor climate” in the building as the reason for her involuntary transfer. “But the truth is, I’m just not a ‘yes man,'” she claims in her video.
Administrators contend, however, that such a transfer is not used to punish teachers, Highland Park News notes.
It is a sad state of affairs that so many of our public schools have been turned into test-prep centers responding to mandates of the No Child Left Behind and Race to the Top policies of the U.S. Department of Education.