One teacher’s resignation letter is going viral this week for its frankness and criticism of his profession which, in his opinion, “no longer exists.”
Teacher Gerald Conti decided to retire from teaching after 27 years with Westhill High School in New York. The 62-year-old penned a resignation letter critical of his profession and what it has become. Conti posted the resignation letter to Facebook in late March, along with an image of Porky Pig saying “That’s All Folks!”
In the letter, Conti blames lawmakers who “failed us by selling children out to private industries such as Pearson Education,” a widely-adopted testing company.
He also criticized the New York State United Teachers union, arguing that the organizational body failed its members by not combating standardized testing, which resulted in a “pervasive atmosphere of distrust” preventing teachers from creating their own methods of evaluation.
“After writing all of this I realize that I am not leaving my profession, in truth, it has left me. It no longer exists,” he wrote.
After racking up nearly 1,000 shares on Facebook, Conti’s resignation letter was picked up by the Syracuse Post-Standard. He told the publication that his ire isn’t so much directed at his local district, as it targets education as a whole in America.
“This whole thing is being driven by people who know nothing about education,” he said. “It’s sad.”
Conti is hardly alone in his criticism of education and standardized testing.
Teachers in Seattle refused to give a Measures of Academic Progress test earlier this year on “ethical and professional grounds,” Texas saw an anti-standardized testing rally of 10,000 in February, and as a former teacher-in-training myself, I’ve seen the frustrations of teachers over arbitrary required evaluation first-hand.
While I was training to be a teacher, I heard something quite a lot from professionals in the field that Conti said in his interview with the Post-Standard.
“Education to me is completely qualitative, it’s not quantitative,” he said. “It’s about personal relationships, and it’s about getting kids to be curious. And that’s what I’ve been trying to do all my career.”
You can read Conti’s resignation letter in full below:
[Image via: Facebook]