Opinion

Common Core-frustrated teacher’s resignation letter: ‘My profession … no longer exists’

Much has been said about the frustration of parents and children in navigating the Common Core curriculum standards, but now more teachers are beginning to speak out.

Educators say they believe the curriculum is “demeaning their profession,” and those who have had enough are simply quitting, according to the Washington Post.

I quit
Photo credit: Washington Post

Veteran social studies teacher Gerald J. Conti, is one of those at the end of his rope. He has submitted a resignation letter to Westhill High School in Syracuse, N.Y., saying that after 27 years at the school, he can no longer continue.

Conti explained how he devoted his free time immersed in research, always wanting to be on top of the topics covered in his classroom, but “never feeling satisfied” that he knew enough.

“I now find that this approach to my profession is not only devalued, but denigrated and perhaps, in some quarters despised,” he wrote. “STEM rules the day and ‘data driven’ education seeks only conformity, standardization, testing and a zombie-like adherence to the shallow and generic Common Core, along with a lockstep of oversimplified so-called Essential Learnings. Creativity, academic freedom, teacher autonomy, experimentation and innovation are being stifled in a misguided effort to fix what is not broken in our system of public education and particularly not at Westhill.”

A lack of leadership or organized campaign against the unpopular curriculum has led to confusion and lower morale among teachers and students, Conti said. He compared it to building an airplane while flying.

“After writing all of this I realize that I am not leaving my profession, in truth, it has left me,” he wrote. “It no longer exists. I feel as though I have played some game halfway through its fourth quarter, a timeout has been called, my teammates’ hands have all been tied, the goal posts moved, all previously scored points and honors expunged and all of the rules altered.”

Read Conti’s letter in its entirety here.

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