Why a Lot of Teachers Quit – a commenter at Diane Ravitch

Teacher: Why I am Leaving Teaching

by dianerav

I recall many discussions in the rightwing think tanks to which I once belonged about how the schools and the teaching profession would be elevated if we could only judge teachers by the performance of their students and fire the lowest performing teachers every year. I recall asking, “where will the new teachers come from?” My colleagues said there would never be a shortage because there are so many people who prepared to be teachers but never entered the classroom. They would rush to fill the newly available jobs. What they never considered was the possibility that their brilliant theory was wrong. That judging teachers by the test scores of their students was unreliable and invalid; that doing so would drive out many find teachers and make teaching an undesirable profession; would indeed wipe out professionalism itself.

From a comment on the blog:


50% of evaluation based on end of course testing is so demotivating and humiliating that I am definitely getting out of teaching asap. Two years of bad test scores means suspension and potential loss of license. Seventy hour work weeks, failing technology, rotating cast of half my class load with various medical conditions that impede cognitive function. Adaptable, hard working, using differentiated learning and hands on learning/multimodal approaches does not mean jack now. Teachers are not able to control the tests, cannot develop multiple means for students to demonstrate mastery. So half my well meaning students will christmas tree their end of course test and my own family will suffer the consequences when I lose my job. Bleaker future than the past five with consistent pay cuts and benefits cut. Furloughs are a yearly experience now. I am very well educated and a top graduate in my field and hold multiple degrees so the stereotype of the poorly educated teacher without options or abilities does not fit. It doesn’t fit for the majority of teachers I know.

But if I stay in teaching now, I will be an idiot.

This evaluation system is the last straw. I cajoled PTA parents to put pressure on our district to stop this eval system. There are several well respected anchor teachers who are now making tracks to change fields. What a waste. New administration is in love with drill and kill, parents are blinded by smoke and mirrors of test scores as a metric of anything.
Thank you for letting me vent. I am planning on how nice it will be to have sundays off, no longer haul 25lbs of paperwork home, have money in the bank in a different career. No profession gets treated collectively so poorly these days.
I will miss the students but I will not miss being treated like an ignorant fool by thisevaluation nightmare.

Published in: on October 23, 2013 at 2:00 pm  Comments (7)  
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7 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. When all the teachers leave, will Arne and his buddies wake up? Maybe there should be a mass exodus. That would make the point dramatically. Then kids could be home-schooled, without any tests, which might just turn out fine!


    • Most parents could not possibly home-school their children.


  2. I am also leaving education at the end of this year. I cannot take it any longer. The politicians, ed reformers, and testing companies have won. I will panhandle before I go back into this field again.


  3. Some education reformers believe greater teacher accountability for student progress is overdue and that decisions about teacher compensation and job security should be closely tied to the test performance of their students. Others, including many teachers and their unions, say the tests narrow the curriculum and are not fair measures of success. They are concerned that using test scores to determine compensation and job security will reduce access to top teachers in poverty-stricken areas.


  4. Its the high time that teachers should get the similar benefits as employees of the other industries. Focus should be on training them with latest technologies of teaching. Well, I’m sad to read this article though.


  5. Please reconsider leaving “our” profession (if you have been considering this option) — I am confident that changes in education are going to occur sooner–rather than later! You may be inspired by my recent blog posts. http:kennethfetterman.wordpress.com


  6. Correction to the link above: http://Kennethfetterman.wordpress.com (OK)


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