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Local teacher superbly explains resignation on YouTube

Highland Park teacher Ellie Rubenstein left her post yesterday after 15 years as an educator and followed with a scathing video that described why she did so. Her reasoning? Schools and administrations want more testing and less skill-building. Ms. Rubenstein expands on this, while also informing Turi about whether her future plans include teaching.


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15 Comments to “Local teacher superbly explains resignation on YouTube”

    mike laraviere said:
    May 23, 2013 at 4:52 PM

    Sad times in our lives. GOD help our children.
    No creativity will result in a DUMMIFIED culture.

    cat said:
    May 23, 2013 at 8:22 PM

    After nearly 40 years in teaching, I retired last year. My heart breaks for you. God bless. I hope you find a way to teach in a different educational culture – perhaps private rather than public education.

    Al.S said:
    May 23, 2013 at 8:55 PM

    So true. I empathize with you and congratulate on your actions.

    Anonymous said:
    May 23, 2013 at 11:29 PM

    She speaks for many many excellent teachers in the Chicago area. District 36 teachers are struggling too. I admire her courage.

    als said:
    May 24, 2013 at 1:05 AM

    If this is what our teachers have been reduced to maybe we need to pull our kids out of schools next year and teach them ourselves or to private schools I say teaching our kids to take and pass state test is that how they learn.

      Anon said:
      May 26, 2013 at 3:05 PM

      So incredibly ignorant. Ask today's college graduates who inspired them when they were young. It sure as hell wasn't the teacher who taught to the test.

    I stand by you said:
    May 24, 2013 at 5:58 AM

    My heart breaks for my children (ages 4 and 1) who may never know a teacher like you. I pray your courageous decision to publicly air your experience will make a difference and at the very least encourage more teachers and parents to get involved and change a system that is clearly not working.

    Anonymous said:
    May 24, 2013 at 7:34 AM

    I couldnt agree with you more. Especially sad because MY school holds up Highland Park/Deerfield as a model. We are always emulating programs and slowly becoming like them. Dept chairmen leave for other districts and are replaced by “Stepford-like” yes-men. It’s sickening and scary. My fellow teachers are becoming mute sheep. We don’t dare speak up or will be gone. Thank you for expressing our feelings so clearly. I’m retiring soon (and early) by choice. Sad.

    North Shore Mom said:
    May 24, 2013 at 8:42 AM

    This is a very sad but true commentary on the state of public education. Even the most highly rated districts act as if they are failing by giving more and more standardized testing, promoting curriculum that is standardized and allows no room for teacher creativity let alone the needs of the students! They want to increase an already long school day so they can "fully align the curriculum" and "add more minutes to core instructional areas". In an effort to do that, instruction in the arts- which are seen as trivial and unimportant- may be modified. Teachers don't dare speak their minds. One bad job performance evaluation and you're out. I've sent a link to the video to all the administrators in my school district and to the school board asking them to view it and reflect on the values they are promoting and whether they are in the best interests of our teachers and students.

    Bill toth said:
    May 25, 2013 at 9:40 PM

    I can so relate to what this teacher says.

    Gary Steinberg said:
    May 25, 2013 at 10:44 PM

    What career will she quit next? Cry baby, instead of quitting strive to make change from within. You took the cowards way out.

      Teresa said:
      June 1, 2013 at 9:06 AM

      I fear that you have written this comment out of ignorance. Why insult and demean? I strongly believe that if you understood the current environment in education, you would not reply with such disrespect. Also, she clearly states within her resignation that strong voices are being silenced from above. The problem is very large and complex.
      Name calling will never be an effective form of communication.

    Former NS parent said:
    May 26, 2013 at 8:39 AM

    So sad. My 3 daughters went to North Shore schools. We moved in 2002 out of state. My son is in 3rd grade now and I have been so frustrated with his school district! When I think of the great education my girls received compared to what my son is experiencing want to pull him out and home school him! We are going to try another school in the district next fall and am hoping for somethg better. I am so sad to hear that this problem with public schools is in Highland Park. Why has this gotten so out of control and what can parents do about it?

    Liz said:
    May 26, 2013 at 1:25 PM

    Sounds like a school division in crisis. I am so blessed to be teaching for a great school division in Alberta. We have a strong curriculum but what methods and materials we use are up to us as individual teachers. Our govt has just replaced our provincial exams for grades 3, 6 and 9 with a new set of diagnostic tests to be administered at the beginning of those grades to assist teachers in determine where students are at so thy can design instruction accordingly. And we have fair teacher assessment practices and a strong union to back us up. I will never take my division for granted again!

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