Veteran teacher resigns over testing frustrations

Veteran Teacher Resigns Over Testing Frustrations
Veteran Teacher Resigns Over Testing Frustrations

Susan Sluyter is a Massachusetts teacher who planned to work until retirement. Instead, she's decided to resign after teaching for more than 25 years, and her reasons might surprise you. The "Today" show explains.

'A Boston area teacher frustrated by what she says is too much emphasis on test scores and testing.''

Sluyter was a Pre-K and Kindergarten teacher in the Cambridge Public School District. She sent her resignation letter to The Washington Post. In the letter, Sluyter says this is a "disturbing era."

'I have seen my career transformed into a job that no longer fits my understanding of how children learn and what a teacher ought to do in the classroom.'

Not only that, but Sluyter says the emphasis on testing changes the feeling in the classroom.

'It takes the joy out of learning for the children and it takes the joy out of teaching.'

Sluyter tells The Washington Post she believes the "data fascinations" began with the No Child Left Behind Act. Education Week explains the reasoning behind the act.

'At the core of the No Child Left Behind Act were a number of measures designed to drive broad gains in student achievement and to hold states and schools more accountable for student progress.'

This accountability involves testing, which Sluyter believes limits the teachers.

'So many things that pulled me away from the classroom, and fractured my time with the children.'

Sluyter was emotional when she read her statement to the "Today" show, explaining she didn't feel she was the only one leaving.

'[I]feel now, that my job left me.'

Sluyter's school's superintendent, Jeffrey Young, tells the "Today" show, "In time we will find the right way to achieve that balance between strong academic instruction and high quality learning."