A Liberal Teacher's First-Person World

Leann Horrocks
Ellie Rubenstein, a teacher in Chicago, has had it. She resigned rather than face a transfer which she considers retaliatory because of her outspoken conduct criticizing the school administration. In true liberal style, she has blasted her grievances over YouTube.

She is frustrated because:

the "Curriculum is mandated. ... The classroom teacher is no longer trusted or in control of what, when, or how she teaches."

Sorry hon, it's not about you. You are part of one of the worst school systems in the country as regards results -- maybe a little less "Sally has two mommies" and a little more Thomas Jefferson is called for instead of your feelings. These kids have a short time to learn a lot of facts to arm themselves for a future in which you will not participate; you have no right to waste their time for your own pleasure.

Ms. Rubenstein says the school administration is out to get her; she longs for the days when she could fill these little minds with whatever she wanted, instead of:

"Raising students' test scores on standardized tests is now the only goal, and in order to achieve it the creativity, flexibility and spontaneity ... have been eliminated."

Kids seem to be spontaneously dropping out under her scheme. Without testing, how are parents supposed to know if children have learned the basics at such a critical time? Teachers have a new class every year -- the kids just have one chance. The orientation to standardized tests seems to be working out:

"CPS [Chicago Public Schools] says 63 percent of seniors are projected to graduate this year, which is up from 61 percent in 2012, 58 percent in the 2010 -- 2011 school year and 44 percent 10 years ago.... By comparison, New York City public schools report 70 percent of its students graduate within five years, according to the most recent data available." Ben Bradley, ABC News

They are bragging about 63 percent! Nonetheless, it's up over Ms. Rubenstein's halcyon days of 10 years ago when it was 44%. The graduation rate is up just like the crime rate in this once-fantastic city where mobs of youths are roaming the Miracle Mile, intimidating residents and tourists alike. ("12 Arrested After Youth 'Flash Mobs' Erupt On Michigan Avenue" CBS)

I recently saw a Jesse Waters' man-on-the-street interview with some American kids in New York's Central Park.  Jesse asked one fellow about Benghazi and he had no idea anything was going on involving this place of which he had clearly never heard. When asked if he knew where Libya was, the fellow was a bit offended and replied, "Sure -- it's in Egypt!" He looked like he was about high-school age, he's was probably getting plenty of creativity, spontaneity, and flexibility -- he just doesn't know much. Further, he's out of time to learn it.

Nonetheless, he's from a school system with a higher rate of graduation than the one whose halls Ms. Rubenstein was prowling.

With classic liberal displacement, Ms. Rubenstein says herself and her like-minded colleagues are "...at the forefront of speaking our minds and at the forefront of advocating for our students." So it's all about the kids, right? Not really. She goes on:

"I have experienced the depressing, gradual downfall and misdirection of education that has slowly eaten away at my love of teaching,"

and

"I have to get out before my sense of self and self-worth is completely obliterated."

In other words: me me me through ten minutes of whining. Good riddance.

Ellie Rubenstein, a teacher in Chicago, has had it. She resigned rather than face a transfer which she considers retaliatory because of her outspoken conduct criticizing the school administration. In true liberal style, she has blasted her grievances over YouTube.

She is frustrated because:

the "Curriculum is mandated. ... The classroom teacher is no longer trusted or in control of what, when, or how she teaches."

Sorry hon, it's not about you. You are part of one of the worst school systems in the country as regards results -- maybe a little less "Sally has two mommies" and a little more Thomas Jefferson is called for instead of your feelings. These kids have a short time to learn a lot of facts to arm themselves for a future in which you will not participate; you have no right to waste their time for your own pleasure.

Ms. Rubenstein says the school administration is out to get her; she longs for the days when she could fill these little minds with whatever she wanted, instead of:

"Raising students' test scores on standardized tests is now the only goal, and in order to achieve it the creativity, flexibility and spontaneity ... have been eliminated."

Kids seem to be spontaneously dropping out under her scheme. Without testing, how are parents supposed to know if children have learned the basics at such a critical time? Teachers have a new class every year -- the kids just have one chance. The orientation to standardized tests seems to be working out:

"CPS [Chicago Public Schools] says 63 percent of seniors are projected to graduate this year, which is up from 61 percent in 2012, 58 percent in the 2010 -- 2011 school year and 44 percent 10 years ago.... By comparison, New York City public schools report 70 percent of its students graduate within five years, according to the most recent data available." Ben Bradley, ABC News

They are bragging about 63 percent! Nonetheless, it's up over Ms. Rubenstein's halcyon days of 10 years ago when it was 44%. The graduation rate is up just like the crime rate in this once-fantastic city where mobs of youths are roaming the Miracle Mile, intimidating residents and tourists alike. ("12 Arrested After Youth 'Flash Mobs' Erupt On Michigan Avenue" CBS)

I recently saw a Jesse Waters' man-on-the-street interview with some American kids in New York's Central Park.  Jesse asked one fellow about Benghazi and he had no idea anything was going on involving this place of which he had clearly never heard. When asked if he knew where Libya was, the fellow was a bit offended and replied, "Sure -- it's in Egypt!" He looked like he was about high-school age, he's was probably getting plenty of creativity, spontaneity, and flexibility -- he just doesn't know much. Further, he's out of time to learn it.

Nonetheless, he's from a school system with a higher rate of graduation than the one whose halls Ms. Rubenstein was prowling.

With classic liberal displacement, Ms. Rubenstein says herself and her like-minded colleagues are "...at the forefront of speaking our minds and at the forefront of advocating for our students." So it's all about the kids, right? Not really. She goes on:

"I have experienced the depressing, gradual downfall and misdirection of education that has slowly eaten away at my love of teaching,"

and

"I have to get out before my sense of self and self-worth is completely obliterated."

In other words: me me me through ten minutes of whining. Good riddance.