Illinois teacher calls it quits


by David Safier

Fourth grade teacher Ellie Rubinstein decided to quit rather than take an involuntary transfer. She made a 10 minute video describing her reasons. What's interesting is that she left a career in advertising and public relations to become a teacher at age 45 "to do something meaningful with my life." She describes loving teaching but becoming increasingly discouraged by the regimen of standardization and testing.

You can tell from the video Rubinstein is one of those "difficult" teachers who fights for what she thinks is best for her students, which likely got her into squabbles with her administration. I can relate — I was often one of those "difficult" teachers — but I also remember when I got into those battles, the best administrators would listen to me, sometimes argue with me, sometimes bend to what I wanted and sometimes not, but they understood that this is a healthy part of professional-to-professional dialogue. These days, it's getting harder even for good adminstrators to be flexible when they're faced with inflexible demands from above.

You can watch the video below the fold.



  1. Education in the public sphere can and does work for low income students. The public is being fed distortions, lies, and half-truths about the success of American public education in general. The corporate reformy movement has the money to gain access to the media. Educators, not so much.

  2. All of these inflexible demands gain power from what the man on the street beliefs to be true and good public policy in education but in fact, is not true. But, when 75% of the public believes in a specific policy – they get what they want.

    It raises a serious question as to whether educationin the public sphere can ever succeed for low income students.