'My Job Is Now About Tests and Data --- Not Children. I Quit'

Valerie Strauss, reporting for The Washington Post:

Susan Sluyter is a veteran teacher of young children in the Cambridge Public Schools who has been connected to the district for nearly 20 years and teaching for more than 25 years. Last month she sent a resignation letter ( “with deep love and a broken heart”) explaining that she could no longer align her understanding of how young children learn best in safe, developmentally appropriate environments with the testing and data collection mandates imposed on teachers today. [...] I asked her to explain exactly what had changed in preschool and kindergarten classes since she started teaching and she sent the following, which by any measure is disturbing. Following this is the complete text of her resignation letter. Do take a few minutes to read Sluyter's letter --- a depressing and sobering account of today's Kindergarten. The reality is that the push for academics in early childhood is not a movement rooted in the best interests of children. It's about money --- better performance by schools means more funding --- and the misguided view that children who learn earlier will do better later. In developmental terms, this couldn't be further from the truth. Administrators and pencil-pushing legislators are stifling a lot of growth by force-feeding worksheets and standardized testing down the throats of young children.