DC
05/29/2013 04:00 pm ET

Ron Maggiano, Virginia Teacher, Retires Over 'Testing Regime' That's 'Suffocating Creativity'

Ron Maggiano is among several teachers leaving the profession due to what they feel is an overemphasis on standardized testing.

Earlier this month, Maggiano, who has been teaching for more than 30 years, announced his retirement on Facebook. A history teacher at West Springfield High School in Virginia, Maggiano won the American Historical Association’s Beveridge Family Teaching Prize for outstanding K-12 teaching in 2006 and the Disney Teacher Award for innovation and creativity in 2005, the Washington Post reports.

Maggiano told the school’s student newspaper, The Oracle, that he was retiring in part because of the new significance placed on high-stakes testing. Maggiano told the outlet last week that he felt the education system’s obsession with testing stifled real learning and creativity.

“When I started teaching, the worst thing a teacher could do is teach to the test. Now, all we are doing is teaching to the test. From the first day of school to the final exam, that’s all we are doing,” Maggiano told the paper.

Maggiano told the outlet that he would rather retire than be part of the education system as it stands.

“I don’t think I’m leaving the education system. I think the education system left me,” Maggiano added.

Maggiano’s decision to leave the school system comes just four years before he would be eligible for full retirement benefits, he told the Washington Post. Because of this, he said his decision “was not made lightly."

Furthermore, Maggiano told the outlet he could “no longer cooperate with a testing regime that I believe is suffocating creativity and innovation in the classroom.”

Maggiano’s decision to retire came just before an Illinois school teacher resigned from her job in a YouTube video last week after experiencing what she called the “gradual downfall” of teaching.

"Raising students' test scores on standardized tests is now the only goal, and in order to achieve it the creativity, flexibility and spontaneity that create authentic learning environments have been eliminated," Ellie Rubenstein said. "Everything I love about teaching is extinct."

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