Westhill teacherâ??s retirement letter creates a stir

A Westhill teacher's retirement letter is creating a stir throughout the district.

Gerald "Jerry" Conti is stepping down from teaching after more than 27 years of educating students. The message he sends in a letter to the district is resonating with both fellow teachers and parents in the district.

In the letter, Conti says teaching has been "so much more than a mere job, it has truly been my life." He is dismayed by what has become of the education system, saying he has spent his career working hard, researching and never feeling satisfied that he knew enough on any topic. "I now find that this approach to my profession is not only devalued but denigrated and perhaps, in some quarters despised."

Conti says there is a long list of failures that have brought us to this moment. He says lawmakers have failed us in their pursuit of federal tax dollars, turning education into a system of testing and evaluations. "The development of plans, choice of lessons and the materials to be employed are increasingly expected to be common to all teachers in a given subject. This approach not only strangles creativity, it smothers the development of critical thinking in our students and assumes a one-size-fits-all mentality more appropriate to the assembly line than to the classroom."

Read Conti's letter by clicking here.

Gregory McCrea, Westhill teacher and President of the Westhill District Education Association, talks about this in the Talk Tonight on NBC3.