Mr. Briggs has good things to say. The letter itself is the same sad story. Here’s a snippet:
To pursue this calling, I worked hard to earn the title of “classroom teacher,” but I became quickly disillusioned when my title of teacher did not in any way reflect my actual job. I realized that I am not permitted to really teach students anything. When I was in middle school, I studied Shakespeare, Chaucer, Poe, Twain, O. Henry, the founding fathers, if you will, of modern literary culture. Now, I was called to drag them through shallow activities that measured meaningless but “measurable” objectives.
If the purpose and end of schooling was learning, is it not unimaginable that such a state would prevail? We can see what kind of teacher gives up – it is terrible to contemplate the kind of teacher who survives, thrives, even, in such an environment.
One of the sad, if ironic, things about teachers: they are every bit as much selected, groomed and standardized by schooling as the kids are. Schooling is intended to destroy them every bit as much as it is intended to destroy any real learning in the kids.