Following up on last week's post (A Very Public Resignation) Kris ("I Quit") Nielsen was kind enough to give some background to his decision to quit and the fallout since then:
Where did you post this first, and how did it find its way to Ravitch's blog?
KN: I initially gave the letter to Peggy Robertson of the United Opt Out National Movement (unitedoptout.com). She published it on her site and then sent copies to Diane Ravitch and Valerie Strauss.
Have you been on the mainstream media yet? TV, radio?
KN: It did appear in local newspapers and a short, poorly cut spot on WSOC-TV's evening news.
What's the reaction been locally, in your school or district?
KN: Locally, both in my district and across the state has overwhelming supportive, mostly from teachers and parents saying thank you for showing the public and the world how our system really is. I've had very few people chide me for the decision and for my words--mostly just of the "it's a job; get used to it" variety. I am a member of a large group of teachers and parents now more mobilized to make changes here. I've invited to speak at principal-education classes, and continue to received thank-you emails and letters.
When is your last day and what are you going to do next?
KN: My last day was the date of my letter: October 25. I'm planning to reactivate old healthcare certifications to make a living. However, I will never stop being an educator, I may return to the field full time, and I will continue to fight hard for the changes we need in this state and country. I believe that education is the best hope and investment to keep the United States moving forward in the unknown century ahead.
Have others written saying that they're inspired by you to quit?
KN: I've heard from a few teachers in different states that they were trying to find the words to express what they have feeling. They said they were happy I wrote my letter so they could pass it on in their own resignations. However, by and large, most teachers have simply felt more motivated to speak up and change the repressive systems in which they work.