RYE, N.Y. - Osborn School Principal Clarita Zeppie announced in a letter to schools Superintendent Ed Shine and the Osborn School staff that she would be retiring as principal at the end of the 2011-12 school year.
For most people, retirement signals an exit from the spotlight, but for Zeppie it's the exact opposite.
"It was a difficult decision because I really do love what I do, and I do love Osborn," Zeppie said. "But the actual reason I'm retiring is because I'm very disappointed in the direction of education, and I want to dedicate myself to fighting education reform."
Zeppie said Gov. Andrew Cuomo's recent implementation of standardized testing reviews is unhealthy and wrong.
"I don’t believe in stressing kids out so that they have no childhood," Zeppie said. "Sooner or later it will trickle down and lead to more suicides in children."
According to Zeppie, the increased emphasis on standardized testing for third, fourth, and fifth graders has forced the Osborn School to cut interesting and valuable programs.
"These children are going from nursery school to a rigorous academic program that allows for no growth," Zeppie said. "It's taking away the main purpose of education, which is learning."
Zeppie has been in touch with several advocacy groups around the country but has a special interest in getting involved with the advocacy campaign for "the Race to Nowhere", a film that attempts to expose the "silent epidemic in our schools."
According to Zeppie, there has been a large outpouring of community support for her decision.
"I have support from parents, from all of the teachers, and many of my colleagues who are administrators," Zeppie said. "Many people agree with me, but unfortunately many do not have the luxury to retire and pursue what they think is right, but ill be carrying the word for them."