Longtime West Springfield High teacher dies

Ron Maggiano, a longtime history teacher at West Springfield High School in Fairfax County, died Monday, according to a schools statement.

Maggiano taught in the social studies department at West Springfield for 19 years of his 33-year career. He announced that he decided to retire in 2013 after growing frustrated with high-stakes testing that had proliferated in schools in recent years.

“I can no longer cooperate with a testing regime that I believe is suffocating creativity and innovation in the classroom,” Maggiano told The Post’s Answer Sheet blog in 2013. “As a result of the obsessive emphasis on standardized test scores in FCPS and across the educational landscape, I have decided to retire at the end of the current academic year.”

Maggiano won the Disney Teacher Award for innovation and creativity in 2005 and won the American Historical Association’s Beveridge Family Teaching Prize in 2006.

A statement sent to West Springfield teachers Tuesday described Maggiano as “a beloved member of the WSHS Social Studies department.”

The statement continued: “Ron will be long remembered and sorely missed by his friends, colleagues and former students.”

Maggiano wrote to The Post in 2013 that the emphasis on testing in schools had diminished the quality of education in Fairfax. He wrote that his decision to retire in 2013 — four years before he was eligible for all of his benefits — would cost him in the long run. He left the job anyway, he wrote.

“We are not really educating our students anymore,” Maggiano wrote. “We are merely teaching them to pass a test. This is wrong. Period.”

T. Rees Shapiro is an education reporter.

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