Friday, January 05, 2007

No Child Left Behind--as sung by Tom Chapin

I decided to do a little internet search on NCLB and see what I could find in terms of solid data. There are some things out there to sort through but it is the absence of solid data that is one of the main objections to the law. Of course there is a white house statement praising NCLB and some educators condemning it. I'll list a couple of links here but I definitely haven't done enough research to guide your surfing.
1. No Teachers Left Behind (has some great cartoons).
2. Schools Matter
3. The Forum for Education and Democracy

One gem I found that is definitely not data-driven, is this wonderful lullaby by Tom Chapin and John Forster aired on NPR on January 4. (I found the link to this song on innerworkings. Here is the link to the actual song, but I thought I'd transcribe some of the lyrics as I feel they are truly inspired.
So here is the song entitled "It's Not on the Test"
Go on to sleep now
_____________________(I couldn't figure out the lyrics here)
The test is tomorrow
But you'll do just fine
It's reading and math
Forget all the rest.
You don't need to know
What is not on the test.

Each box that you mark on
Each test that you take
Remember your teachers
Their jobs are at stake
Your score is their score
But don't get all stressed
They never teach anything
Not on the test.

Sleep, sleep and as you progress
You'll learn there's a lot
That is not on the test.
Debate is a skill that is useful to know.
Unless you're in Congress or talk radio.
Where shouting and spouting and spewing are blessed.
Cause rational discourse was not on the test.

Thinking's important
It's good to know how
And someday you'll learn to
But someday's not now
Go on to sleep now
You need your rest.
Don't think about thinking
It's not on the test.

The song is pretty good and worth a listen. And drop me a note if you can figure out the first line.
As a final note, I am against NCLB, not teachers. I know they are victims of this irresponsible system just as much as the kids are.


Attila The Mom said...

It's "Go on to sleep now, third grader of mine".


The Wizened Wizard said...

Hey! NCPR is my local radio station! Listen live on Mondays 3 - 4:45 for Jackie's great music program; same time on Wednesday's for The Radio Bob Rhythm & Blues show - he rocks!

Love the Tom Chapin song. NCLB is another one of those meaningless catch-phrases politicians love and many voters are dumb enough to believe.

When, oh when, will people become informed about the real issues?

Anonymous said...

One source - data driven that you might find of interest is W. James Popham's book "Classroom Assessment - What Teachers Need to Know" 5th Edition. The last chapter 15 addressed High Stakes Tests - Achievement tests. There are three types and only one has a distinct possiblity of providign teacher evaluation data and at best that is even a reach. These tests are not cut out do evaluate and should not be used for that. Parents and Board members need to be educated about testing as do even some teachers so that changes can be made!