Saturday, August 4, 2007

Ode to Standardized Testing

Back on New Year's Day, NPR's Morning Edition radio show featured a song called "Not on the Test", which is a powerful critique of the standardized testing obsession in our country's public schools. If you're like me and missed it on NPR, you can listen to it here.

Not On The Test

by John Forster & Tom Chapin

Go on to sleep now, third grader of mine.
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'd never teach anything not on the test.

The School Board is faced with No Child Left Behind
With rules but no funding, they're caught in a bind.
So music and art and the things you love best
Are not in your school 'cause they're 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.

(HT: Princess Mom over at "Help! My Kids are Smarter Than Me!")

1 comment:

The Princess Mom said...

Love your blog! Thanks for visiting mine!