Teachers in Albany, New York, are rallying today against what the organizers call “the madness” of corporate-influenced school reform that is based on high-stakes standardized tests and that many say has demonized teachers. It is the latest in a series of rallies and protests of one kind or another in a growing backlash nationwide against education and student/educator evaluation based on on how well students do on standardized tests.
Jeremy Dudley — a.k.a. “Origin” — is a teacher and instructional technologist for the City School District of Albany and a member of the Albany Public School Teachers Association who wrote and performed the following rap song about reform. He raps about unfunded mandates, the Common Core State Standards and more. Listen to it, and/or read the transcript after the video. You can follow him www.facebook.com/dudleyteaches or www.originalrap.com. You can also find him on Twitter at @dudleyteaches #stopthismadness.
Attention ladies and gentlemen, there’s currently a battle going on in public schools across this nation between those in the business of education, those that legislate education, and those of us who agree that those political agendas and business schemes have no place in classrooms. Let the teachers teach, and stop this madness.
Don’t take it light,
Cause what they’re doing’s not right,
It’s time to join in the fight,
Come on, Stop This Madness!
It’s time that we act,
No more sitting back,
We’ve got to make an impact,
Come on, Stop This Madness!
It’s time to speak out,
no question or doubt,
If you’re with me then shout,
Stop This Madness!
We’re holdin’ our ground,
this needs to change now,
so if you’re down w/ the sound
Stop this Madness!
I am a frontline passionate true student advocate,
dedicated educator that’s not having this
habit w/ the testing turning states into some addicts quick,
resulting in a system growing more and more inadequate
out of touch and out of tune we under teach and over test,
while cutting funding in the very places that we should invest,
everyone including kids can’t help from feeling over stressed,
So tell us how and why with kids in mind this system is what’s best,
Through various methods they’re squeezing the schools,
from unfunded mandates to tax cap rules,
And if we walk along the money trail,
There’s profit to be made when we perceive that schools fail,
Ed reform is not philanthropy,
If it’s not about what’s best for kids how can it be?
they tried divide and conquer with the union vs community,
we’re both saying stop this madness now in unity.
They’re testing our kids to say the teacher’s to blame,
It’s more about that than the kids despite what they claim,
This system is so flawed, it’s drowning in troubles,
thinking outside the box is now thinking in bubbles,
And thinking in bubbles limits artistic creation
Are we standardizing tests, or a whole generation,
And who owns the rights to this data collection,
And why is it right to make that selection,
Why are politicians who don’t know education,
not putting kids first with their legislation,
Their stifling learning with this testing obsession,
Our kids deserve better absolutely, no question,
And now we’re rushing to the Common Core,
With a warning to expect our kids to get a lower score,
So to the kids everywhere, let us remind you,
the tests are just that, they don’t define you