The day the music died . . .
Learning takes many forms--knowledge gained from books, being in touch with nature, learning about history and culture--both our own and that of others, real life survival skills, creating things of beauty, both visual and aural. The list goes on.
We are killing learning. The narrowing of school curricula and the pressures to perform on standardized tests are ruining public education. The joy is gone for many students. All that matters these days is reading and math. Period. The sad thing is that we teachers, the ones who actually work with the kids, know this is harmful to kids. No one in charge listens. We are getting ready for MSA (Maryland School Achievement) testing at my school. Normal learning has come to a grinding halt for a month. Special teachers are pulled for testing accommodations and students are engaged in two weeks of practice tests followed by two weeks of testing.
As a result, I had to cancel my choral rehearsals for a month so that my students could engage in testing and all that is involved with it. Some of my students really need to be in music and art. It is their reason for survival. I know if I were not given the opportunity to sing for a month, my soul would wither and die.
Tom Chapin said it best:
"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."
To hear the song go here.
It's good for a chuckle--except it really isn't funny.
Politicians need to stay out of our classrooms.
For more political photos, visit the Self Portrait Challenge.