If you think it is okay to cut the arts and make more time for test prep, watch this and this.
It could change your mind.
It could change your life.
And make sure that everyone has the chance to sing and dance!
See this video. I mistakenly put in the same one twice: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MDPlHjahw04
We need flash mob dances at the next State BOE meeting throughout the country to the song “Take this job and shove it”.
Ah, this is JOY! Carried to me via data, but it certainly isn’t data! What a contrast to the meat grinder that is testing.
The superintendent in my community rationalized reducing art & music for my children’s elementary school by saying the students need more seat time in ELA & math to improve test scores. Yet another reason I will continue to fight high-stakes testing and school budget cuts.
Fight for joy!
Reminds me of a couple summers ago when I brought a PhD colleague from another culture to see Beethoven’s 9th for the first time at a free concert in the park. She was truly overJOYed! It’s never too late to be turned on to the classics. (Am I the only one who found the same video on both links?)
The eyes of the children and the expressions on the faces of all. Loved this.
That was wonderful!
I mistakenly posted the same video twice. See this one. It is great!
Yeah, okay. But can they pass a standardized test?
Who are these politicians, reformers, so called experts, and carpetbaggers who are selling crap to this nation? Have we really elected such a bunch of idiots that they are unable to bubble in their own answers on this test of public schools? Are so many the products of private schools and gate neighborhoods that the idea of community is alien to them? These videos are wonderful but it makes me want to cry when I think of the brilliant, creative, curious children and the intelligent, insightful and dedicated educators in American public schools being treated like pawns in some corporate end game being played to win the prize money at all costs! This is an unethical and immoral game, but not illegal. When did illegal become the only reason corporations even hesitate to consider their actions? When did respect for public schools disappear? This all reminds me of a line from Karen Walker’s book “The Age of Miracles”, “”We didn’t notice right away. We couldn’t feel it.”
Now that we see all this happening, it HAS to be stopped before our students move into a world of for profit education that may only mimic public schools and we are unable to get them back. There are plenty of serious problems with education but educators, students and parents need to be the ones leading the fight to fix them. Teachers are so busy trying to keep up with all the regulations, testing, state and federal laws, observations, duty assignments, classroom diversity and the myriad other things we do that few had time to really pay attention or take action in what slowly expanded in to the current mess. The communication from the federal level to the state to the parish to the actual educators was like playing telephone. The messages were so distorted and garbled that after awhile most just stopped trying to get answers and thus stopped listening. Your blog Diane is the communication we needed and will enable us to stay connected. What a powerful tool for teachers and all interested in working to provide our students with the best education possible! I share with teachers all over our state.
Thank you! I know that amongst the stories of the pillaging of the public schools I can always find hope and today I found a reason to smile while watching the orchestral flash mob!
I understand exactly what you are saying and I often ask myself the same questions. Who are these people? Who gave them permission to take over public education and rearrange everyone’s lives? We know that they are not helping children. Children just seem to be their pawns, a prop they bring out from time to time.
Keep spreading the word. Nothing will change until we ignite a popular resistance to bad ideas and harmful policies.
I am in my 60′s and a graduate of NYC public schools, taught in those schools and now teach in CT. The video brought the memory of myself, I learned how to read music and play the violin in a Jackson Heights junior high school with Dr. Horowitz one of the many truly dedicated teachers that I was so lucky to have as teachers.
How about this reminder of what and who we are fighting for?
Chester Children’s Chorus lets kids’ voices – and hopes- soar
from the Philadelphia Inquirer
In the summer of 1997, as a young reporter scouring the suburbs for stories, I landed on the Sunday front page with a 1,000-word ode to a Swarthmore College professor’s belief that kids growing up in the ugliest of places could make the most beautiful music.
Videos like this one remind me why I loved teaching.
“Diane says: I understand exactly what you are saying and I often ask myself the same questions. Who are these people? Who gave them permission to take over public education and rearrange everyone’s lives?”
I believe that the answer to your second question is, unfortunately, that we did. We failed to pay attention right at the start. We failed to take them seriously. We failed to stand up, step out, and speak up for what we knew was right and good and true. We allowed them to catch us slightly off guard, to play upon our progressive guilt for the childhood poverty that we see all around us every day in our public schools, to take our good will and commitment and turn them upside down. We allowed them to misrepresent our colleagues, our collective purpose, and our expertise. Every time that it worked just a bit, they were emboldened and empowered. We remained quiet and subdued just long enough for them to gain a toehold that eventually allowed them to vault over the history and legacy of public education. We were slow to realize that we were really under attack, overwhelmed, and outspent.
Remember SCUD missles. This was a series of FUD missles.
BUT,… we have come to our senses, we have recovered our voices, we have gotten our acts together, and we are on our way to recovery. I believe that we will prevail. Eventually.
“. . . we did”
No, I didn’t. I’ve been fighting this madness for 15 years, and have a file full of disciplinary letters to show for it, not to mention being railroaded out of one district. There have been a few “voices in the wilderness” out there, and if they were public school teachers, they too have a file full of letters, have moved on or have learned to “fly under the radar” so that they may live and survive, close their class doors and do what they love to do most and that is work with the students.
That was supposed to be a reply to “Frederika”
Fredrika and Duane,
I think you are both correct. We did this to ourselves and that included NOT sticking up for the teachers who dared to point out the problems, who offered thinking outside the box and who were different in their perspectives and approaches; which were labeled “wrong” and teachers like Duane were punished or shunned or harassed instead of admired and valued.
I have plenty of those same letters, closed door meetings by invitation with the principal etc. and there are days I wish I could just not care and be happy and a “yes” teachers like so many others.
Teachers need/must/should stick up for each other; be each others backup and each others mentors and share all the info we each have because collectively we have the strength to do so.
I had a chance, years ago, to meet and speak briefly with a woman who was an women’s rights advocate in Indonesia. She was working to get totalitarian and oppressive laws changed and I told her I had to ask a question that may be very ignorant about her situation but I had always wondered why, with such enormous numbers of women in this situation, that women didn’t just revolt en masse? Her reply was very simple, “Because we didn’t know we could. We didn’t realize that what we feared and experienced individually we didn’t have to fear as a whole. However, becoming one voice is still a work in progress.”
Her response keeps coming to mind lately.
“I wish I could just not care and be happy and a “yes” teachers like so many others.”
Boy do I know that feeling, thanks for pointing it out! It’s just that some of us don’t know when to stop asking “Why?” or stop requesting “Prove what you’re saying is true”. My mom did her best to break me of those characteristics “but her pleading I denied, leaving only me to blame but mama tried, mama tried”.**
I’d say you’re probably qualified to be a Mr Teachbad certified “difficult teacher”.
**apologies to M. Haggard.
“We didn’t realize that what we feared and experienced individually we didn’t have to fear as a whole.”
How inspiring! Thank you for the reminder that teachers are, or can be, on the same team.
Love it! I teach at the “failing” public school my son attended as a K-5 student.
Many years ago the reading teacher came into my classroom and said: “I just came out of Ms. Jan’s (second grade) room, the children are working quietly, the lights are dimmed, and your son is playing the piano with a lit candle on top.” What a wonderful image! Good thing Ms. Jan was teaching back in the early 1990s, today she would be in trouble.
Now my son is a graduate student in conducting at UC Santa Cruz with an interest in opera (unbelievably UCSC has a full opera program). Hooray for public schools, public universities and Ms. Jan!
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