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AFT Blog Response to CD "Leave No Child Behind? Bring Back the Joy"

Ohanian Comment: The AFT blob thinks our CD songs are "bleak." I think they are, variously, fun, dramatic, rousing, poignant, and inspiring. She thinks my song "Test the Kids" is grim. Funny thing: every time I've handed out the words and invited the audience to join in, people have laughed as they clapped, stomped, and sang along. There is great variety in the song mix on the CD, and I say without reservation that a couple of the songs are beautiful. You can listen for yourself.

Maybe some of you who have heard the CD will want to tell the AFT blog what you think--at the url below.

Question: Why does the AFT blog carefully refrain from mentioning how teachers feel about NCLB? Isn't this the American Federation of Teachers?

Michele's Response to "Smart Testing"

The anti-testing sentiment is evident on the CD, No Child Left Behind: Bring Back the Joy, which I listened to with my 13-month old son over the weekend. I ordered it from Susan Ohanian's Web site, described as "information and inspiration on high-stakes standards and testing resistance."

The site also provides a running critique of the law, including "NCLB Outrages" and "NCLB in Your Face." Ohanian, a public school teacher, has even written songs for the CD, including the grim "Test the Kids" set to the tune of "If You're Happy and You Know It."

The songs on this CD are certainly bleak- they sound like what you might hear at The Dubliner close to last call. (My son kept trying to turn off the CD -OK, to be fair, he likes to push all the buttons on the CD player.) But do they reflect the feelings of teachers and parents about the law? The most recent Phi Delta Kappa/Gallup Poll shows that public school parents are actually divided over whether there is too much testing in our schools.

And what do they think about NCLB? Fifty-four percent of public school parents report knowing very little or nothing at all about the law. But, the more they know about it, the less they like it.

— Michele
AFT Blog


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