Federal A Washington Roundup

‘No Child’ Critique Is Music to Their Ears

By Catherine Gewertz — May 10, 2005 1 min read

Politicians forged the federal No Child Left Behind Act. Wonks have studied it. Educators have debated it. But it hasn’t been something to sing about.

Until recently.

A group of folk singers, teachers, and students has produced a compact disc, “No Child Left Behind? Bring Back the Joy.”

In 15 tracks on the disc, the singers rail against standardized testing and offer a vision of schooling where children learn in the style that suits them best.

In one song, a Milwaukee middle school girl belts out a bluesy tune about tests wasting children’s minds. In another, set to the tune of Woody Guthrie’s “This Land Is Your Land,” singers proclaim: “These schools are your schools, these schools are our schools / No politicians rewriting our rules / No bubble test sheets or unfair standards / These schools were made for you and me.”

Eldon “Cap” Lee, a retired Milwaukee alternative-school principal and one of the organizers of the CD project, said the No Child Left Behind law is well-intentioned, but its focus is misplaced.

“We shouldn’t go back to letting kids slide through without learning anything,” he said. “But the way they’re using standardized testing is too punitive.”

The CD, released last September, hasn’t cracked the Billboard charts: it’s sold 620 copies nationwide.

But Mr. Lee has come out of retirement. He’s now singing in a new group called the Dangerous Folk trio.

Events

This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Recruitment & Retention Webinar
Recruiting and Retaining a More Diverse Teaching Workforce
We discuss the importance of workforce diversity and learn strategies to recruit and retain teachers from diverse backgrounds.
Content provided by EdWeek Top School Jobs
Student Well-Being Webinar Boosting Teacher and Student Motivation During the Pandemic: What It Takes
Join Alyson Klein and her expert guests for practical tips and discussion on how to keep students and teachers motivated as the pandemic drags on.
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Student Well-Being Webinar
A Holistic Approach to Social-Emotional Learning
Register to learn about the components and benefits of holistically implemented SEL.
Content provided by Committee for Children

EdWeek Top School Jobs

Customer Support Specialist, Tier 1
Portland, OR, US
Northwest Evaluation Association
Customer Support Specialist, Tier 1
Portland, OR, US
Northwest Evaluation Association
Customer Support Specialist, Tier 1
Portland, OR, US
Northwest Evaluation Association
Principal
Meredith, New Hampshire
Inter-Lakes School District

Read Next

Federal Congress Again Tries to Pass Eagles Act, Focused on School Shootings After Parkland
A group of bipartisan Congressional lawmakers is once again trying to get a law passed aimed at preventing school violence.
Devoun Cetoute & Carli Teproff
2 min read
Suzanne Devine Clark, an art teacher at Deerfield Beach Elementary School, places painted stones at a memorial outside Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School on Feb. 14, 2019 during the first anniversary of the school shooting in Parkland, Fla.
Suzanne Devine Clark, an art teacher at Deerfield Beach Elementary School, places painted stones at a memorial outside Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School on Feb. 14, 2019 during the first anniversary of the school shooting in Parkland, Fla.
Wilfredo Lee/AP
Federal Some Districts Extend Paid Leave Policies as They Hope for Passage of Biden Relief Plan
With federal provisions having expired, some school employees have had to dip into their own banks of leave for COVID-19 purposes.
5 min read
Linda Davila-Macal, a seventh grade reading teacher at BL Garza Middle School in Edinburg, Texas, works from her virtual classroom at her home on Aug. 31, 2020.
A teacher leads a virtual classroom from her home.
Delcia Lopez/The Monitor via AP
Federal President Biden Is Walking a 'Careful Tightrope' When It Comes to School Reopenings
CDC guidance and confusion over his rhetoric turn up the pressure, and could overshadow progress in schools and nuanced public opinion.
9 min read
President Joe Biden answers questions during a televised town hall event at Pabst Theater in Milwaukee on Feb. 16, 2021.
President Joe Biden answers questions during a televised town hall event in Milwaukee earlier this month.
Evan Vucci/AP
Federal White House Unveils New Money to Aid COVID-19 Testing in Schools, But Says More Is Needed
Federal agencies will use $650 million to expand testing in schools and "underserved communities" such as homeless shelters.
2 min read
Image of a coronavirus test swab.
The White House announced new money to help schools test students and staff for COVID-19, but it said more aid is necessary to scale up those efforts.
E+