"Not on the Test" by Tom Chapin. You have to watch this!

Click on the title of this post and listen to the song and watch the video by songwriter Tom Chapin called "Not on the Test" It really gets to the heart of the matter regarding the growing trend of "teaching to the test" and the return to rote education. It also serves to underscore the importance of integrating the arts into the curriculum. This is something that should be shared with policy makers, administrators, teachers, parents, and students alike.

Here are the lyrics:

Not On The Test
by John Forster & Tom Chapin
© 2008 Limousine Music Co. & The Last Music Co. (ASCAP)

Go on to sleep now, third grader of mine.
The test is tomorrow but you'll do just fine.
It's reading and math, forget all the rest.
You don't need to know what is not on the test.

Each box that you mark on each test that you take,
Remember your teachers, their jobs are at stake.
Your score is their score, but don't get all stressed.
They'd never teach anything not on the test.

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.

Sleep, sleep, and as you progress
You’ll learn there’s a lot that is not on the test.

Debate is a skill that is useful to know,
Unless you’re in Congress or talk radio,
Where shouting and spouting and spewing are blessed
'Cause rational discourse was not on the test.

Thinking's important. It's good to know how.
And someday you'll learn to but someday's not now.
Go on to sleep, now. You need your rest.
Don't think about thinking. It's not on the test.

Not On The Test
Sung by Tom Chapin
Written by John Forster & Tom Chapin
© 2008 Limousine Music Co. & The Last Music Co. (ASCAP)
Not on the Test video: Directed by Yuichi Hibi
Edited by Timothy Gregoire
Art Direction: Marie Christine Katz
Production Coordinator: Mary Croke


kirsti said…
I am not sure whether to laugh or cry when listening to this song.... as I begin to make schooling choices and teach college and write blogs about the arts and why they are important and then am faced with questions from a school district about what they should be preparing kids for - work or college = it all becomes a bit mindblowing..... so how to handle all the stuff that is not on the test, and instill it into our kids so that as we struggle with the education system, we also act to enable it by assuming such responsibilities for the arts and thinking and humane discourse within the home..... there is a strange double bind at work here....
Anonymous said…
Brings back memories of Harry Chapin's song "Flowers are Red, Young Man" Scary

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