More Than A Number: Songs for Sane Schools

by Barry Lane

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    This CD version has only the original nine songs and not the 4 bonus tracks from the digital album. Missing are the karaoke numbers, Tiny Bubbles, Stand by Your Plan, My Way for Teachers, and Wasting Away in Basal Readerville. The good news is that you can download them here when you buy the CD.

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about

9 Songs for Sane Schools. The current educational reform movement has left out the voices of teachers . These songs seek to define this problem and show the path forward.

In true bandcamp spirit please pay what these songs are worth to you and what you can afford. I would rather give away the album for 1 dollar than have you not get the songs to use with others. As Pete Seeger says, "Songs unite people in a common purpose." Songs are the heart of any movement of democratic change.

credits

released May 12, 2013

Thanks to Amy Ludwig VanDerwater for writing the words to the title song, More Than a Number and Paul Hankins for his Superficialunrealisticrigorisatrocious.

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about

Barry Lane Vermont

I write songs about kindness for children and songs about hope and justice for adults.

I love Pete Seeger, and believe, as he did, that a single song can help change the world by uniting hearts and minds.


We are the mixed fruit of one tree,

Live in peace and unity.

Forget the old
embrace the new,

Less me, me, me,
more

You, you, you.

For now is the New Day.
... more

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Track Name: More Than a Number
More than a Number

I am quiet in the classroom.
I don’t always raise my hand.
I don’t always answer questions.
I don’t always understand.
But I always have ideas
when I stare up at the sky.
My sister likes to tease me
for always asking, “Why?”


I am more than a number.
I am more than a grade.
I know the constellations.
Here’s a painting I made.
I read books in my closet.
I will not be a ‘2’.
I am more than a number.
I’m a person just like you.


I speak one language here
and another in my home.
I daydream in both languages
whenever I’m alone.
I’m good at climbing trees
Moms teaching me to sew.
I am full of secrets
a test can never know.

I am more than a number.
Watch me fold this plane.
I snuggle with my beagle.
There’s music in my brain.
Someday I’ll go to Egypt.
I will never be a ‘2’.
I am more than a number.
I’m a person just like you.


If you think I can be measured
by numbers on a screen…
...if my whole school becomes a test
where will I learn to dream?
I love to do hard problems.
I write stories, and I laugh.
My gifts are so much greater
than the data on your graph.


I’m more than a number.
I invent things when I play.
I collect shells and fossils.
Please listen when I say
I will not be a ‘1’--
a ‘2’, a ‘3’, or a ‘4’.
I am me. I’m a mystery.
I’m a child – not a score.
Track Name: Why Johnny Can't Stay in School
When Johnny Drops out of School

When Johnny drops out of school again
we’ll know, we’ll know.

When Johnny drops out of school again
we’ll know, we’ll know.

He didn’t learn to be engaged,
but answered the questions
on every page,

‘cause its drill kill ,
bubble fill,
till Johnny drops out of school,


The education reformers
they know, they know,
that learning must be monitored,
for show, for show.

So they make a test
for everyday
and ignore research of
Jean Piaget

then its drill kill , bubble fill
till Johnny drops out of school

The publishing conglomerates,
they know they know,
products sold to failing schools
make dough, make dough!

So they make the tests
to help them fail,
then create programs
to close the sale.,

then its drill kill bubble fill,
till Johnny drops out of schools

The school Superintendents
they know, they know,
all the things that bubble tests
don’t show, don’t show,

So they study a book by Daniel Pink
and worry that students
don’t know how to think,

then they drill kill, bubble fill,
till Johnny drops out of school.

The governmental leaders they
don’t know, don’t know
Learning is a joyful seed
we sow, we sow,

So they measure teachers by a test
and make fearful schools
that have no rest,

then they drill kill bubble fill,
till Johnny drops out of school.

When lobbyists write policy
Who rules, who rules?
the companies who want to own
our Schools, our Schools!

So they make a new law we can’t ignore
and watch their corporate profits soar.

and its drill kill bubble fill,
till Johnny drops out of school

When will the parents take a stand
to show , to show,
our children are not specimens
to grow, to grow.

If we want our schools
to be the best
we must not
let them teach to tests,

and do drill kill bubble fill
till Johnny drops out of school.


When Johnny drops out of school again
we’ll know, we’ll know

It isn’t the public schools who are
our foes , our foes!
If we want to save democracy,
we must speak truth to powers that be,

and not drill kill ,bubble fill,
till Johnny drops out of school.


and not drill kill ,bubble fill,
till Johnny drops out of school.


and not drill kill ,bubble fill,
till Johnny drops out of school.









Music: anonymous
words copyright Barry Lane 2012
Track Name: Save Our Schools Hallelujah
I heard there was a secret school,
where teachers make up all the rules,
but you don't really care for teachers do ya?

It runs quite well without a bell,
no one is late,
no one can tell,
and nothing left to sell but,

Hallelujah, hallelujah,
hallelujah,Hallelujah.

Your faith was strong,
but you needed rest,
but then they gave you one more test,
Their madness and their mandates overthrew ya.

They tied you to a scoring guide,
you lost all hope,
you lost all pride,
but somewhere deep inside was

Hallelujah, hallelujah,
hallelujah,Hallelujah.

Baby you've been here before.
You've taught this class,
You've closed that door.
You used to teach alone
before I knew ya .

Together we'll tear down these walls,
raise up a school of golden halls,
where children's learning all is,

Hallelujah, Hallelujah,
Hallelujah,Hallelujah.

Hallelujah, hallelujah,
hallelujah,Hallelujah.
Track Name: Superficialunrealisticrigorisatrocious
Superficialunrealisticrigorisattrocious
yet so many education reformers propose this.
if you drill them hard enough they'll stay upon their toes-es, Superficialunrealisticrigorisattrocious.

Rigged, rigor, rigor, rigor,
Rigged, rigor, rigor, rigor,
Rigged, rigor, rigor, rigor,
Rigorrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr

We shouldn't be afraid to speak
when policies seem bad.
We have the best democracy
the world has ever had.
Why do they keep on scolding us
on how we run our class.
Take those mandates and those tests annnnnddddd.........

Help us stay on Task Oh,

Superficialunrealisticrigorisattrocious
What qualifies you to be the education Moses.
Testing is not teaching,
we don't buy the mass hypnosis.
Superficialunrealisticrigorisattrocious

Rigged, rigor, rigor, rigor,
Rigged, rigor, rigor, rigor,
Rigged, rigor, rigor, rigor,
Rigorrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr

We knew this child named Billy,
his life had not been kind.
He was a child destined to be left
far, far, far behind.

A caring teacher came one day
and reached this little boy.
Now reading, writing 'rithmetic,
is this lads pride and joy ohhhh,

Super teachers always know connection is where hope is,
Let them guide their classrooms with a student centered focus.
Please untie their hands and lose this data hocus locus.
Super teachers always know connection is where hope is.

Real rigor, rigor rigor,
Real rigor, rigor, rigor
Real rigor, rigor , rigor
Rigorrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr

Super teachers always know connection is where hope is.
Super teachers always know connection is where hope is.

if you're feeling sad we hope this song will help you cope with...
Superficialunrealisticrigorisattrocious!
Track Name: I Write the Tests, I Write the Tests
I Write the Tests, I Write the Tests

(Barry Manilow, Barry Lane, Carol-lee Lane, Amy Ludwig Van Derwater)

I write the tests that make the whole world fail,
if you don’t pass we’ll put your school up for sale.
I write the tests that make the whole world see
our corporatized reality

We stack the data just to monetize,
kids education, so it’s no surprise,
your school is failing and must privatize,
and our stock begins to rise.

I write the tests that really stunt our schools,
don’t think or write or ask, just follow the rules.
Forget the arts and curiosity,
No need for a democracy.

I write the tests and there’s no time for play,
you will sit down and you will do what I say.
For half the year it will be judgment day.
Just watch your childhood melt away.

I write the tests that keep the status quo.
Buy them today. Watch our economy grow

Don’t tell the emperor he has no clothes,
just keep your students on their toes.

Don’t tell the emperor he has no clothes,
just keep your students on their toes.
Track Name: None of the Above
None of the Above
by Barry and Carol-lee lane


For Peggy Robertson


One Teacher
who changed the world
www.unitedoptout.com


I got to school on Monday
and we took a benchmark test.
Two answers were stupid
Two could be the best

When I went to pick the right one
it wasn't on the sheet
I could feel it in my heart
as it pounded a new beat

It cried,
None of the above
None of the above
Real education is an act of love
Children are not robots,
Teachers are not fools,
Bring respect and dignity
back into our schools


It started back in WW I
with a guy named Bobby Yerkes
We needed better officers
to help us fight the Turks
So he made a little test to see
who’s smart and who is dumb
and today it teaches children
that their classroom is not fun

So we say

None of the above
None of the above
Real education is an act of love
Children are not robots,
Teachers are not fools,
Bring respect and dignity
back into our schools


John Watson knew a baby
named little Albert B.
and taught him how to be
scared of a big furry bunny

It ‘s fear that drives their learning
the frowning doctor sighed,
and children are like Pavlov’s dog
don’t hug them when they cry

But we say

None of the above
None of the above
Real education is an act of love
Children are not robots,
Teachers are not fools,
Bring respect and dignity
back into our schools



Fred Taylor ran a factory
and watched the working man
He made production faster
and efficiency began
scientific management
seemed to be heaven sent
now children are just products
and teachers Implements

But we say,

None of the above
None of the above
Real education is an act of love
Children are not robots,
Teachers are not fools,
Bring respect and dignity
back into our schools


We ought to measure kindness,
We ought to measure love,
Learning needs a safe heart
Facts alone are not enough.
Children need connection
and creativity
No Program can take the place of
what a teacher sees.

So we say..


None of the above
None of the above
Real education is an act of love
Children are not robots,
Teachers are not fools,
Bring respect and dignity
back into our schools


None of the above
None of the above
Real education is an act of love
Teachers are not robots,
Children are not fools,
Bring respect and dignity
back into our schools



Bring respect and dignity
back into our schools.
Track Name: Little Programs
Little Programs

Little programs in the classroom
Little programs made of ticky tacky
Little programs in the classroom
Little programs all the same
There red one and a green one
And a blue one and a yellow one
And there all made out of Ticky tacky
And they all teach just the same.

Then the teachers from the classroom
Go to the inservice day where they learn
To teach the program and they learn to teach the same
There’s no thinking,there’s no dreaming, theres no using imagination
And they all teach ticky tacky
And they all teach just the same.

Then the student from the classroom
Follow fill in bubbles on the work sheets
And they answers all the questions
To recive a passing grade
There’s no thinking, theres no dreaming there’s no using imagination
And they alll learn ticky tacky and they all learn just the same

Then they grow up, work for business that want innovation
And they send them to a training where a man shouts t them
Your not thinking , your not dreaming, your not using imagination
Your ideas are ticky tacky and you all think just the same,

The well lobbied polititicians say our teachers are failing us
Cause the students aren’t perfoming on the ticky tacky test
Their not learning, or achieving and receiving the highest scores
But here’s a company with a new program which will help them do this best
Track Name: Your Data Doesn't Matta
Your Data Doesn’t Matter



Your data doesn’t matta
Your data doesn’t matta

I was happy now I’m sadder
when your test told me I’m badder

You better climb your corporate ladder
before I bite you like an adder

Your data doesn’t matter
Your data doesn’t matter.

Corporate towers stole our power
Corporate towers stole our power

This is not their finest hour,
Their philanthropies gone sour

When the teachers cringe and cower
and the students count the hours

Corporate towers stole our power
Corporate towers stole our power

Your bubbles give us trouble
Your bubbles give us trouble

You got us testing on the double
arts and music lie in rubble

You took away our choices
We’ve raising up our voices
and now we’re coming together to pool our resources

Cause





Your data doesn’t matta
Your data doesn’t matta

I was happy now I’m sadder
when your test told me I’m badder

You better climb your corporate ladder
before I bite you like an adder

Your data doesn’t matter
Your data doesn’t matter.
Track Name: We Found Defiance
We Found Defiance
 
Hello Dewey, my old friend
I’ve come to talk with you again
Because your vision of the best teaching
Wasn’t lost in spite of their preaching
And the lessons that were planted in my brain
still remain
Because I found defiance
 
Though Piaget was not condoned 
By all the ed reformer clones
and Maslow’s theory was dismissed as trite
We knew that what he said was right
And the hierarchy of kid’s needs had not been met
We’ll not forget
Because we found defiance
 
And in the dimmest days we saw
A certain psychometric flaw
Students testing without thinking
Students hearing without listening
Students writing words that computers then would score
But we’ll ignore
Because we found defiance
 
“Fools,” said we, “you do not know
Junk science helps your cancer grow
hear our words that we might teach you
Watch our kids and we might reach you
But our dreams like measured rainbows died
Into the tide
Until we found Defiance
 
 
And the billionaires all prayed
To the data god they made
And Ed bloggers flashed out their warnings
Of the education de-formings
And the sign said if schools are for profit
We will lose all we have gained
 
But we’ll stay sane
 
Because we found defiance.

Larry Graykin and Barry Lane