More Than A Number: Songs for Sane Schools

by Barry Lane

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    Includes high-quality download in MP3, FLAC and more. Paying supporters also get unlimited streaming via the free Bandcamp app.

    Plus video of Barry singing the title song, More Than a Number and an interview with Maja Wilson on the Punitive Education reform movement (excerpt from the forthcoming film, What are Schools For?)
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  • Compact Disc (CD) + Digital Album

    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.

    Includes unlimited streaming of More Than A Number: Songs for Sane Schools via the free Bandcamp app, plus high-quality download in MP3, FLAC and more.
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  • Full Digital Discography

    Get all 4 Barry Lane releases available on Bandcamp and save 35%.

    Includes unlimited streaming via the free Bandcamp app, plus high-quality downloads of Be Kind to Be Free, Force Field for Good, More Than A Number: Songs for Sane Schools, and Lane's Recycled Fairy Tales. , and , .

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1.
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.
2.
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
3.
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.
4.
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!
5.
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.
6.
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.
7.
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
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BAT Anthem 03:25
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11.
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.
12.
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
13.
If I’d Never Had a Teacher words and music by Barry Lane www.barrylane.com Her name was Carolyn Foley and she taught 4th grade. I was her favorite student I thought for 3 decades. She read my stories to the room. I sat beside her desk. I love the way she sang to us. I even loved her tests. But teachers they’re just lazy. It’s what the people say. They babysit till 3 o’clock and then they’re home all day. And think of those vacations, all that time away. If I’d never had a teacher, I’d still turn out O.K.. She had a lot of textbooks but she left them on the shelf. Miss Foley taught with projects. We wrote some books ourselves. I studied the Egyptians, that Pharoah of the Sun. I still have my cardboard pyramid. My Tomb of Akhenaton. But teachers they’re just lazy. It’s what the people say. They babysit till 3 o’clock and then they’re home all day. And think of those vacations, all that time away. If I’d never had a teacher, I’d still turn out O.K.. She rarely lost her temper, but when she did we knew. And later, she’d apologize and we say sorry too. She wasn’t always perfect but she usually was kind, and she had a way of holding up a mirror to our minds. But teachers they’re just lazy. It’s what the people say. They babysit till 3 o’clock and then they’re home all day. And think of those vacations, all that time away. If I’d never had a teacher, I’d still turn out O.K.. Miss Foley never married. She never had offspring. Unless you count the 600 she cheered on to sing. We rarely come to visit her. We hardly ever write. But she follows us around each day and sleeps with us each night. Billy is a scientist—Jane she reads the news. Sarah is a doctor now—Phil just gave up booze. We met at the reunion and talked about the past. “Who was your favorite teacher. What was your favorite class.” Remember Mr. Johnston, We all played ancient Greeks. Miss Hawthorne read a poem by Keats. The tears ran down her cheeks. And what about Miss Foley. Her class was so much fun. I was her favorite student, we say in unison. But teachers they’re just lazy. It’s what the people say. They babysit till 3 o’clock and then they’re home all day. And think of those vacations, all that time away. If I’d never had a teacher, I’d still turn out O.K.. Oh you who pay the taxes. Oh you who make the laws. Remember all your teachers and cherish them because, You wouldn’t be so self assured—no you wouldn’t be so smart If you hadn’t had a Miss Foley to hold you in her heart. But teachers they’re just lazy. It’s what you often say. They babysit till 3 o’clock and then they’re home all day. And think of those vacations, all that time away. If I’d never had a teacher… If I’d never had a teacher… If I’d never had a teacher… Who would I be today?

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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