Major celebrations always begin with music. Sunday’s Super Bowl had Lady GaGa, for example. The national meeting of United Opt Out will have music of its own. A well-placed source inside the organization tells me that the annual meeting (beginning Friday in Philadelphia) will kick off with a variation on a familiar song. The lyrics, leaked to me, are below.
“YOU GOTTA KNOW WHEN TO TEACH ‘EM…
KNOW WHEN TO TEST ‘EM…
KNOW WHEN TO STEP ASIDE AND JUST LET ‘EM LEARN.
THE STATE KEEPS SAYING “TEST ‘EM,”
BUT ALL THAT DOES IS MESS ‘EM.
SCHOOLS DO TOO MUCH TESTING!
LET’S MAKE LEARNING FUN AGAIN”
My source said that the original song is by a Kenneth Ray Rogers, someone I’d never heard of. However, my source apparently knows Mr. Rogers well because she/he kept referring to him as ‘Kenny.’
United Opt Out plans to sing the song three times, changing line three every so slightly each time, from ‘just let ’em learn‘ to ‘just watch ’em learn‘ and, finally ‘just help ’em learn.’ That covers the bases, I guess.
The United Opt Out gathering is expected to draw a large number of committed people, including students, concerned about excessive testing in our public schools. The keynote speakers are Jill Stein, Chris Hedges, Stephen Krashen, Bill Ayers, and Antonia Darder. Additionally, a number of the sessions will focus on ESSA, the new “Every Student Succeeds Act.”
I wish I could be there to attend sessions–and learn the song.
For more about the United Opt Out meeting: http://unitedoptout.com/2015/06/29/uoo-conference-february-26-28-2016-transcending-resistance-igniting-revolution/
Here’s more about the meeting location and housing options: http://ihousephilly.org/
My confidential source was not sure whether Kenneth Ray Rogers would be able to there in person.
PS: As you know, one out of every 100 Americans teaches in our public schools. They are the OTHER 1%. If you haven’t gotten your bumper stickers yet, go to Pay Pal and firstname.lastname@example.org. $4 for one, $10 for three….