I’m guessing the musical enthusiasm for the Common Core State Standards Initiative reflected in the YouTube songs below might make a few folks ill, but they are likely to make at least a few others laugh and smile. Perhaps some will even be inspired. In preparation for our district end-of-year celebration, I’ve contributed a few ideas to the committee putting together the program. They are considering a remix of this first guitar piece, titled simply, “Common Core Song.”

The original lyrics of the song are:

Filled with energy ready to go
Ready to learn what I must know
To ignite my students with learning’s fire
This common core course is meant to inspire

Chorus:

Ohhhhhhh, I’m so glad to be here (come on)
Oh, I’m so glad to be here
I’ll embrace the common core without fear
Oh, I’m so glad to be here

How I teach is up to me
Add some rigor and H O T
This will be easy as A B C
Oh, I’m so glad to be here

(Chorus)

How I teach must engage the brain
When I board the common core train
At year’s end they’ll all achieve
It’s the right thing to do,
You just gotta believe!

Chorus (modified)
Ohhhhhhh, we’re so glad to be here (We’re!)
Oh, we’re so glad to be here
We’ll embrace the common core without fear
Oh, we’re so glad to be here

We’re so glad to be here!
Go team!

The second song, which we’re not considering using or remixing but is similar in focus to the first one, is “Common Core This Way.” It’s a remix of Lady Gaga‘s song, “Born this Way.”

The irony for us in Oklahoma is that we’d need to change the first line of the song to be truthful. Instead of:

Last year in August the Feds told us, we’re getting 700 mill

we’d need to change it to:

Last year in August our SDE told us, you’re not getting squat for this.

Oklahoma applied for Race to the Top (RTTT) grant funding, but didn’t win any awards. Our laws were changed, we’re now on track for 50% of teacher evaluations in 2012-2013 to be based on student test scores, and our curriculum standards are in transition, but we have no additional funds to support schools and teachers in that process. It’s a challenging time in public education for many reasons.

If you’re interested in a more sobering YouTube video about Common Core State Standards, I recommend Damon Hargraves’s video accompanying his 2010 research paper, “A Deep Look at the Forces Behind Common Core.” It’s a great example of a screencast which amplifies student research effectively. The abstract was:

The Common Core State Standards Initiative is a non-governmental movement that aims to unify state standards across the nation for elementary and secondary schools. As of the writing of this report, the process for finalizing the standards and other documentation is still underway. The purpose of this paper is not to provide analysis of the standards themselves, but rather the forces acting behind this initiative. The findings pose a possible conflict of interest, which supports the position that the Common Core Initiative may not be a solely state driven project, but also corporately and financially motivated.

At the time of his research, CCSS was funded primarily by testing, evaluation, and publishing companies including ETS, McGraw Hill, Pearson, Pearson Evaluation, Scantron, and the College Board.

Is this something worth singing about? That’s a question worth discussing.

The Forces Behind Common Core Standards - YouTube


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