A little “Uptown Funk” to uplift students taking new Georgia Milestones test

Here’s a fun video from Cohutta Elementary School in Whitfield County to energize students for their first experience taking the new Georgia Milestones test.

The upbeat parody borrows from Mark Ronson’s “Uptown Funk.”

The school has produced other charming videos including an ode last year to the CRCT, “Here We Go.

The talented Pied Piper in the video leading students is music teacher Lauren Buckner.

Reader Comments 0

15 comments
Independent ED
Independent ED

@AJCGetSchooled 

To Maureen, the current link to Cohutta Elementary's website is: http://ces.whitfield.k12.ga.us/

It was changed in the fall.  Cohutta is a Title I school in rural North Georgia. As someone who has kids attending Cohutta, I can say it is  a small school that truly goes out of its way to care for the students in our community.  It's not a testing focused school, but they know there's accountability for the tests.


Here's the sad part about this video:  While the response has been 95% positive, the teacher featured in the video has literally received hate mail already accusing her of creating testing propaganda and smearing her and the school as racist (check the demographics before spouting ignorance).  Why can't people see this for what it is?  It's a fun video meant to relieve stress for the kids.  Whether the teachers agree with some of the comments here or not, there will be testing there next week.  The staff at Cohutta is trying to alleviate stress.  Teachers all over the state are trying to do the same.  Why hate on that?


To all those complaining about standardized testing, take your complaints to the state legislatures. Teachers work within the constraints placed upon them from above. It's their job to find ways to motivate and inspire students within those constraints. Ventures like this are about trying to relieve the stress and anxiety that many students and teachers feel when it comes to testing. It's not "propaganda." It's something done in fun for students. Don't make blanket assumptions about schools and teachers based on your ideology. They may even share your views, but they'd like for their families to eat. They work hard to inspire creativity, true learning, and motivation, even when they know their livelihood is often tied to testing. Kudos to our teachers who are all about their students. They deserve a big pat on the back.



MaureenDowney
MaureenDowney moderator

@Independent ED Updated web address. 

Tell Ms. Buckner to ignore the hate mail. I would love a teacher of her energy, creativity and commitment in my local schools. She and the kids did a wonderful job. 

eulb
eulb

Wow!  Ms. Buckner is a very talented teacher!  That video prompted me to learn more about her program and her school.  It's a title 1 school but appears very strong.  This music teacher's program is winning grants and her students perform in the surrounding community.  Here are some links for anyone interested.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j4bkm7Y48Yk#t=43
https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10152673723787005.1073742052.247579277004&type=1
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bg2P5sda3l0

eulb
eulb

@winter13 @eulb Thank you! This new video does not feature adults or choreography.  Just the students in their music classroom with the teacher as "conductor".  Great job by all on "Shake It Off"! I realize this coming week will be stressful.  I hope these kids and their teachers really do shake it off and live it up!

HotDawg
HotDawg

Downey is a dreamer. 

Maybe Santa Clause, the Tooth Fairy, Easter Bunny, and Democrats will bring peace to the Middle East.

Then there are pragmatists in the world that get abused by the dreamers. Unfortunately, dreamers outnumber pragmatists and terrorists outnumber both.

duke14
duke14

When I was in school 50 years ago, it was supposed to be serious, to prepare us for a responsible working life in the real world. It was supposed to be a contrast from the immature world of popular culture.

popacorn
popacorn

Note to all boys at this school: Cuteness has not been shown to kill anyone. Stay strong, lil' fellas! Fight the good fight, as better days are ahead. 

EdJohnson
EdJohnson

Why do we keep on trying to do the wrong thing righter (R. Ackoff)?


However cute, why do we not see the video as a form of cheating the children, as the adults’ way of trying to inflate test results above what the test results otherwise would be, hence as the adults’ response to artificial and pernicious pressure they have chosen to embrace rather than to reject?  The same goes for CAAS (Computer Assisted Assessment System), especially Atlanta’s twice-yearly CAAS administration for the stated purpose of predicting students' performance on the real standardized tests.  Why do we not also see CAAS as cheating the children?  Is it because of cuteness, as with the video, and subtleness, as with APS’ CAAS?  Can we not see the same dynamic at play?  A different HOW to cheat but the same WHY to cheat?  Can we recall from just a few days ago "Atlanta teachers convicted!"?


Why do we keep on trying to reduce learning and education to nothing more valuable than “performance” on standardized tests? Tests that tend to be wholly disconnected from inculcating any semblance of democratic, moral, ethical, and spiritual values, especially where such great qualities of life are most needed?  Why do we keep on trying to disrupt those great qualities of life that can only be inculcated human-to-human, as in teacher-to-student?  Can we understand that such great qualities of life cannot possibly be inculcated computer-to-student, a fact that escapes APS leadership as demonstrated by their subjecting children to CAAS, extensively?  Can we understand CAAS can only impart algorithmic qualities to life and humanness?  And can we understand it is impossible to entirely reduce life and humanness to algorithms?  Can we understand that is the rub, the rub that will prove the genesis of greater social dysfunction?


So just wait, today’s carping about certain parents will pale in comparison to tomorrow’s carping about tomorrow’s certain parents who were the “products” of today’s standardized testing.  Standardized tests today, standardized minds tomorrow; certain people going about life as if life were an algorithm.  Except, for example, Sasha and Malia, whose parents effectively opted them out of today’s standardized testing, so they might develop non-standardized minds.


Prediction: The Milestones will be used to tell the same story the CRCT was used to tell year after year, that story being one of ranking students, teachers, schools, and school districts, and holding them accountable for results.  Never mind doing the hard work of learning to improve; rather, simply adopt free-market style “choice” and business model style competition and accountability to "fix" things – or so goes the theory that has been proven wrong, even in business, time and time again.


But we just keep on trying to do the wrong thing righter.

Independent ED
Independent ED

@EdJohnson

I can assure you the teachers at this school are not trying to "inflate test results" or anything of that nature.  You know why they made the video?  From their own words, they wanted to alleviate the stress placed on the students and teachers created by these types of test which they are not in control of.  


Everything you say may well be true, and in fact, I'd say many of the teachers at that school and schools across the state agree with you, but come Monday morning, testing will be happening.  The good news is I know what kind of education my child is getting at this particular school.  I know that it's not all about testing.  I know that they are about true learning.  

EdJohnson
EdJohnson

@Independent ED,

A leadership lesson I learned long ago: 1) absorb the pressure coming from on high, 2) push the pressure back up but never ever pass the pressure down to subordinates, or 3) quit, on account of the pressure.


This lesson is much the reason I donated this evening to “Refuse the Tests,” an action by NY State teachers that aims to robocall every parent in NY State to opt children out of high stakes, high pressure standardized tests.


If the kids are feeling pressure, I respectfully suggest the kids are feeling the pressure only because the pressure has been passed down or has been allowed to pass down to the kids.  And please know this is not to blame any teachers because, believe me, I deeply understand teachers, for the most part, are victims of the system.  Teachers are doing their best under the circumstances.  Still, it is the same dynamic that played out in Atlanta Public Schools.  Cuteness or subtlety does not introduce a different dynamic.


I look forward to supporting Georgia teachers’ opt-out action.

popacorn
popacorn

Total waste of time. These 'pep rallies' are nothing more than a chance for teachers to pretend they are something else besides teachers. Talk about a stretch. Let's whine endlessly about testing, then waste even more time on it. 

Quidocetdiscit
Quidocetdiscit

@popacorn


"These 'pep rallies' are nothing more than a chance for teachers to pretend they are something else besides teachers. "


LOL!  These days, being a teacher means being, at least in part, a performance artist.  How else do you think we manage to keep a generation weened on video games, iPads and You Tube engaged?

ATLPeach
ATLPeach

Definitely a cute video.  I'm sure it'll get the kids a little pumped up.  A lot of schools are doing pep rallies to get kids excited.  However, the mom in me says, "not my child".  There is just entirely too much testing.  The milestones is just one of the tests kids take in my school.  They also take CAAS and SLOs.  It's ridiculous!  As I parent I choose to pay private school tuition.  I'll continue to drive an old car, I won't have many new outfits, our vacations will be smaller, but my child will get a well-rounded education.  He'll know how to do more than just bubble in the best response.