It looks like the anti-standardized testing movement just got itself a theme song.
The song, in which Dudley describes himself as a “frontline passionate true student advocate,” argues that standardized testing is not in the best interest of students and that it is “standardizing … a whole generation.”
Over the weekend, Dudley, a teacher of 13 years, performed the song alongside thousands of protestors who were in Albany to rally against New York state’s recent common core tests. The state’s common core tests, which were given in late April, have been criticized for their unusual level of difficulty and the burden they put on teachers.
Dudley told The Huffington Post that he wrote the song because he is frustrated with the increased significance of high-stakes testing. He said he also feels that reformers and legislators unfairly portray teachers.
“When teachers speak up it's not because we’re trying to protect poor teachers or our summers off,” Dudley said. “The most dedicated and passionate of us are trying to do what’s best for children.”
Now, if he could do it all over again, he is unsure if he would have chosen the same path.
“When I got into teaching I didn’t feel there was as much teacher bashing,” he said. “I felt like I was going to a pretty noble profession and got a lot of respect for it, but it doesn’t feel the same anymore.”
Dudley continued, “I remember about three years ago people started talking about how they wouldn’t tell their kids to be teachers anymore. I wonder about my own daughter, should I encourage her to follow in daddy’s footsteps?”
His new album, which will be released early next school year, is titled “Highly Effective” –- a nod to the highest rating a teacher can be given on evaluations.
CORRECTION: A previous version of this post incorrectly quoted Dudley describing teaching as a "normal" profession instead of a "noble" profession.