America, like most post industrial societies, is confronting issues of how to evaluate teachers and instituting tests and measurement standards in hope of improving student performance. Lost in these “great ideas” are those which can do more to improve student learning with the expenditure of a few dollars or Kroners. The Malmo libraries and the Swedish Prison and Probation Service have launched a program which allows prison inmates to record lullabies for their young children. This is a wonderful idea which might result in a higher rate of successful probation and, certainly, a new form of bonding between children and their fathers who are in jail.
I do not know if such programs can be “tested” for success, but even if one parent and child bond, it is success. Creative thinking does not cost a penny, more tests are not only financially costly, but they are emotionally damaging to children and teachers. How about a lullaby?