A principal in New York City wrote this story, borrowing from the story of the wolf and the Three Little Pigs. The wolf wants to eat the pigs. Who will save them?

The moral of the story: The only way to defeat evil is to speak truth to power.

Read on:



On Wednesday afternoon a principal stricken with worry about her increasing complicity in miseducative school deform policy stops by the New York Public Library to browse through the exhibit of the History of Children’s Literature, before travelling home for Rosh Hashanah dinner. While kvelling about the gorgeous manuscripts and kvetching about the current state of the schools with the exhibit curator, the curator guides the principal into an archive room and unwraps a most unusual artifact. It was program notes for an opera that the Metropolitan Opera House wanted to present but the libretto, score and stage design, while imagined, were never completed.



A Fracked Folktale Operetta for the Jewish New Year


Libretto: Tony Kushner*

Visual Design: Maurice Sendak * *Played by Meryl Streep

Music: Leonard Bernstein*


Big Brother Pigs: Tweedies (DOE Central)

Principal Pig: Principals/CSA

Teacher Pig: Teachers/UFT

Kid Pig: Kids/Parents

Wolf: The State





Prologue: Once upon a dystopic time, an uber wolf runs rampant through the state threatening to raze every weak school in order to feed its appetite for economic and mind control and fueling itself by eating the weakest and tenderest flesh it could find.


Scene One: The Wolf knocked on the door of Tweed Court House and demanded that Big Brother Pigs supply access (“let me come in”) to the data-bases of all of the schools in New York City. Big Brother Pigs made claim to protest and protect the schools, but when the Wolf threatened to raze Tweed (“then I’ll huff and I’ll puff, and I’ll fire your asses”) the Big Brother Pigs complied. The Wolf retreated to plot the data and plan strategic strikes.


Scene Two: Big Brother Pigs gathered the Principal Pigs and provided them with a suite of robust building materials and sent them off to fortify the foundations of their schools so that Wolf would find them too strong and tough to eat.

The Principal Pigs complied and placed surveillance cameras around the schools, and entered all teacher and child data into ARIS. Of course the surveillance cameras and data entry did nothing to improve the quality of teaching and learning at the schools and instead ate away at their cores.

The Wolf came and knocked on the schoolhouse doors and demanded access to the classrooms (“let me come in”). The Principal Pigs tried to protest and protect the teachers and students, but the Wolf threatened to raze the schoolhouses (“then I’ll huff and I’ll puff and the Big Brother Pigs will fire your asses”). The Principal Pigs agreed to give the Wolf access to the teacher and student data and told the Wolf to come back after the State tests were administered. The Wolf retreated to analyze the prior data in order to predict what would be the tastiest and tenderest targets, and licked its chops in anticipation of the Spring results.


Scene Three: The Principal Pigs gathered the Teacher Pigs and provided them with a visibility cloak (multiple measure evaluations) declaring that this would protect them from the salivating jaws of the Wolf. The Teacher Pigs went back to the classroom and awaited the Wolf, trembling because the visibility cloak was awfully sheer for a New York City winter. The month before the State tests the Wolf came and banged on the door demanding access. The Teacher Pigs didn’t want the Wolf to come eat all of the tasty and tender young children and refused. The Wolf threatened that if the Teacher Pigs did not comply it would raze the school (“then I’ll huff and I’ll puff, and the Principal Pigs will fire your asses”). And so the Teacher Pigs complied and scheduled a date to send the new State test scores to the Wolf. Wolf retreated with the data to consider the tastiest and tenderest morsels to pursue.


Scene 4: Meanwhile throughout New York City, parents realized that the schools were not protecting their children from the Wolf and took matters into their own hands. Parent Pigs gathered Kid Pigs and gave the Kid Pigs a magically strong piece of paper that would shield Kid Pig from harm (opt out letters). When Wolf did not receive the test scores as promised, it went back to the classrooms looking for the Kid Pigs’ data. The Kid Pigs showed Wolf the magical opt out letters. Wolf huffed and puffed and puffed and huffed and raged that it would the fire Kid Pigs’ asses. The Kid Pigs stuck out their tongues and scoffed, “You’re not the boss of me.”


Epilogue: Kid and Parent Pigs saved themselves, and the schools by speaking truth to power. That is a lesson in civic and life readiness, without which there can be no college and career readiness.