Our blog poet:

“The Billionaire and the Reformer” (parody of The Walrus and the Carpenter, by Lewis Carroll)

The pol was pining for a charter,
pining with all his might:
He did his very best to make
The regulations sleight —
Which wasn’t hard, because the gov
Was charter acolyte

The public was pining sulkily,
Because they thought the pol
Had got no business to be there
After the charter stole —
“Incredible of him,” they said,
“To work for charter dole”

The money was tight as tight could be,
The coffers were bare as bare.
You could not see a dollar, cuz
No dollar was in there:
No Race was funding overhead —
There was no Race to fund.

The Billionaire and the Reformer
Were talking under bleachers;
They wept like anything to see
Such qualities of teachers:
If these were only cleared away,’
Our schools would be like peaches!’

If seven Chetty’s with seven VAMs
VAMmed for half a year,
Do you suppose,’the Billionaire said,
That they could get them clear?’
I doubt it,’ said the Reformer,
And shed a bitter tear.

O students, come and walk with us!’
The Billionaire did beseech.
A pleasant walk, a pleasant talk,
A better way to teach
We cannot do with more than four,
To give a hand to each.’

The eldest student looked at him,
But never a word he said:
The eldest student winked his eye,
And shook his heavy head —
Meaning to say he did not choose
To go with Bill, and fled

But four young students hurried up,
All eager for the fest:
Their hair was brushed, their faces washed,
Their shoes were clean and best —
And this was odd, because, you know,
They’re going to a test.

Four other students followed them,
And yet another four;
And thick and fast they came at last,
And more, and more, and more —
All hopping through the student waves
And scrambling to the door.

The Billionaire and the Reformer
Walked on a mile or so,
And then they rested on a rock
Conveniently low:
And all the little students stood
And waited in a row.

The time has come,’ the Billionaire said,
To talk of many things:
Of Common Core — and standard tests — of passing scores — and VAMs —
And why the schools are failing [Not!] —
And whether pigs have wings.’

But wait a bit,’ the students cried,
Before we have our talk;
For some of us are out of breath,
And some of us can’t walk!’
No hurry!’ said the Reformer.
As patient as a hawk.

A lot of bread,’ the Billionaire said,
Is what we chiefly need:
Testing and Common Core besides
Are very good indeed —
Now if you’re ready, students dear,
We can begin to weed.’

But not with us!’ the students cried,
Turning a little blue.
After such kindness, that would be
A dismal thing to do!’
The day is fine,’ the Billionaire said.
Do you admire the view?

It was so kind of you to come!
And you are very nice!’
The Reformer said nothing but
‘That cut score won’t suffice:
I wish you were not quite so deaf —
I’ve had to tell you twice!’

It seems a shame,’ the Billionaire said,
To play them such a trick,
After we’ve brought them out so far,
And made them test so quick!’
The Reformer said nothing but
The testing’s spread too thick!’

I weep for you,’ the Billionaire said:
I deeply sympathize.’
With sobs and tears he sorted out
The scores of biggest size,
Holding his pocket-handkerchief
Before his streaming eyes.

O students,’ said the Reformer,
You’ve had a pleasant run!
Shall we be trotting home again?’
But answer came there none —
And this was scarcely odd, because
They’d flunked out every one.”