The blog is fortunate to have its own poet, who goes by the nom de plume of “Some DamPoet.” He/she frequently regales us with witty poems to fit the moment. This one is fashioned after Alfred Noyes'”The Highwayman.”

“The Mywayman” (after “The Highwayman”, by Alfred Noyes)

PART ONE

THE VAM was a torrent of darkness among reformy goals
The school was a ghostly galleon tossed upon rocky shoals
The Test was a ribbon of Pearson tying the Common Core,
And the Mywayman came riding—
Riding—riding—
The Mywayman came riding, up to the school-house door.

He’d a half-cocked plan in his forehead, a shill of Gates for his spin,
A coat of the cleanest whitewash, and breeches of law within;
Though served with a Lederman wrinkle (the suits were up to his thigh!)
He rode with a jeweled twinkle,
His ed-u-bots a-twinkle,
His Tests and VAMs a twinkle, under the New York sky.

Over the cobbles he clattered and clashed in the dark school-yard,
And he tapped with his Test on the shutters, but all was locked and barred;
He whistled a tune to the window, and who should be waiting there
But the Test Lord’s VAM-eyed Super,
Elia, the New York Super
Planting a bright red “Opt Not!!” inside the “Opt out” lair.

And dark in the dark old school-yard a rusty swing-set creaked
Where Diane the Blogger listened; her curiosity piqued;
Her eyes were filled with sadness, her worry was plain as day,
For she loved the public schoolhouse,
The American public schoolhouse
Alert as can be she listened, and she heard the Gov’nor say—

“Hear this, my well-paid Super, I’m after a prize to-night,
And I shall make Opt-out parents fold before the morning light;
Yet, if they press me sharply, and harry me through the day,
Then look for me by moonlight,
Watch for me by moonlight,
I’ll come to thee by moonlight, though parents should bar the way.”

He rose upright in the stirrups; he scarce could hide his rage ,
He tried to mask what the case meant, but face read like a page
As the franks and beans from the dinner were mingling with his bile
He cursed its taste in the moonlight,
(Oh, putrid taste in the moonlight!)
Then he tugged at his reign in the moonlight, and galloped away to Long Isle.

PART TWO

He did not come in the dawning; he did not come at noon;
And out o’ the tawny sunset, before the rise o’ the moon,
When the Test was a Mobius ribbon, looping the Coleman lore,
An Opt-out troop came marching—
Marching—marching—
The parents all came marching, up to the Governor’s door.

They said no word to the Test Lord, they mocked the test instead,
And they nagged the Super and grilled her about everything she’d said;
All of them knew what the case meant, with Lederman at their side!
There were parents at every window;
And hell at one dark window;
Elia could see, through the window, the road that he would ride.

They had tried to get her attention, ‘bout many an invalid test;
They had written a letter to meet her, to discuss the VAMs and the rest!
“Now, keep good watch!” and they dissed her.
She heard the Governor say—
Look for me by moonlight;
Watch for me by moonlight;
I’ll come to thee by moonlight, though parents should bar the way!

She twisted her claims for the parents; but all their Not!s held good!
She waved her hands at the figures, she said were “misunderstood!”
She stretched and strained credulity, and the hours crawled by like years,
Till, now, on the stroke of midnight,
Cold, on the stroke of midnight,
The tip of one finger touched it! The statute at least was hers!

The tip of one finger touched it; she strove no more for the Test!
Up, she stood up to attention, with the statute above the rest ,
She would not risk a hearing; she would not strive again;
For the road lay bare in the moonlight;
Blank and bare in the moonlight;
And the blood of her veins in the moonlight throbbed to the Gov’s refrain .

The quote of laws! Had he heard it? Her quote of NY laws?;
Her quote of laws — from the distance? The “Rights of Parents” clause?
Down the ribbon of Mobius, over the brow with his bill,
The Mywayman came riding,
Riding, riding!
The parents looked to their stymying! She stood up, straight and still!

Tlot-tlot, in the frosty silence! Tlot-tlot, in the echoing night!
Nearer he came and nearer! Her face was like a light!
Her eyes grew wide for a moment; her heart, it missed a beat
Then her fingers moved in the moonlight,
Her pen-stroke shattered the moonlight,
Shattered the tests in the moonlight, sealing the Gov’s defeat

He turned; he spurred to the West; he did not know who blinked
Bowed, with her head o’er edict, drenched with her own ink!
Not till the dawn he heard it, and his face grew grey to hear
How Elia, the New York Super,
The Test Lord’s well-paid Super,
Had watched for the Gov in the moonlight, determined his future there

Back, he spurred like a madman, shrieking a curse to the sky,
With Elia caving behind him and his testing vanquished nigh!
Wide-read- were his slurs on the Twitter; wide-spread was the parents’ vote,
When they opted out on the test day,
In droves and droves on the test day,
And he lay in the flood on the test day, with a bunch of ‘rents at his throat

And still of a winter’s night, they say, when the VAMmers roam like trolls
When the school is a ghostly galleon tossed upon rocky shoals,
When the Test is a ribbon of Pearson tying the Common Core,
A Mywayman comes riding—
Riding—riding—
A Mywayman comes riding, up to the school-house door.

Over the cobbles he clatters and clangs in the dark school-yard,
And he taps with his Test on the shutters, but all is locked and barred;
He whistles a tune to the window, and who should be waiting there
But the Test Lord’s VAM-eyed Super,
Elia, the New York Super
Planting a bright red “Opt Not!!” inside the “Opt out” lair.