Our reader Bob Shepherd has his own blog. As you may have deduced, I’m just wild about Bob.

Here is a wonderful parody of Tennyson’s “The Charge of the Light Brigade,” who was writing about the British troops who blindly followed orders in the Battle of Balaclava in 1854 in the Crimean War and perished.

Bob calls it “The Coring of the Six Hundred.”

My generation memorized the Tennyson poem. Thanks to the Common Core, this generation will be lucky to encounter any poetry.

Here is the beginning. Open the link and read it all.

Row on row, row on row,

Row on row stationed

Sick at their monitors

Sat the six hundred.

“You may now type your Username”

Said the test proctor.

Set up for failure

Sat the six hundred.

“Enter your password key!

“Mercy upon you!

“During the testing

“No one can help you.”

Someone had blundered.

The unspoken truth. But

Theirs was not to make reply,

Theirs was not to reason why,

Theirs was but to do or die,

Theirs was but to try and cry.

Set up for failure

Sat the six hundred.

Text to the right of them

Complex, out of context,

Bubbles in front of them,

Plausible answers,

Tricky and tortured,

Boldly they bubbled and well

Though smack in the mouth of hell

Sat the six hundred.

This is what reading means,

Now that Gates/Pearson

Has reified testing

Far beyond reason.

Pearson not persons.

Plutocrats plundering

Taxpayer dollars

Spent to abuse.

The children are used.

They bubble and squirm

To reveal their stack ranking

And never again

Will know joy in learning

Never again

Humane joy in reading

And writing, no never again,

Not the six hundred.