Fred Smith published his annual Christmas poem in the New York Daily News and shares it her with us. Fred was for many the director of assessment at the New York City Board of Education. Since retiring, he has worked with parent optout-of-testing groups.

Christmas 2021

In a year filled with trauma on this Christmas eve,

I’d just taken a booster shot under my sleeve.

And then starting to fade in-and-out woozy,

I dreamt of getting a hot tub jacuzzi.

Soon my vision was clouded, my eyesight grew dim

As much as I wanted to, I couldn’t spot him.

For the guy in the red suit had been chased away.

I saw Amazon trucks, not his wonderful sleigh.

And with Bezos’ boxes flying off of the shelves,

Santa couldn’t find work for his beloved elves.

But he emailed the names on his naughty-guy list,

And said what he’d have given each one as a gift.

His roll covered miscreants across all levels

From the state to the fed to a broad range of devils:

For Andrew a thick pair of anti-grope mitts;

Melissa gets valium to curb her mean fits.

A special surprise awaits Jim Malatras:

Strong itching powder to rub in his gatkes.

And for highly placed, overstayed, wealthy Queen Tisch;

A time-to-go sendoff with a stale kasha knish.

To those congressmen who block legislation,

Cartons of Ex-Lax to relieve constipation.

For roadblock senators Manchin and Sinema,

A progressive bundle far more than the minima.

And Donald gets a golden bowlful of kale,

And sentenced to life in a health foodie jail.

A Clorox colada for his goombah Rudy,

And Mitch gets a voracious turtleneck cootie.

Community service—what Trump’s racist friends need,

Posting BLM banners ‘til their hateful hands bleed.

And to all the crazies of his insurrection,

Poison pills to choke down for the “stolen election.”

And fittingly, for all climate change deniers,Full-time sweat labor putting out raging fires.

For all anti-vaxxers and anti-mask wearers,

The names and addresses of local pall bearers.

To Proud Boy gents and those QAnon ladies,

Immediate transport to hovels in Hades.

For the same “Breaking News!” droning on all the day,

Cable news gets a free pass to go faraway.

For donors and lobbyists who bought Mayor Bill,

A backhoe that recoups their ill-gotten fill.

For Michael Mulgrew and his right of retention,

50 years to teach shop for a Tier 20 pension.

To Pearson executives who are truly villains

Killing 8-year-old minds with bubble sheet fill-ins:

Here’s an endless supply of sharp No. 2s

To suck all the lead out, as your brains start to ooze.

The roster of evil includes many foul names

Equally worthy of being consigned to the flames.

So, he filled up their stockings with hot burning coals,

An appropriate payment for selling their souls.

From the time I came under my glum Pfizer-ish fog

He hadn’t named anyone on his A+ log.

Such a negative Santa made me melancholy

There was no ho, ho, ho; what happened to jolly?

Then suddenly he sent me a rose-colored wink

To show that his spirit was still in the pink,

Reminding me how he loves kids most of all

And those who protect them who won’t let our schools fall.

So, all was not bleak on this dark Yuletide night;

The greatest gifts always go to those who do right,

Who like his own reindeer outlast any storm

With unblinking vision to create a new norm.

On Leonie fiercely striving to lower class size;

On Ravitch and Burris puncturing charter school lies;

On Rosa and Cashin up high, seeing the light

On Rebell and Jackson, winning equity’s fight

There’s steady Norm Scott always keeping the score

With faith in our teachers who deserve so much more.

And Jeanette and Lisa working at the grass roots.

Giving parents their voices and speaking the truth

Though the online business has invaded our lives“

Yes, Virginia” still lives; and goodness survives.