‘Twas the night before PARCC…


"A bundle of campaign promises he had flung on his back..."
“A bundle of campaign promises he had flung on his back…”

A reader who uses the pseudonym Silence Dogood offered this light verse about PARCC for suffering teachers and students throughout New Jersey.

‘Twas the night before PARCC, when all through the schoolhouse

Not a teacher was stirring, nor computer mouse;

The Chromebooks were placed in the carts with care, In hopes that test administrators (once known as teachers) soon would be there;

The students were nestled all snug in their beds; While tweets and instagram posts danced in their heads;

And vice principals in their ‘kerchiefs, and teachers in their caps, Had finished their lesson plans before an endless winter’s nap,

When out in the PARCCing lot there arose such a clatter, I sprang from my bed to see what was the matter.

I opened up Windows and Google with a flash, Tore open the Testnav and emptied the cache.

The moon on the breast of March’s first snow, Gave a hint of delayed openings and worse, oh no!,

When what to my wondering eyes did appear, But a Teachscape workflow and eight tiny criteria,

With a bespectacled old driver so tall and so slim, I knew in a moment she must be Charlotte Danielson.

More rapid than eagles her critical attributes came, And she whistled, and shouted, and called them by name:

“Now, Engagement! now, Questioning! now Respect and Rapport! On, Resource! on, Assessment! and so many many more!

To the top of performance with a framework for all! To quantify teaching like data on a wall!”

As educators that before endless reforms do fly, When they meet with a governor shouting to the sky;

So down to the schoolhouse the SGOs flew With the sleigh full of critical attributes, and Commissioner Hespe too—

And then, in a twinkling, I heard on the roof The value I had added by this educational spoof.

As I unspun my head, and was turning around, Into the classroom came Chris Christie with a bound.

He was dressed all in fur (I have no clue why), from his head to his foot, But his demeanor was chastised by a state judge’s recent tut tut;

A bundle of campaign promises he had flung on his back, Looking quite the nominee having returned from CPAC.

His eyes—how they twinkled! his dimples, how merry! But when he sat to take the PARCC he started to worry

His droll little mouth drew up to shout, “No!” But I slapped on the headphones and pressed the button;

GO! The stump of a pencil he held tight in his teeth, And the smoke from his brain encircled his head like a wreath;

He had a little face and a broad round belly That shook when he pretty much did anything, like a bowl full of jelly.

He was chubby and plump, a right jolly old elf, This was getting too easy, I laughed, in spite of myself;

But he started the test with a twist of his head And quickly he realized he had quite a bit to dread;

The first question was the budget and he came up short in his work, Overestimating revenues, he called the chief budget officer a jerk,

The essay regarded the pension law he himself had writ Which he now called unconstitutional and wrote not a bit

And opting out of the test he just sat and he stared, Turned ‘gainst the Common Core he bleated and blared;

He sprang off to a primary, to his team gave a whistle, And away they all flew like the down of a thistle.

But I heard him exclaim, ere he drove out of sight—

“To the GWB, I’ve gotta get outta here tonight!”

  1. Amazing writing! Very creative and to the point. BRAVO!!!

  2. Thank you for sharing this. It was perfect on so many levels and exactly what I needed after a second day of PARCC testing.

    I loved the names of the critical attributes and mention of the Chromebooks.

  3. I got a chuckle out of this. Thank you for sharing. If all these people would just see how third graders are pecking with a finger or two just to try and respond to a question within the time provided to them.

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