"A child's learning is the function more of the characteristics of his classmates than those of the teacher." James Coleman, 1972

Thursday, March 24, 2016

'Twas the Day of Teacher Ratings

'Twas the day of teacher ratings and all through the school
Every teacher was serving the Danielson rule.
The checklists were marked by the leader with care,
In hopes that Fed funds soon would be there.

The students were nestled all snug with computers,
Dreaming of Close Reading or maybe of Hooters.
And Bill Gates with his money, and I with my debts
Had just settled our brains from a long winter's fret,
When out in the hall there arose such a clatter,
I sprang from my desk to see the matter.

Away to the door I flew like a flash,
What I saw caused an eruption of rash.
There to my wondering eyes did appear
Teacher expectation checklists  ready to smear
In the hands of a manager trained by Broad
So I knew in a moment I should follow the Code.

More rapid than eagles the checkmarks they come,
We all whistle and shout and teach  them til numb:
"Now, Non Fiction and Close Reading galore!
 On, Creative Thinking!" More! More! More!
To the top of College and Career Readiness Skills,
We dig in deep for more and more swill.

So in the classroom the biz-whiz flunky did stand
With his bag full of rubrics and Common Core canned--
And then, in a twinkling, I think of the money
The pawing and gnawing from Bill Gates chummies.
The PTA is bought;  NAACP and El Raza too
Not to mention that US DOE.
@usedgov on Twitter, aptly named
Their practice is to teachers defame.
And I  know that Hillary
Will add to the pillory.

Inside the classroom the corporate stooge stays his ground,
With lots of unreal goals to spread around.
He's dressed all in hubris from his head to his toe,
And brooks no dissent from the Common Core show.
With that bundle of rules tight in his hand
I feel like I'm already deep in quicksand.

His eyes--how they goggled! His lips, how stern
His checklist as friendly as a tax return!
The glare of his eye and the twist of his head
Soon let me know I had lots to dread.
He had a broad face with a determined glare
I knew my  lesson hadn't a prayer.

He spoke not a word but went straight to his work,
He filled in the rubric like a well-oiled clerk.
And laying his finger aside of his nose,
Let me know my teaching career was foreclosed.
He sprang to the hallway, to his team gave a whistle,
One more Core foe up for dismissal.
And I heard him exclaim, ere he walked out of sight--
"God bless Bill Gates, who stands for what's right!"

 by Susan Ohanian

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