In Response to Data

Here is a primer for the month to come, my poem a day dedication to standardized testing. This was written last September. For the less discerning eye, each stanza is a haiku. For the more discerning eye, I know haiku is no longer haiku if they are related as stanzas.

In Response to Data

s p e l l
i n g t e s t
t o d a y

step into a room
full of dejected faces
improvise or sink

he chews erasers
swallowing the soft pink flecks
invisible guts

for chocolate milk
they may as well give children
needles and IVs

“don’t prefixes change
fronts of words like suffixes
hit them up in back?”

so I cannot read,
what makes you think I cannot
take care of myself?

pregnant, someone’s dear
child with a child, frail flower
blossom blossoming

autumn rain out there
can you feel our minutes wane
the sun sleeping in?

there is no spinning
like our broken record, no
waves of ocean calm

How many points does this get?

Last year, my job was threatened when I wrote poetry about the Standardized Testing climate of our tiny charter school as evidence of a nationwide problem in education. My poems contained cryptic references to the content for one excerpt of one reading. I was reprimanded. Those poems are still in the shadows, gathering dust and legend. But I am no less inspired to…go there.

This year I will be chronicling The Tests with a poem a day exploration in March. I know my career will be safe this year. I know my limits. But there is a story worth capturing during these months.

There are less than ten school days left in February which means I have some time to offer some other school related content before my mighty task.

Keep you posted. Share away so no one misses a verse!