Stopping by School on a Disruptive Afternoon

after decades of test-driven education “reform”

Whose schools these are, I think I know.
His house is near Seattle though.
He will not see me stopping here
to watch what kids now undergo.

My better angels think it queer
to see a place so void of cheer
what with the tests and data chats,
the data walls with children’s stats.

Where are the joys of yesterday—
when kids would draw and sing and play?
The only sound I hear’s defeat
and pencils on the bubble sheets.

Disrupters say, unflappable,
“We’re building Human Capital!”
Such word goes out from their think tanks,
as they their profits build and bank.

“Music, stories, art, and play
won’t teach Prole children to obey
with servile, certain, gritful grace
and know their rightful, lowly place.”

The fog is heavy, dark and deep.
Where thinking tanks, Deformers creep
and from our children childhood steal
and grind them underneath the wheel.


Disruption of the Commonweal
is that in which Deformers deal
that they might thereby crises fake
as cover whereby they might take
(the smiling villains!) take and take
and take and take and take and take.

Robert D. Shepherd. Copyright 2020. This post may be shared freely. (Please do!) But please include the attribution. Thanks!


For more on Education Deform, by Bob Shepherd, go here:


About Bob Shepherd

interests: curriculum design, educational technology, learning, linguistics, hermeneutics, rhetoric, philosophy (Continental philosophy, Existentialism, metaphysics, philosophy of language, philosophy of mind, epistemology, ethics), classical and jazz guitar, poetry, the short story, archaeology and cultural anthropology, history of religion, prehistory, veganism, sustainability, Anglo-Saxon literature and language, systems for emergent quality control, heuristics for innovation
This entry was posted in Art, Ed Reform, Teaching Literature and Writing. Bookmark the permalink.

7 Responses to Stopping by School on a Disruptive Afternoon

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