Doggerel for our Times


My friend Ray sent me another clipping,

more on our growth of standardized testing.

Seems now they’re doing it to four-year-olds

Efour million pre-school kids in one mold

that one test sets so, instead of faces,

all get more hierarchical places.

The four-year-olds have their demographic

as we all have ours, all of us unique

subsets fit to one consumerism.

Our marketers know us, our deep notions,

while our schools serve up their information

as if neutral, stripped of all emotion

Esave teachersElove of their elevation.

And standardized tests say it’s all OK.

No people involved any direct way.

No people Einstead, the repeating fact

of war:  there Afghanistan, here Iraq,

where the bin Laden family, and Saddam

were long our allies, and could do no wrong;

and drug wars in Latin America,

for our needs for coke and marijuana.

See all the dictatorships we’ve propped up

for our elites to have their privileged stuff.

And we?  We know no languages, cultures.

The world means but oil and cheap labor

for our consumer never-never-land

where specialist multiple-choice tests can

tell us all we might know about ourselves,

loose ends reduced to “none of the above.E/font>

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