to all those opposed to top-down, business models of education.
First they came for the students,
With a 2-tiered public school system in the name of ‘magnets’ and ‘gifted programs’,
And we let them because of the promise of better programs for those of our students being held back
And for the sake of our own children whom we could not tend while we attended to the children of others.
Then they came for the parents,
With LSCs and PACs, with application deadlines and mandatory homework, with voucher plans and night shifts,
And we let them because of the promise of better parent involvement and the freedom of choice
And because it allowed us to access our own children’s schools in new ways.
Then they came for the principals,
With their early retirement, their Area Instructional Offices, and Ren2010,
And we let them because we wanted our beloved advocates in places to influence district policy
And because we didn’t think that wolves in sheep’s clothing would come to tend our flocks in place of our friends.
Then they came for the teachers,
With their turn-arounds and charters, their merit pay and Data-Driven Instruction,
And we had no one left to speak on our behalf because our students and parents and principals had been siphoned off to other schools
And we had no voice of our own, as the redtape of the Union bureaucracy silenced our grievances.
Now we look at what they have taken.
With their good intentions and their statistics,
With their end of federal desegregation intervention,
With their No Child Left Behind and their norm-referenced testing and their Races.
And we find ourselves reassigned or unemployed, our students fighting for their lives to get an education, while our children rise leaps and bounds in their elite schools over the heads of our students.
And we see now that when they came for our students that it was not in an effort to educate all students equally,
And when they came for our parents it was not in an effort to be inclusive,
And when they came for our principals it was not in an effort to create educational leadership that were specialists in their field,
And when they came for us, they were just coming for us, because we were the last ones left standing in the way of their plans.