Guilty Verdict

Posted on April 30, 2020


for the children, who deserve so much better


Set the prisoners free!

Just let the students go!

Let them read–

the books they choose.

Like flowers, let them grow.


High stakes testing

is too harsh.

It causes pain and fear.

A teacher knows a single test

can’t summarize a year! 


Some days are good,

and some are bad,

for every student living.

That’s why I feel

the weight of guilt

for every test I’m giving. 

If I could be the one in charge

of public education,

the tests would stop,

and we’d restore 

play, imagination.


I wish that I could tell the kids,

“You’re done! Get out! Run free!”

But I’m required by the State

to test them quietly.


Something happened to the clock!

Each second lasts for hours! 

Like Ulysses, far from home, 

This captain has no power. 

Testing is not teaching. No,

it’s poison to a flower!


We’ll never get these minutes back

that Testing has devoured.

I wrote this poem the last time I had to supervise SAT–which I abhor. Fortunately, this year’s tests have been cancelled due to the COVID19 pandemic. If we really cared about teaching and learning in public schools, they’d be cancelled forever.

There are NO standardized students; students should be assessed by their classroom teachers through projects, performances, and portfolios. #RefuseTheTest

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lisa eddy is a writer, researcher, educator, advocate,  musician, and gardener.

On Twitter: @lisa_eddy

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