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It’s almost April and National Poetry Month!  Time to craft your poems for Secretary Duncan, your state bureaucrats and politicians.

National Poetry Month will be celebrated next month so you might want to get your poems ready about what you think about education.  You could write your poem and send it to your school board, superintendent, politicians, education commissioner, State Board members, governor and Arne Duncan.  Another idea is to have students who are learning under Common Core to write a poem describing their feelings and/or experiences in their schools this year.

Last year Secretary Duncan was delighted to celebrate National Poetry Month and I’m sure he will be elated to know American citizens are concerned about the direction/development of educational policies in their local school districts.  From last year’s celebration of National Poetry month:


poetry and arne duncan

A student group in Chicago delivered a poem to Mayor Rahm Emanuel which was written to portray student displeasure in Emanuel’s education reforms for their school.  From Youth Poetry Team Obliterates Mayor ‘Wreck-It Rahm’ In Viral YouTube Video:

Mayor Emanuel’s loudest opponent isn’t a local politician or the Chicago Teacher Union’s Karen Lewis. That honor goes to the teens in the slam poetry group TEAM Englewood, whose latest poem verbally eviscerates the Mayor.

Competing in the semi-finals of the youth poetry competition Louder Than a Bomb, TEAM Englewood read a poem titled, “Hide Your Schools, Hide Your Homes, Hide Your Children, ‘Cause He’s Wrecking it All.” TEAM Englewood Community Academy‘s Dallas Battle, Kenyatta Tolbert, Alicia Hinton and David Holmes leave no mystery when it comes to the target of their poem, the second line makes it quite clear: “Rahm Emanuel is single handedly destroying our city.”


Here’s the video and transcript:

Hide Your Schools, Hide Your Homes, Hide Your Children, Cause He’s Wrecking it All

Hammer in one hand paint brush in the other
Rahm Emanuel is single handedly destroying our city
Mr. wreck it Rahm
look what Chicago is becoming
bending the rules to fit in the lie of building a new chicago
building new streets
when his own plan got some pot holes

Tearing down our dreams
its getting really windy in these streets
Red X’s mark the spots where his wrecking balls are next to drop

We are not included in the Blue Print of the New Chicago: we’re being pushed out
our buildings transformed into condos – and we know those AINT FOR US
Thermal shock is setting in from the whipping wind of the heartless sins
of the mayor

Norfolk Railroads is pushing us southern folk out
Homes replaced with tracks
that will be laid
where our heads used to
If dry wall could talk
it would speak many prayers to keep our homes
now vacant lots that hold lots of remnants
of 60 years of backyard barbeques
baby showers
and when electric sliding was the super power of the summer
55th and Normal
we are losing all of this

Torturing, tormenting us as we choke on the ashes of our memories
*Cough Cough*
Let’s hope we don’t get sick
Because he’s closing all our clinics
He needs to get treated
And then maybe we can sew back on the other half of the middle finger
that he has been giving us

Its almost as if he’s E Manuel of E-Limination

Step one: Take away our schools
Step Two: Put them out their home
Lastly: Destroy it all and
Deny Deny Deny
But remember, to always keep a straight face when you lie!

Try to pour the cheap paint over our eyes while stealing dollars from under our mattresses
There’s not enough? Close their schools
But he’s building a new DePaul stadium
Using our TIF funds to Transform the South Loop into the Promised Land of redevelopment
and some river walk
of course downtown
The paint is starting to streak.
Building a new Chicago or extending a new lie!
How can a city so in debt blueprint something so expensive?

Banneker Elementary – Closed
Woods Elementary – Closed
Yale Elementary – Closed

The paint is cracking:
From every west side basketball brotherhood
To south side sisterhood bonds through pom-poms
And every poetry team that had dreamed of being on this very stage
has been ripped apart,

Bad foundation for our future generations
struggling with 40 students in one class
so they learn from the streets
There’s not money for our schools, but, there’s enough to build a New Chicago
But that New Chicago is NOT for us.
The paint is wearing thin and so was our patience
Irreparable damage has already been done

Time to stop the destruction of OUR city
Prevent the further corruption of our already twisted politics of Chicago

25% of Chicago school children won’t amount to anything
100% sure that we will be something
See Rahm we are mathematicians
your lies are adding up
and this new Chicago is just another one of them


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