Testing Poetry: a book of passive-aggressive resistance
Testing Poetry: a book of passive-aggressive resistance

This project has already launched.

My stamina’s fading
I’m hitting a wall 
My eyesight is blurry 
My confidence: small

These tests are too taxing 
It’s really a shame 
(And all I’ve done so far 
Is fill out my name...)


"Please read the directions to yourself while I read them aloud."

If those words just brought a chill to your spine, then this book is for you.

If you think standardized tests are poorly-designed, time-wasting, culturally biased, bureaucratic, anti-critical thinking, money-making soul-crushers, then yes, this book is also for you.

I'm both a writer and a 4th grade teacher. I deal with unpleasant things through writing. And having to administer standardized testing on more than 10% of the days of my school year is a very, very unpleasant thing.

About proctoring: the act is as unpleasant as it sounds. While proctoring I am Actively Monitoring, which means I am making sure testing is happening in perfect accordance with state rules and guidelines. I have been informed that reading prevents me from Actively Monitoring, and therefore I may not bring a book when I go proctoring. 

The guidelines for Actively Monitoring do not say anything about writing sarcastic poetry.

I now have a collection of poems about testing that may or may not have been written while Actively Monitoring.

Some of them have been published online at www.chalkpoetry.wordpress.com, but many others will be exclusive to this collection.


I pledge allegiance to test security 
I will stand up for testing purity 
I will put tests above all else 
My classroom, social life, and health...



This is Anna. Anna is an amazing illustrator, whose response to this project was "f*** the establishment," so she is a natural choice to join this project. She will be doing a cover illustration as well as artwork throughout the collection. This is very exciting. Her art, both illustrations and painting, can be found at www.FoxRyan.com.

Get to the point: what's in it for me?

So you've decided to join the resistance. Welcome! 

You will receive a collection of original poems about the darker side of standardized testing, featuring artwork by Anna Fox. Depending on your level of donation, you might get it as an e-book, printed booklet, or hardcover book.

Why should I give you money?

Good question! Throwing money around is part of what got us in this mess!

I am NOT expecting to earn money from this. My goals are 1) to give creative fodder to the anti-testing movement, and 2) to create a great product as I work on exploring a future career writing picture books and silly poetry.

If we hit our goal, all of the money will go into product costs and paying the artist.

If we exceed our goal, I will use extra funds to improve printing quality and to introduce stretch goals -- adding more poetry and other content, and compensating Anna for more illustrations that may even be in color if we reach a certain threshold. If interest is high enough, profits will be used to produce additional copies to distribute and sell after the Kickstarter ends (if we reach that point, I'll make sure to do something special and personal with the copies going to Kickstarter backers).

Help spread the word -- the more copies we sell, the better I can make your product!

I like it! I want more copies for my friends!

I like you! I want you to have more! Just add $15 to any pledge including a chapbook (paper booklet) to get an extra chapbook, or $30 to any pledge including a hardcover to get an extra hardcover.

But I like tests!

I respect other viewpoints! Hopefully, though, my book will open a window for you into some of the dehumanizing, bureaucratic conditions that I see my 9-year-olds being subjected to. For instance, did you know that I'm not allowed to have anything on the walls of my classroom during the duration of state testing -- which lasted across 5 weeks this year?

Sound depressing? You bet! Good thing there's silly poetry to make it easier on the soul.


The tests are out
My stuff’s away
My mouth is closed
I will not play

But I’ll show them
They don’t own me
(My pencils all
Are number 3)

comments powered by Disqus