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Please turn your test books to page 26. Read the directions to yourself while I read them aloud. Or read this book of anti-test poetry.
Please turn your test books to page 26. Read the directions to yourself while I read them aloud. Or read this book of anti-test poetry.
77 backers pledged $2,082 to help bring this project to life.

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--Update, 6/12--

WOW! With only 2 hours left, we've hit a bunch more stretch goals! Buy now, and you'll get a book with full-color illustrations on every page, and a free audiobook too!

 

--Original Post--

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...

---

Meanwhile:

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.

---

At this point now, students
We’re ready to start
No DON’T OPEN IT YET
We’re not quite at that part...

Risks and challenges

I'm excited to be launching my first Kickstarter, though admittedly this is a learning opportunity! I still have some decisions to make to be sure I'm getting you the best product for the right price, though I have done enough research to make sure this is totally viable.

I'm setting an expected receipt date of November. While I am hopeful that it will come out sooner, I wanted to be realistic about the possible delays I might face. In my summers, I direct a summer camp in the mountains of North Carolina, where my internet access is spotty -- which means some of the logistical work will have to be done a bit slowly. Then, of course, I'm starting a new school year! However, I will be able to finish all creative work and organize logistical tasks over the summer, and be able to spend September and October making arrangements for printing and shipping, so I'm confident you'll have this in your hands in time for those fall benchmarks and midterms. For all of the sassy teachers in your life, our book will be available just in time for the holidays. Consider your holiday-teacher-shopping taken care of.

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    Original poem + signed hardcover book

    E-book + signed hardcover book + Jesse will write you an original poem on a topic of your choice!

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    "Exceeds Expectations"

    E-book + 3 signed hardcovers + 3 postcards + your name in the dedication + I will write you an original Mystery Scantron Poem just for you. What's a Mystery Scantron Poem? Trust me, it'll be exciting.

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Funding period

- (30 days)