SING ALONG WITH SUBSTANCE... 'Farmer Duncan has a plan...' EIEIO...

Over the recent October 17, 2010 weekend, CTU members elected as convention delegates attended the Illinois Federation of Teachers (IFT) Convention in the beautiful city of St. Louis, Missouri. Yes, Missouri. IFT Conventions take place every two years, alternating between Chicago and elsewhere in Illinois. We were told that there were no union hotels in the southern half of Illinois available to accommodate the IFT Convention. Thus, we spent the weekend (and our money) in a state other than our own. (Note: This reporter is a convention delegate.) With a plethora of items to report that should once again make CTU members proud of their representation at union conventions (as was the case for the AFT Convention this summer in Seattle, Washington), and in this case also proud to be members of the IFT, I have ridiculously decided to instead first share some fun.

After speaking with fellow members of the Caucus of Rank and File Educators (CORE) in social settings at the convention, as well as communicating back home in Chicago, it has became weirdly apparent that a sizable few of us have somehow, independently, been on the same interesting and creative wavelength. We have been thinking up and in some cases writing down song lyric spoofs about what presently surrounds us in our educational livelihoods.

What this indicates is that the powers-that-be-against-us (read: politicians - some put into office by teachers and other union members, “education reform leaders,” the “mainstream media,” and so on and so many others) are ripe, ready, and available for some greatly deserved, publically-understood ridicule. One cannot very successfully spoof something that is being taken seriously. The time is finally right, and right will out. In other words, many more people are finally noticing that these emperors ain’t wearin’ any clothes and theys butts is exposed.

The following is something I mostly wrote on the way home, driving onto the shoulder only a few times (thank the maker for those waker-upper thingies). The idea has been bouncing around for a while. Yes, the sizable few of us are probably certifiable, and certainly sleep-deprived, but my particular inspiration for formalizing it into writing was the following: During dinner conversation at the convention, one person asked the group something to the effect of, “Aren’t they now called CAOs?”

To which another person replied something like, “No, I thought they were AIOs.” Someone else then said what amounted to, “What about CEOs?”

This continued on until a final person put an end to it by promptly and sanely singing, “E-I-E-I-O.” Such a goofy anecdote actually gives the general public a basic crash course on exactly what the organization of Chicago Public Schools is and has been just above the school level for far too long, just as the goofy song lyric spoof written below accurately describes what surrounds the former CEO of CPS turned national Secretary of Education.

It is hoped that this might inspire more teachers to share a few stanzas from their own “masterpieces” for the public and ourselves to enjoy and appreciate, and for the powers-that-should-not-be to be most effectively exposed.

Directions: Sing to “Old MacDonald Had a Farm (E-I-E-I-O).”


Farmer Duncan has a plan

(Conjure up some tests) To plow the schools across the land

(Just like CPS)

With a benchmark here, and a DIBEL scribble there,

Here a bubble, there a bubble,

Sow the schools with toil and trouble

Farmer Duncan has a plan

(Conjure up some tests)


Dribblin’ Duncan has a plan

(Every child must race)

To slam dunk schools across the land

(At the same set pace)

With a fast kid here, and a slower child there,

Clear that hurdle – with your wheelchair

Arne doesn’t care

Dribblin’ Duncan has a plan

(Every child must race)


Union buster has a plan

(Kick the teachers out)

To break the schools across the land

(Hire those with clout)

With a handshake here, and a wink/nod there,

Let the preacher be a teacher,

AUSL, All Star, creature feature

Union buster has a plan

(Kick the teachers out)


Doofus Duncan has a plan

(Funding private gain)

To bankrupt schools across the land

(Public feels the pain)

Fix an old school up, for some charter school digs,

Shut ‘em down, turnaround, Increase student Guinea pigs

Doofus Duncan has a plan

(Funding private gain)


Flunkin’ Duncan has a plan

(Make the states compete)

To compost schools across the land

(Grovel at Fed’s feet)

With their plans rejected, ‘cause he says so, honey,

What ain’t even funny?

It’s their own tax money!

Flunkin’ Duncan has a plan

(Make the states compete)


Obama’s point man has a plan

(Numbers set us free)

To crunch the schools across the land


With a PD here, a curriculum map,

Analysis paralysis, Data-driven bullcrap

Obama’s point man has a plan



A-plus a-hole has a plan

(Let’s evaluate!)

To pass his gas across the land

(Toxic fumigate)

Add a value here to a useless test

“Master” teachers rule the rest

AFT appease mess

A-plus a-hole has a plan

(Let’s evaluate!)


“Aw-Shucks” Arne has a plan

(Politicians glow)

To duct tape schools across the land

(Bipartisan sideshow)

What they just don’t get, on their chinny-chin-chins?

Republicratic Democans,

Under Arne no one wins

“Aw-Shucks” Arne has a plan

(Politicians glow)


Farmer Duncan has a plan


Arne’s got to go!


October 23, 2010 at 10:44 AM

By: Jim


I love it!

October 23, 2010 at 7:19 PM

By: John Whitfield

Sister Grim?

Is Susie Sister grim?

Subscribe to Substance for only $16./ yr.

October 24, 2010 at 9:25 AM

By: Margaret Wilson


I missed this kind of writing in Substance. It's catchy and really makes a point.

October 24, 2010 at 3:06 PM

By: Theresa D. Daniels

satirist lyric writer Susan Zupan

I am in awe of Susan's talent. Her email today on CORE listserve shows more of the same--scathing and spot-on.

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