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Twas the night before testing, when all through the house
Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse.
The laces were placed in the sneakers with care,
In hopes that the teacher would, too, wear a pair.

The children were nestled all snug in their beds,
While visions of Scantrons danced in their heads. 
The teacher, in a state of serious duress,
Had just prepped her class for a standardized test.

When back at the school there arose such a clatter,
The teacher was told to see what was the matter.
Away to the school she flew like a flash,
Then towards her classroom she made a mad dash.

The light showed each desk in its nice ordered row,
Waiting for teachers to arrive, kids in tow.
When, what to the teacher’s eyes should appear,
But a mighty Green Lacer, without hint of fear.

With his shoes all laced up and glowing with green,
The teacher knew in a moment what this would mean
More rapid than eagles his children they came,
And he whistled, and shouted, and called them by name!

“Now Chloe! Now, Zoey! Now, Joey and Terrence!
On, Daniel! On, Mitchell! On Bradley and Clarence!
To all of the classes! Through all of the halls!
Throw tests away! Tests away! Tests away all!”

As fast as can be and with no hint of sorrow,
They got rid of tests that would greet kids tomorrow.
Then back to the classrooms they ran with delight,
With so much to do, this would be a long night.

The Green Lacer stood smiling as he gave out supplies.
What the teacher was watching brought tears to her eyes.
The children drew pictures and hung them around,
From as high as the ceiling to as low as the ground.

He said, “Students, not scores,” to each child alike
And marveled at their drawings; a puppy, a bike.
He was proud of their work and he knew in his heart,
That each of these kids was their own work of art.

His eyes– how they twinkled! He truly felt joy,
As he saw the potential of each girl and each boy.
The teacher remembered when she felt the same way
But now scripts and modules told her what to say.

She walked around slowly and thought of tomorrow
When her class sees the room it will erase all their sorrow.
It had been so long since they had really been free,
To know that answers are more than just A, B, or C.

She thought of her students and their dread of the test,
She knew what the Lacer brought was a rest.
A rest from the failure, frustration and fear,
A rest from the shackles that bound them this year.

She looked at her shoes that by magic turned green,
And wondered who would believe what she had seen.
She looked for the Lacer, whom she wanted to thank,
But alas, he was gone; her heart dropped, her face blank.
Then she remembered that her lace was green too.
To prepare for her class, she knew just what to do.
She declared loud and clear, and with all of her might,
“Children are not scores! And for all I will fight!”