The muse at night burns big and bright deep in the heart of Texas



Danged ol’ Texas special session! BOOM man! Tell you what! I need a danged ol’ Muse of Fire to tell you about it, man! The danged ol’ Lone Star State for a stage! Governors to act! And legislators to behold the battle, man!

Then should the warlike Abbott, like himself,
put his danged ol’ helmet on, and at his heels,
Leashed up in like bloodhounds, danged ol’ Executive Powers
howl for release! But pardon, folks,
That we danged ol’ animated screen actors guild members have dared
On this little ol’ stage to bring forth
So great a special session: can this platform hold
The big-o fields of Texas? Or may we cram
Within this danged ol’ tiny hall, the very debates
Of danged ol’ lawmakers bloviating on the back mic in Austin?

Bless their hearts, man, I tell you what!

O, pardon! Since little ol’ us
are like the danged ol’ underdog man!
And let us, danged ol’ season ticket holders to this here matchup,
ask you to use your danged ol’ imagination.
Suppose within the walls of the pink granite building
Are now confined two danged ol’ mighty forces ready to go at it like Longhorns and Sooners, man!

One an immovable union blob babbling about  those danged ol’ Friday night lights
and hopeful of your inattention to academic decline, danged ol’ Branch Ravitchians talking about how allegedly an angel told them that K-12 choice gonna send you to the danged ol’ LAKE OF FIRE, man! They danged ol’ don’t want to change anything, man, I tell you what.

On the other side an irresistible Governor Abbott and Texas families yearning to breathe free, man! “Legislation providing education savings accounts for all Texas schoolchildren,” danged ol’ Governor said! Let’s get ready to danged ol’ rummmmble, man!

I tell you what danged ol’ Ross Perot told us that danged ol’ don’t matter if a I kid runs a 4.5 40 if they can’t read their danged ol’ playbook! Danged ol’ kids need to be more like Bijan and do sports and academics, man!

Think when we talk of vetoes, that you see them
Killing bills like Dale spraying bugs;
For it’s your thoughts that now must deck our policymakers,
Carry them here and there; speeding up time like a danged ol’ montage!

Turning the accomplishment of decades of debate
Into a danged ol’ oven alarm: for the witch supply,
Admit me Chorus to this history;


Who Texas Ranger style your humble patience pray,
Gently to hear, kindly to judge, our danged ol’ play!

(If I’ve lost you watch this– and then watch the entire film! Special session has begun in Texas. Universal ESAs are on the call. Danged ol’ buckle up!)

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BY Matthew Ladner

Matthew Ladner is executive editor of Next Steps. He has written numerous studies on school choice, charter schools and special education reform, and his articles have appeared in Education Next; the Catholic Education: A Journal of Inquiry and Practice; and the British Journal of Political Science. He is a graduate of the University of Texas at Austin and received a master's degree and a Ph.D. in political science from the University of Houston. He lives in Phoenix with his wife and three children.