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Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Beyond the Achievement GAP, or it's the Opportunity Gap people!

Day 4,780 of NCLB's Reign Of Testing Terror.
Americans were told in 2001 that our education system was in crisis, and the solutions would be "Outcomes-based reforms," and NCLB would fix our schools.
Every child in grades 3 to 8 would be reading, writing, and doing math at grade level by 01/01/14. Never happened!
They promised they would reduce the Achievement Gap. Never happened!        
They promise they would reduce racial isolation in our public schools. Never Happened!
They promise that new standards and testing would wipe away special needs and second language learner issues. Their solution simply make all children take the same test. Another  promised not delivered!

Over a trillion dollars federal tax dollars went to pushing new standards and testing and outcomes-based education reforms. 4,780 days later the data is in. Our children in grades 3 to 8 are not reading, writing, and doing math at grade level. I call this, the single largest policy failure in American education history.  A massive policy collaborative failure at the Federal level and state level. 
No one in the United States Department of Education was ever asked to account for this policy failure, no one was fire, and no one was reprimanded. There were no legislative hearings held to question these policy failures. Not legislative hearing even as policy makers advocate once again new standards, new testing, and more "Out-Comes based solutions again.
I know of no legislators, policy makers, or USDE leaders in Washington DC advocating for any real significant change in policy. They advocate Common Core State Standards, new tests, more charter-schools, and every initiative is "Out-comes driven"

I can't help, but feel America's children, parents, teachers, and local schools are on their own. I do however suggest a different model for improving our public schools.
I propose shift to an "In-Put model. Others have advocated and are advocating for it. I suggest we drop the notion of “Out-Comes” based reforms, and put the Achievement Gap on the back burner.  I am not proposing we put special needs learners, children of color, or second language learners on the back burner. I want these learners on the front burner. We do that not by turning these learners into data, but by equalizing the learning field. 
The time has come to advocate for "In-Put' based solutions. We don't need more outcomes data; we need to start collecting, analyzing, and supporting "In-Put solutions that directly address the inequalities in our nation's public schools. If your improvement does not help reduce the inequalities of racial, poverty, and special needs students then we don't need it.  

Abraham Maslow over six decades ago proposed his Maslow’s “Hierarchy of Needs’” which suggested that before human beings could meet the higher expectations there basic needs had to be met.
In order to learn human beings must have their basic needs for food, water, sleep, shelter, need to feel safe, and need love, intimacy and friendship. OUT-Come based solutions cannot fill these needs in our schools, but “In-Put” driven solutions can. I am suggesting NCLB/RTTT reforms focused on the wrong data and held the wrong people accountable. Children, teachers, and public schools are not responsible for rectifying inequality, but society is.
It is time to make equity the standard, and hold policy makers and legislators accountable for reducing inequalities that are overwhelming our nation's public schools.

Abraham Maslow said: "
All the evidence that we have indicates that it is reasonable to assume in practically every human being, and certainly in almost every newborn baby, that there is an active will toward health, an impulse towards growth, or towards the actualization." Something deep inside me has me thinking Maslow would say NCLB had it all wrong.

How many generations must be sacrificed, before we accepts that it's the “Opportunity Gap” not the  “Achievement Gap” that matters?
Jesse The Walking Man Turner

Wonder what the Walking Man was listening to on his walk in the rain this morning...It was Eric Clapton's "Change The World" > <

Friday, August 29, 2014

Labor proud, labor strong, solidarity forever

Happy Labor Day America.
In 1962 looking back Elizabeth Gurley Flynn said:  "We couldn't see things with the eyes of 1962. We saw them with the eyes of 1905 through about 1917. Well, we certainly never heard of such a thing and we never thought it would be possible, that there would be social security or unemployment insurance... Also, we never heard of vacations with pay. We never heard of vacations, let alone vacations with pay. We never heard of seniority as it is understood today. There were no pensions for retirement of workers."
In 2014 looking ahead we may very well lose everything that was gained by generations of Americans. Silence and apathy are the actions that will leave America's poor, the elderly, and the sick  on their own, and is leaving middle class Americans in a sea of debt. Not afraid anymore, unions make us strong. I grew labor strong through watching and following the life of that labor giant César Chávez 
Sí, se puede,  
Jesse The Walking Man Turner

If you are wondering what the Walking Man is listening to on his walk this morning it's NEA Vice President singing that old 1915 rallying cry "Solidarity Forever"

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Telling a lie over and over again is not truth, it's propaganda

This is an excellent article today in Truth-Out Education Inc, the link is below.
My take on the article follows:
The quote in the article that kept sticking out for me was.. “This predominant storyline places the blame for this perceived crisis on public schools, parents, teachers and their unions, and has been very effectively sold to us through a narrative that has been repeated over and over again - by our politicians, the super rich and the corporate media”….

Why this sticks out? Perhaps because I heard it before?
“But the most brilliant propagandist technique will yield no success unless one fundamental principle is borne in mind constantly and with unflagging attention. It must confine itself to a few points and repeat them over and over. Here, as so often in this world, persistence is the first and most important requirement for success. : "War Propaganda", in volume 1, chapter 6 of Mein Kampf (1925), by Adolf Hitler.

What’s the story Dr. Turner well the story is…“This predominant storyline places the blame for this perceived crisis on public schools, parents, teachers and their unions, and has been very effectively sold to us through a narrative that has been repeated over and over again - by our politicians, the super rich and the corporate media.” Over a decade later and 1.2 trillion dollars federal tax dollars later with little or nothing to show for itself. Well the story goes on and on, and children and teachers are it's victims.

You have it parents and teachers, it’s all propaganda sold to us over, and over again by government officials, politicians, and cooperate education reformers. Propaganda that reduces our children, teachers, and their schools to test scores and profits. Steven Biko said: "The most potent weapon of the oppressor is the mind of the oppressed."
The time is here to free our minds and our children from this corporate propaganda that demoralizes children, teachers, and places for sale on our local public schools.
Children are more than test scores,
Jesse The Walking Man Turner

If you want to know what I weas listening to on my walk's the OJAYS Money, Money, Money...