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Wednesday, February 5, 2020

I never wanted to be a blogger

I use to write research articles. For over a decade I was an associate editor for the New England Reading Association Journal.
I was a good academic, but I discovered that the research did not matter to market-based education reformers, policymakers, and legislators looking to blame teachers, children, and poor community schools. The very people who would use the illusion of school choice and high-stakes testing to cover the vast inequity and injustice that Black, Brown, and Special Education children face every day in our public school system. These people betrayed them, and these people don't care about the research.
Even our courts have protected that inequity, time and time again. Despite, Brown v The Board of Education becoming the law of the land in 1954. In this School To Prison Pipeline, market-based reformers don't care about the research, the data, or the truth. And to be honest no one really reads academic articles these days. Profits and lies rule education reform.
I never wanted to be a blogger. All I wanted was to teach and be a good academic. But NCLB, RTTT and ESSA Act(s) got in the way. Silence and apathy, trusting the status quo are unacceptable in the face of systemic racism and lies.
So in 2010, I started walking. I stopped writing articles and became a blogger. Here is the story of my blog Children Are More Than Test Scores.
To date there have been over 200,000 views, my articles altogether would be lucky to have 500 reads. Although my university was quite impressed with those 500 reads, it gave me tenure, promoted twice. To be honest they also were impressed with my activism and blogs as well. I never hid any of it. Trust me new academic like Julian Vasquez Heilig promotes the new academia needs to be rooted in social media as well. Young ones don't believe the hype you can do both, keep your self-respect, and rise.
My blog writing is mixed in with my activism and love of public schools. If someone would have said when I became an academic that I would become an activist and blogger...well I would have thought them crazy.
Sometimes Crazy is what you need,
Dr. Jesse P. Turner
Professor of Literacy, Elementary, and Early Childhood Education.
Here is the link to my 7 minutes BrainWave Anthology interview with Producer Robert Greenberg 

Three Hero Teachers who turned a homeless kid into Ph.D.

I am going to post three separate video Blog entries over the next three days. The video interviews are done by "The Brainwaves video anthology" they are produced and filmed by Bob Greenberg. He is this incredible human being, former teacher, and producer. He describes his anthology as  "Here you will meet the thinkers, dreamers, and innovators; some of the brightest minds in education. This series is meant to inspire and engage the viewer to dig deeper and learn more. In the words of Georges Melies, (The Invention of Hugo Cabret) "Now sit back, open your eyes and be prepared to dream."

The first one is "Teachers Make a difference"

Sometimes God sends you angels. You don't really know where they come from. I get an email, then a phone call from Robert Greenberg, he says do you know about the Brainwaves Video Anthology? I have no clue, but as we are talking I go online see interviews with Ken Burns, Noam Chomsky, Diane Ravitch, Nancy Carlson-Paige, Mark Naison, and dozens, no hundreds of voices that have inspired me, informed my thinking and lifted me up.

He said can I come to interview you? Now, I did wonder why me, but I know God sends these Angels. So I said yes...
I asked what do you want me to talk about? He said your activism, your teaching, and one teacher who inspired you...

Now, Robert, I know some people have one, they are blessed, people who have two are lucky, but sir I have three, and those three make me the most blessed teacher walking this earth.

Here is Robert's video of Jesse The Walking Man Turner talking about his three hero teachers.
Please follow the link? I promise you won't be sorry, especially if you are an educator.

Tell it on every mountaintop teachers saved my life,
Dr. Jesse P. Turner
Moral Monday CT Education Ambassador

Saturday, November 23, 2019

This Teacher Shall Honor The Radical Dr. King in 2020 With Action

Dr. Turner is still the same teacher I have always been.
I bring humanity into my classroom,
I reward both small and big learning victories,
I make sure our teachers and children smile coming in, and leaving,
I like getting down on eye level with learners,
I treat all with compassion, dignity, and honor.

Outside that schoolhouse door,
I advocate and fight the political and moral battles for all children, parents, and teachers.
I am a relentless fighter for equity and justice for all.
Outside my classroom door,
I am Jesse The Walking Man Turner,
Like those minute men of old,
I am always:
Ready to march,
Speak the truth,
Write the truth,
Testify the truth,
Stand up for the truth.

None of this is new to me,
This has been the story of my whole teaching life,
Come April 3, 2020,
I shall walk for equity in Connecticut,
In the state whose Supreme Court ruled our state is not responsible to provide equity to all our children.
A state whose Black, Brown, Poor, and Special Education Children have never known equity in our public schools.
I am walking that 12 miles from our state's first teachers' college CCSU to our state's Legislative Office Building for our children, our teachers, and our public schools.

What I do there at that LOB on April 3, 2020?
I will honor the memory of our nation's dreamer,
That dreamer who dreamed the dream,
That Radical for justice,
That Radical for love,
That radical for hope,
I shall honor Dr. Martin Luther King's memory of that Radical King who walked for justice everyday.

Come April 3, 2020, I shall walk 12 miles for equity,
It is not a long walk,
It should take me about three hours,
Like Joshua at Walls of Jericho,
I shall blow my horn of truth,
Like Joshua,
Like Dr. King,
I know truth matters,
I know marching matters.

Come April 4, 2020, I shall hold an Equity Now Education Salon at Central Connecticut State University,

Because that Radical King called me to go up that mountain.
I understand that silence and apathy reject the cornerstone of our nation's dreamer dream of liberty and justice for all,
I shall carry,
My Poor Peoples Campaign flag for justice,
My Bullhorn for truth, and
I shall honor Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. legacy on the 52nd anniversary of his assassination in the only way that matters,
I shall reject silence,
I shall reject apathy,
I shall march,
I shall speak,
I shall act for equity and justice,
I shall do with love,
Jesse The Walking Man Turner

Got my walking shoes on people

If you like to listen to the tune that I listen to on my morning walk to today...its "Up To The Moutain" by Patty Griffin