Search This Blog


Saturday, July 12, 2014

Like a tree by the river, I shall not be moved!

Why DC? It's our nation's sacred ground!
Why travel to stand with my fellow teachers, and with parents?
It's a teacher thing?
It's a BAT thing!
It's an Opt Out thing!
It's an American thing!
Why fight the wealthy, powerful, and the connected?
It's a moral thing!
Why fight back against injustice?
It's A Selma thing!
It's a Walking Man thing!
It's the right thing!
William Lloyd Garrison that great abolitionist said: "I will be as harsh as truth, and as uncompromising as justice. On this subject, I do not wish to think, or to speak, or write, with moderation. No! no! Tell a man whose house is on fire to give a moderate alarm; tell him to moderately rescue his wife from the hands of the ravisher; tell the mother to gradually extricate her babe from the fire into which it has fallen; — but urge me not to use moderation in a cause like the present. I am in earnest — I will not equivocate — I will not excuse — I will not retreat a single inch — AND I WILL BE HEARD.”
In 15 days I will drive down to Washington DC with a carload of teachers to the stand against our United States Department of Education polices that reduce children to test scores, turn teachers into the enemy, parents as naive moaners, and public schools as the problem. No lobbyist, no political party, no union is paying for the gas, the hotel, the meals, Bill Gates is not funding this ride. My own dime is driving this car. Morality does not travel on the money of the wealthy, the powerful, or the connected, morality travels on the wings of hope.
I will not equivocate,
I will not excuse,
I will not retreat a single inch,
Like a tree by the a river I will not be moved,
Friends this Walking Man goes to DC on the wings of hope to be heard,
Jesse The Walking Man Turner

If you want to hear what the Walking Man is listening to on his walk today? It's I shall not be be moved by John Hurt. > <

Saturday, June 21, 2014

It not an Achievement Gap America, it's an Opportunity Gap

1 trillion Federal Dollars has been spent on policy that forces schools to compete under the threat of closure during the last decade. We reduced learning and teaching to testing. This focus on outcomes conveniently helps the wealthy, the connected, and the powerful to justify not investing in our schools, our children, and our teachers.
What have we gained?
Over a decade of Ed Reform data points to little or no growth. Actually for our first generation to graduate knowing only No Child Left Behind, we find test scores that are lower than they were in 1992.
What are we losing?
In my view children are losing the opportunity to view learning as fun, and as something personally and socially meaningful.

We are we risking with a national common core?
We risk losing our democracy by emphasizing conformity rather than celebrating our individuality. By focusing solely career goals we lose history, science, art, music, physical education, and play. Trust me these are the subjects that liberate the mind, the soul, and spark a child's imagination.

It's simple while spending over a trillion tax dollars on testing and standards our schools have become more segregated. Rather than fight for equity in our schools, we have spent a decade increasing inequity in our schools. We don't have an Achievement Gap; we have a Gap between a system of have and have not schools.
Steve Jobs said: “I’m a very big believer in equal opportunity as opposed to equal outcome. Equal opportunity to me, more than anything, means a great education. Maybe even more important than a great family life. We could make sure that every young child in this country got a great education. We fall far short of that.”
Steve Jobs got it, the failure to focus on our Opportunity Gap places our children at risk. Focusing on outcomes cannot close our Opportunity Gap. Isn't it time the United States Department of Education started focusing on equity in our schools?
Something deep inside my soul tells me bowing down to childhood makes so much more sense than crushing it.
Jesse The Walking Man Turner

If you want to know what the Walking Man is listening to today on his walk...its Barry Lane "Know your higher self"

Saturday, May 31, 2014

The difference between 1961 and 2014, in 61 we had childhoods

No one tracked the data online,
No teacher listed his/her SLO on the board,
We took 3 standardized tests,
One in grade 3,
One in grade 6, and
One in grade 9.
The total time spent on this testing was less than 2 days each time.
The state sent no color-coded reports home.
No newspapers published any schools scores.

Our teachers and administrators told us do your test, and remember they really don't count.
There were no Education Reformers without decades of teaching experience.
Teachers and administrators were valued and respected.

The standards educators and parents worried about were bigger than any bubbles on a test.
Their standards in 61 were
Doing our best,
Being fair,
Respect for others,
Being timely,
Being Trustworthy, and
Do the right thing.
All beyond the scope and sequence of any curriculum.
None of it was perfect, but childhood strived and survived.
Parents and teachers tried to stretch it out for as long as possible for their children.
No one ever said he is smart, he'll go places, no they said anyone could go anywhere they wanted as long as they tried their best.
I was not shaped by data, but by my school experience, my time on the playground, my wanderings through our neighborhood, and a million opportunities to be just another boy.
It's simple young people are tested for nearly two months a year these days. With the Common Core it will be every year for 13 years.
That is 516 more days than in my youth. When you break it down by 180 day school years, children today spent nearly three years taking, practicing, or preparing for some standardized test. Testing is not teaching. It time to start teaching our children again.
Jesse The Walking Man Turner

If you are wondering what this Walking Man will be doing on Sunday June 1, 2014, I be talking to a room full of parents asking them to join in this fight to take back childhood. It's what I seem to be doing every day these days. If you are wondering what the Walking is listening on his way to his talk it's "For what it's worth" >