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Friday, October 21, 2016

Wake up, Policy Makers, Legislators and Ed Reformers you have failed

Tonight at our TEDxCCSU all women Happening "Who Speaks for us" event. Six incredible women take the stage at CCSU. Women whose work deeply reflects an advocacy of caring for others.
My heroes have always been women. TEDxCCSU talkers are not compensated, they are not even given a penny towards their travel, they take great risks to spread good ideas. They stand alone on the stage knowing that they have 15 minutes to give it their best shot. They do this, because they care about the world, about you, and about us. They are the best of the best.

I am so proud our TEDxCCSU team gave me the go ahead to recruit an all women cast this year. In two weeks time I'll post the links to their talks. Get ready, we are shaking the's woman's day.
Nell Noddings is a larger than life author and Feminist Educator. She said: "We will not find the solution to problems of violence, alienation, ignorance, and unhappiness in increasing our security, imposing more tests, punishing schools for their failure to produce 100 percent proficiency, or demanding that teachers be knowledgeable in the subjects they teach. Instead, we must allow teachers and students to interact as whole persons, and we must develop policies that treat the school as a whole community." 


In selecting our TEDx talkers this year I reread and reflected on the writings of Nell Noddings often. I reached out to Women whose work speaks for itself much like Noddings work speaks to me.
Dr. Denny Taylor introduced Nell to me some 22 years ago. She was a visiting scholar, and I was a doctoral student at the University of Arizona.  She was simply amazing. One of those teachers who inspires and moves her students to risk stepping outside their comfort zones. I am blessed by her lessons. Denny is speaking tonight, and like Nell Noddings her work is profoundly rooted in caring for children, parents, public schools, and our planet. I want Denny to know I still read Nell Noddings, and my teaching is inspired by caring for everyone who walks through this world. You don't need to be my student for me to care for you. I am my brothers and sisters keeper, and they are my keepers.

You don't have to be a rocket scientist to know our current legislators, policy makers, and education reformers are male driven reforms. NCLB, RTTT, and ESSA have already failed our children, their parents and teachers, and our public schools. The data of the past 14 years clearly points to their male driven models of rigor, tough love, and choice without equity as the biggest education reform failures in the history of public education. They have done great harm to a whole generation, and now with ESSA they are harming another. We can stand by and watch, or we can meet the challenge to care enough to enter the arena of change like tonight's TEDxCCSU talkers.

SO WAKE UP legislators, policy makers, and so called education reformers, you have already failed us. Choice without equity, rigor without out compassion, and the inhumanity of Test And Punish polices have always failed children. Nell Noddings, pointed out that our greatest challenge in public education is not tougher standards and more rigorous tests. The biggest challenge in our public schools is create a public school system that is deeply rooted in caring for those we teach, their teachers, each other, and our world. Children deserve education reforms rooted in caring.
Shaking the tree, it's women's day at TEDxCSSU,
Jesse The Walking Man Turner

If you want to listen to what this walking man listened to on his walk over the mountain this morning 

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

The Dissent Of A Giant: American Can Do Better

In my school days we began every day with these words "I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America, and to the republic for which it stands, one nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all." Some might call it indoctrination, but for me it planted the aspiration of justice that drives my activism today. I still remember that pledge, I still remember placing my hand over my heart. Despite every injustice in our nation today I still believe in liberty and justice for all. It drives my every action. There were giants once on our United States Supreme Court. Thurgood Marshall was one of them. Justice Marshall said: "I wish I could say that racism and prejudice were only distant memories. We must dissent from the indifference. We must dissent from the apathy. We must dissent from the fear, the hatred and the mistrust…We must dissent because America can do better, because America has no choice but to do better.”

Isn't his "We Must Dissent" from apathy, because America has can do better more relevant today than ever before? Isn't his call to dissent a moral call to action to a people who care about justice for all Americans? Isn't not answering the call the immoral choice of a people who don't care about justice for all.

We must dissent, because America,
Can do better in our public schools,
Can do better in our courts,
Can do better in our health care system,
Can do better in our policing,

Can do better for our veterans,
Can do better for the poor,
Can do better for the unemployed,
Can do better for elderly,

Can do better on race,
Can do better on economic justice,
Can do better on housing,
Can do better on keeping jobs here in America,
Can do better on ensuring a living wage for all,
Can do better on tax fairness.
America can do better, because America has no choice.

Shout on every street corner in the land, whisper it in every hamlet, bang your pops and pans, ring every bell America Can Do Better, Because America has no choice.
Call me one of Thurgood Marshall's voices of dissent,
Jesse The Walking Turner

If you like to hear the tune I was listening to on my walk this morning...its Marvin Gay's "what going on" > <