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Wednesday, November 14, 2012

What the Word? Occupy the DOE!


What's the word Occupy the DOE

A good friend from South Africa, Vincent use to say before the fall of Apartheid people would chant "What's the word? Johannesburg!. In late April 1994 I remember clearly my friend's most joyous day in Ameri
ca.  
It was when he and some fellow South Africans living in Tucson Arizona drove 3 hours to cast their first votes, they stood in line for hours to vote for Nelson Mandela. 
A few months later he returned to his home land knowing the dark days of Apartheid had ended, but he had work to do. He returned to help build a new South Africa. That was his second most joyous day in America. Vincent's lesson to me was there are things worth fighting for no matter how long it takes.

Well America after over a decade of No Child Left Behind, (NCLB) policies our schools are more segregated than they have been in 50 years. Our public schools a tale of two cities, one with all the resources they need, and the other more isolated and abandoned than ever. Our politicians and school reformers point with pride to their efforts that have reduced our children to test scores, demoralizes our teachers, and forces our schools to compete for resources.
Welcome to the world of NCLB Apartheid. We have spent a trillion dollars on testing, and encouraged inequity in our schools.

All you anti school reformers shout this out What's the Word? Occupy DOE
Come one come all to Occupy DOE 2.0: The Battle for Public Schools. I urged all parents, students, teachers, and community activists to converge on the Department Of Education in Washington, DC April 4-7.
If you are planning on joining us in DC go to the following links:

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Occupy-the-DOE-in-DC/232665050126806
http://unitedoptout.com/event/occupy-doe-2-0-the-battle-for-public-schools-read-all-details-here/

What the word? Occupy the DOE,
Jesse The Walking Man Turner

Want to know what the Walking Man is listening to today it's Gil Scott-Heron's Johannesbugh (Live) 






Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Ain't nobody gonna turn me around!




This is why we vote.
There was a time when only the rich white land owner could vote,
A time when Black men and women were not only held in the chains, but not even considered human beings,
A time when women could not vote,
A time of Jim Crow voter suppression laws denied legally free black citizens the right to vote,
Not a hundred years ago, but in my lifetime,
Now there is a new Jim Crow sweeping our nations hidden behind so-called voter ID laws, and Provisonal ballots in Ohio,
A rose by any other name is still a rose,
And racism is still racism by any other name,
VOTE! VOTE!, and help others vote while you are at it.
If you see someone being intimidated at the polls start shouting, start complaining, start standing up for your fellow citizens.
Today I voted knowing full well in the year of my birth the following men were murdered for trying to register to vote.

May 7, 1955 · Belzoni, Mississippi
Rev. George Lee, one of the first black people registered to vote in Humphreys County, used his pulpit and his printing press to urge others to vote. White officials offered Lee protection on the condition he end his voter registration efforts, but Lee refused and was murdered.

August 13, 1955 · Brookhaven, Mississippi
Lamar Smith was shot dead on the courthouse lawn by a white man in broad daylight while dozens of people watched. The killer was never indicted because no one would admit they saw a white man shoot a black man. Smith had organized blacks to vote in a recent election.

I voted today for Rev George Lee,
I voted today for Lamar Smith,
I voted for James Earl Chaney, Andrew Goodman and Michael Henry Schwerner, those young civil rights workers, who were arrested by a deputy sheriff and then released into the hands of Klansmen who murdered, and buried their bodies in an earthen dam in 1964. Their noble face are not only posted in the blog, but posted in my heart forever.
I voted for my brother the Rev George Lee,
I voted for my brother Lamar Smith,
I voted for my brothers James Earl Chaney, Andrew Goodman, and Michael Henry Schwerner,
I vote while whispering that old Gospel song Ain't nobody gonna turn me around,
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uJ6mhRZ8LjM (Ain't nobody gonna turn me around The Roots utube)
Jesse The Voting Man Turner

Wednesday, October 31, 2012


Wall Street closed while union men and women answered the call



No school talk from me today, but a lesson just the same readers.

Did you noticed when Storm Sandy hit our shores who came our to help? It was Union member first responders who left their own families, their own homes to serve and protect the public. Mayor Bloomberg, Governors Malloy, Como, and Christie all called upon union nurses, union police officers, union firefighters, and union Port Authority workers. Mayor Bloomberg even asked teachers to help at the emergency shelters, and many answered the call.

Remember this lesson on Election Day. Unions made this nation, and unions have never failed to answer the call to duty. When those natural disasters get tough union workers have always answered the call. 
Wall Street ran home, and closed shop for two days. Told the world markets to hold their breath. Our bankers and brokers ran home knowing that “all the kings horses and all the kings men couldn’t put Humpty Dumpty back together again” While our union boys and girls answered their call to duty just like they did on 9-11.
You can bet your life on this one truth America. It will be our union brothers and sisters that will pick up the pieces, and build it all up again. It will be union made, and union strong.
Remember this come Election Day the enemy is not unions, but politicians and billionaires who claim union members make too much money, and their pensions cost too much. Meanwhile not one politician or billionaire is complaining that CEOs make 475 dollars for every dollar the average working person makes. When the skies clear Governor Christie and his fellow republicans will once again design new ways to weaken first responder pensions, but not one of those Wall Street golden parachutes will be harmed by them. After all you certainly don't want class warfare. Welcome to the war on the middle class!  
Love my union bothers and sisters,
Jesse The Walking Man Turner



Thursday, October 18, 2012

Sometimes the fun has a greater purpose

Just for my pal Mark Naison who wonders when was the last time any policy maker said learning should be fun. We love you Dr. Naison. So please don't hold your breath on the fun thing with policy makers? They just don’t get it. My thinking is every one of them hated learning, or are being paid well to sing the joys of filling in bubble tests. However children know better. There is no talking, and certainly no laughing is allowed when filling in their bubbles.

Fun is however something children, teachers, and parents get. This week in our CCSU Literacy Center we are having fun every day. We're singing, acting, and reading chapter books to honor our hero Malala Yousulfrizai the young Pakistani girl who was shot by the Tiliban for going to school last week. We are honoring her by celebrating 
what she stands for the right of all girls to sing, read, write, and go to school.
This fall every time a student completes 2-chapter books, and the tasks that goes along with them. Dr. Turner has to bow down on his knees proclaiming "their third grade brain is so much more brilliant than his very tiny little puny brain...I publicly bow down to your reading stamina, and pure greatness" They also pick the hat I should wear as I award them their gold medal, (pure plastic of course). We do have an array of crazy hats here Mark. You would love them. For some reason the teachers hear have convinced our students that crazy hats make you read better. While I have no real scientific evidence it appears to be working well.

Yes we have fun! We read without tears. We gladly complete all our assignments as well. Our chapter books are flying off the shelves. Our kids are reading not to score well on some policy maker’s test, but because reading is cool.
This afternoon it's our reading marathon to honor Malala our hero. We will read on chairs, on the floor, in the hallway, on the stairs, and even under the tables. We’ll read alone, in small groups, and all together. We will snap pictures of girls reading, and everyone writes get-well notes to Malala Yousulfrizai. We check our spelling, make sure our pictures are sharp, because we’ll post them to the London Hospital where Malala is being treated for the gunshot wound to her head. The children may not understand why this really happened to her, but they know it was wrong, and they know how to make her feel better.
You and I Dr. Naison know something that our policy makers appear to have lost sight of. It's the fun that motivates learning not their bubble testing.
Still having fun marching,
Jesse The Walking Man Turner



people do you really have to guess what I am listening to on my walk today?

Rocking with Cyndi Lauper singing "Girls just want to have fun"


If you want to find out about who my pal Mark Naison the notorious Rapping Ph.D from the Brooklyn is check him out on facebook:

Monday, September 10, 2012

I stand with my brothers and sisters of the Chicago Teachers Union

I support my brothers and sisters of the Chicago Teachers Union who went on strike today.

Dr. Martin Luther King said: "History is a great teacher. Now everyone knows that the labor movement did not diminish the strength of the nation but

 enlarged it. By raising the living standards of millions, labor miraculously created a market for industry and lifted the whole nation to undreamed of levels of production. Those who attack labor forget these simple truths, but history remembers them."

Dr. King was assassinated going to aid Memphis Sanitation workers right to unionize. He understood unions don't weaken America, but strengthen America! Martin knew this, and stood with America's unions. This is a link to this piece of American Labor that never makes it on to the tests our children take. This is something they could respond to with grace, dignity, and full hearts.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HBDgH435oaU

Here we are today in Chicago come full circle.

What are these striking teachers asking for from Mayor Emanuel and his gang of fake education reformers?
Smaller class sizes,
One physical education teacher in every school,
One art teacher,
One music teacher,
And one librarian.
These are the thing our nation's school use to have before these so-called NCLB/RTTT education reformers sacrificed to pay for all their testing.

My thinking is Martin spirit lives on that CTU picket line.
Standing with his brothers and sisters in the Chicago Teachers Union,
Jesse The Walkingman Turner





If you are wondering what the Walking Man is listening to on his walk today it's


Bruce Springsteen's "We take of our own" 




I've been knockin' on the door that holds the throne
I've been lookin' for the map that leads me home
I've been stumblin' on good hearts turned to stone
The road of good intentions has gone dry as bone
We take care of our own
We take care of our own
Wherever this flag's flown
We take care of our own

From Chicago to New Orleans
From the muscle to the bone
From the shotgun shack to the Superdome
We yelled "help" but the cavalry stayed home
There ain't no-one hearing the bugle blown
We take care of our own
We take care of our own
Wherever this flag's flown
We take care of our own

Where the eyes, the eyes with the will to see
Where the hearts, that run over with mercy
Where's the love that has not forsaken me
Where's the work that set my hands, my soul free
Where's the spirit that'll reign, reign over me
Where's the promise, from sea to shining sea
Where's the promise, from sea to shining sea
Wherever this flag is flown
Wherever this flag is flown
Wherever this flag is flown


More lyrics: http://www.lyricsmode.com/lyrics/b/bruce_springsteen/#share

Saturday, September 8, 2012

For George and all those union carrying first responders who ran into those towers on 9/11.


For brother George whose courage remains unquestioned,
For brother George who lives his life above the cheating,
My promise to you and the survivors and the fallen is I have not forgotten 9/11.
Reading this New York Times article below on cheating by

high achieving students. It mades me wonder about our nation's failure to give students something more than a test scores to look up to. 
Their is a real legacy left to us by our nation’s First Responders not rooted in cheating, but in the courage to do the right thing. This is what schools should be teaching not how to do better on some meaningless test. Article link: http://www.nytimes.com/2012/09/08/education/studies-show-more-students-cheat-even-high-achievers.html?_r=1&emc=tnt&tntemail1=y

The real legacy of Secretary of Education Arne Duncan's Race To The Top is not equity, or a closing of the achievement gap, but simply a culture of cheating. Neither NCLB, or this race of Duncan's has any moral foundation to it. His foundation is simply better test scores make better people. 
Let me say I disagree Mr. Secretary.

This coming Monday we shall remember those who lost their lives on 9/11/01.
Let's not forget that many of the ones running from those burning towers were most likely individuals with high test scores. The ones running out were the stock brokers, corporate lawyers, CEO's, and most likely not members of any of our nation's unions.
So brothers and sisters who ran in to save them?
Which ones dared to rushed in even after the first tower fell?
Which ones were walking people down the stairs as the world came tumbling down around them?
Let me tell who they were,
They were police officers, 
The emergency medical technicians, 
And fire fighters. 
The ones with union cards!
You know the ones whose test scores never won acceptance in to our Harvard(s) and Yale(s).
The ones like my old team mate Fire Captain George Bueno whose lost one of his crew.
Captain Bueno who had to fight for his pension for years after 9/11. 

I say test scores have nothing to do with making us better people, but hearts of courage do.
Imagine if our nation's public schools immersed our young people in a culture of courage rather than a race to the top.
America’s 21-st century is at a cross road in public education. One road calls us to follow ed reformers who consider children data and human capital. They offer a legacy of numbers.
The other road calls parents and teachers to leave something greater.  
We are being asked which legacy to we want our public schools to pass on to our nation's young. I want an American legacy rooted in courage not testing and cheating. I want a legacy of something greater than testing. I want future generations to know the courage of the ones who run in while others run out. 
Two from the heart brother George,
Jesse The Walking Man Turner

Monday, September 3, 2012

Happy Labor Day to the Chicago Teachers Union 2012


This one goes out to all my brothers and sisters in the Chicago Teachers Union this Labor Day. CTU is on the verge of striking, and they need our support.

video


I am asking teachers everywhere to post pictures on Facebook wearing red to show your solidarity with them. You can also buy a tee shirt, or make a donation to CTU:
 > http://www.ctunet.com/ <
President Kennedy said: "Our labor unions are not narrow, self-seeking groups. They have raised wages, shortened hours, and provided supplemental benefits. Through collective bargaining and grievance procedures, they have brought justice and democracy to the shop floor."
I say if you want self-seeking groups look to Wall Street and their political buddies.
Love,
Jesse The Walking Man Turner

If you are wondering why CTU is striking for go to: http://www.ctunet.com/quest-center/research/the-schools-chicagos-students-deserve

If you are wondering what the Walking Man is listening to on his walk this labor day it's Bruce Springsteen singing Woody Guthrie's This Land is Your Land.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1yuc4BI5NWU

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

I am an SOSer, a street fighter against the tyranny of pain known as NCLB


I am an SOSer
I am going to Washington DC, 
again.
I am relentless,
I am unwavering, 
and
I am still marching.
I am Jesse The Walking Man Turner.

Bruce Springsteen sings in Rocky Ground
"Rise up shepherd, rise up
Your flock has roamed far from the hills
Stars have faded, the sky is still
Sun's in the heavens and a new day's rising
The angels are shouting "Glory Hallelujah" 

I am a Shepard rising up. 
I am traveling over rocky ground
Glory Hallelujah!
I am calling for A Gathering of Shepards' 

I clearly remember that day, 
some 45 years ago ~
when my father abandoned us.
I was 10 years old, 
This time, I took the slap that was meant for Momma.
I fell to the ground,
 but I got right back up ~ ready for the next.
He knew it was time to go.
And so he did.
Before we knew it,
 we were on the streets.

Momma tells me I was born fighting for life. 
We knew Thanksgivings without a turkey,
The Christmas without a tree,
The winter without heat, or electricity,
Lived in emergency housing,
Know that a loaf of wonder bread and a jar of mayonnaise can be a Thanksgiving feast for the hungry.
"There go I,  for the Grace of God ~ one of Mom's constant sayings.
I was taught to be grateful for what I have,
There is always someone far worse off.
Our schools and libraries were warm, 
reading is magic by candle light ~ in a house without electricity.
My teachers made a difference, everyday.
Just by being there to teach.
Who says "Poverty doesn't matter?"
Poverty Matters America!

Momma and my teachers taught me to stand up for what is right.
I learned about justice and hope at home and in school.
I found heroes on the book shelves at my local library.
I didn’t have much, but I had Momma, teachers, and books.
Growing up without a male role model is hard, 
but I found Atticus Finch in Harper Lee’s “To Kill A Mocking Bird”. 
Atticus Finch, 
moral hero of heroes 
in a narrative that can be found at every local library.
I read it with Momma every night for two weeks straight ~ by candlelight.
Momma cried when Tom Robinson died, 
we both fell in love with Boo Radley, the reclusive hero.
Harper Lee’s book was the first family read in our home.
To Kill A Mocking Bird ~ a narrative to take to the bank.
Narratives 
the kind of books 
that these Education Reformers and their Common Core Cheerleaders say 
children need less of.
These reformers who say we need to test everything.
These reformers who say we need computerized tracking systems 
and 
tests for every subject.
  
During these days of tight budgets 
one might wonder
"How will these reformers pay for their reforms?"
Their plan is to make schools compete like Greyhounds. 
Run them until they drop.
Increase class size.
Underfund libraries.
Hire drive by "pension-less" teachers who come and go.
Attack teachers.
Attack Schools of Education.
Attack democratically elected Boards of Education.
Attack everyone who dares to fight back. 

In the words of Atticus Finch
They're certainly entitled to think that, 
and they're entitled to full respect for their opinions... 
but before I can live with other folks I've got to live with myself.  
The one thing that doesn't abide by majority rule 
is a person's conscience." 

Momma was right ~ I was born fighting for life.
Momma your boy was also born to fight injustice.
America ~ reading narratives can give poor boys a conscience!
Perhaps, Who Knows, 
is that why they want to replace narratives with non-fiction?

Tell it on every mountain top 
the Walking Man is coming to DC ~ year # 3. 
Send it in a telegram to Secretary Status Quo Arne Duncan
I will fight the injustice of his policies.
His policies that reduce children to test scores.
His policies that remain quiet, as poor communities have to slash the budget of their library in order to pay for Duncan's unfunded mandates... 
His policy that forces special education teachers to spend their days 
writing reports, attending meetings, 
and not teaching children in need.
His policy that allows for the madness that increases class size 
in order to pay for computerized testing.
Washington DC policy that spends billions on Duncan's mad Race To The Top.
Policy where some children win,
 and some lose,
 in schools that are forced to compete for limited resources. 
Tell the world,
 I am going to DC, again.
Just to tell our nation's leaders,
 and those fake DC reformers, 
that children are more than test scores. 
I am still walking,
I am still marching,
I am still blogging,
I am a proud SOSer,
A fighter against the tyranny of Race To The Top.

It’s simple, America.
Silence and Apathy are not acceptable,
especially when it comes to our children.


Meet me in DC at the Save Our School People’s Education Convention 
Friday August 3rd to Sunday August 5th, 2012.


Just another Shepard 
traveling on Rocky Ground,
Jesse ~ The Walking Man ~ Turner.  

The song taking me all the way to SOS's People Education Convention in DC this Friday August 3, 2012 is  Bruce Spingsteen's Rocky Ground







Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Imagine a day without testing!

Here is a thought people:
What if next May 1st everyone walks out of school, and holds a public teach-in?
What if students, parents and teachers worked together for a teach-in day of without testing?
What if students spent next May 1st learning for the sake of learning?
What if no politicians were invited?
What if Arne Duncan was not invited?
What if no hedge fund mangers were invited?
What if children, parents, teachers read together for enjoyment?
What if we painted community murals?
What would happen if we celebrated music and dance on that day without testing?
What would happen if we practiced our democratic right to march, to assemble, and protest this madness that spent 1.2 trillion dollars on testing and standards?
What if children, parents, and teachers shouted class size matters?
What if the people shouted poverty matters?
What if we registered new voters, and educated all voters on that day about how school reform should be more than a race?
What if we did this in every city, town, village in the nation?
What if everyone demanded main stream media cover it?
What if we boycotted any company that supports more testing?
What if grandmas', grandpas', guardians, uncle, Tio(s) aunts, Tia(s), our bothers and sisters joined us?
What if we all banded together for one day without testing?
My thinking is that day would change the world.
I'll be there next May 1st,
Jesse The Walking Man Turner



Guess what song the Walking Man is listening to all the way to the SOS People's Education Convention on August 3-5 in DC?
john Lennon's Imagine!  Imagine

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Imagine a world Ed Reform drive by teachers


Here is an excellent short blog by a elementary student responding to a teacher volunteer first year post. Read it for yourself, and see my poetic reply to our nation's education deformers.
Link of blog: http://www.theonion.com/articles/my-year-volunteering-as-a-teacher-helped-educate-a,28803/?ref=auto 

Counter Point Blog: 

My Year Volunteering As A Teacher Helped Educate A New Generation Of Underprivileged Kids

BY MEGAN RICHMOND, VOLUNTEER TEACHER

When I graduated college last year, I was certain I wanted to make a real difference in the world. After 17 years of education, I felt an obligation to share my knowledge and skills with those who needed it most.
After this past year, I believe I did just that. Working as a volunteer teacher helped me reach out to a new generation of underprivileged children in dire need of real guidance and care. Most of these kids had been abandoned by the system and, in some cases, even by their families, making me the only person who could really lead them through the turmoil.
Was it always easy? Of course not. But with my spirit and determination, we were all able to move forward. 
Those first few months were the most difficult of my life. Still, I pushed through each day knowing that these kids really needed the knowledge and life experience I had to offer them. In the end, it changed all of our lives.
In some ways, it's almost like I was more than just a teacher to those children. I was a real mentor who was able to connect with them and fully understand their backgrounds and help them become the leaders of tomorrow.
Ultimately, I suppose I can never know exactly how much of an impact I had on my students, but I do know that for me it was a fundamentally eye-opening experience and one I will never forget.

Counterpoint

Can We Please, Just Once, Have A Real Teacher?

BY BRANDON MENDEZ, JAMES MILLER ELEMENTARY SCHOOL STUDENT

You've got to be kidding me. How does this keep happening? I realize that as a fourth-grader I probably don't have the best handle on the financial situation of my school district, but dealing with a new fresh-faced college graduate who doesn't know what he or she is doing year after year is growing just a little bit tiresome. Seriously, can we get an actual teacher in here sometime in the next decade, please? That would be terrific.
Just once, it would be nice to walk into a classroom and see a teacher who has a real, honest-to-God degree in education and not a twentysomething English graduate trying to bolster a middling GPA and a sparse law school application. I don't think it's too much to ask for a qualified educator who has experience standing up in front of a classroom and isn't desperately trying to prove to herself that she's a good person.
I'm not some sort of stepping stone to a larger career, okay? I'm an actual child with a single working mother, and I need to be educated by someone who actually wants to be a teacher, actually comprehends the mechanics of teaching, and won't get completely eaten alive by a classroom full of 10-year-olds within the first two months on the job.
How about a person who can actually teach me math for a change? Boy, wouldn't that be a novel concept!
I fully understand that our nation is currently facing an extreme shortage of teachers and that we all have to make do with what we can get. But does that really mean we have to be stuck with some privileged college grad who completed a five-week training program and now wants to document every single moment of her life-changing year on a Tumblr?
For crying out loud, we're not adopted puppies you can show off to your friends.
Look, we all get it. Underprivileged children occasionally say some really sad things that open your eyes and make you feel as though you've grown as a person, but this is my actual education we're talking about here. Graduating high school is the only way for me to get out of the malignant cycle of poverty endemic to my neighborhood and to many other impoverished neighborhoods throughout the United States. I can't afford to spend these vital few years of my cognitive development becoming a small thread in someone's inspirational narrative.
But hey, how much can I really know, anyway? I haven't had an actual teacher in three years.

The Walking Man reply:

Welcome to the education reformer drive-by-teaching world


Imagine a world full of drive by teachers
A world, where teachers take shortcuts to the classroom, 

A world where teachers are labeled highly qualified after attending a five-week summer crash course on teaching,

A world, where teachers want to move on after a year, or two,
A world where your children are stepping stones to something more,
Welcome to teaching world our education reformers dream of for your children.


Welcome to teaching world of teaching that took 150 years to build


The world where teachers take that more difficult traditional road the classroom,

The road that requires:

At least five years hard work, 
Real dedication, 

Spending large amounts of time in real classrooms in course related field experiences,

Passing a rigorous student teaching assignment under the supervision of a teacher, 

Passing multiple licensing exams the old fashion,

A world where the teachers dream of teaching children for the next 35 years, 

A world where teachers see the classroom as something more,
A world without drive by teachers,

This is the world education reformers want to destroy.

Imagine thinking anything less than the hard road to teaching is better.

Guess which teachers teach their children?



Still walking,
Still marching,
Still teaching, and
Going to the SOS People's Education convention,

Jesse The Walking Turner

Over 30-years later I am still inspired by the faces in my classroom, and baffled by the views of our nation's policy makers and politicians on education.   
The Walking Man is listening on his walk is listening to Bruce Springsteen "Rocky Ground" as he gets ready for the SOS People's Education Convention. 

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Save Our Schools Still Marching to DC



NEA yesterday voted against supporting SOS's People's Education Convention. It appears some Florida delegates took to the floor claiming that SOS is a Michelle Rhee backed group.  This is complete fabrication.

Fred Klonsky a Chicago teacher, well known blogger, and bother to Mike Klonsky a member of the SOS National Steering Committee reported back via his blog:
"Q: What happened with the NBI supporting the SOS conference in Washington that is planned for August?
A: It got voted down.
Jane Watson, an SOS supporter and delegate from Washington state said simple NBI that didn't ask for much than an endorsement of the conference and putting a link to SOS on the NEA website. It seemed very non-controversial. I have to say that most delegates in the hall know very little about SOS.
Then somebody, I don't know who, offered an amendment to send the issue of working with SOS to the Executive Committee. I thought this was probably a good idea since the NEA had supported the SOS march in Washington and had a relationship with the organizers. But that was rejected by the delegates for reasons that had nothing to do with the issue of SOS itself and had more to do with RA rules.
But then suddenly a group of delegates from Florida - I don't know who they are - went to the mic and started blasting SOS. They claimed it was a Michelle Rhee front group. One claimed that the organization had "withered" since the Washington march and that Diane Ravitch has quit."

Diane Ravitch's message this morning suddenly makes perfect sense to me:
“I have had several emails from people at the NEA representative assembly asking me if I was no longer supportive of the Save Our Schools organization.  Apparently some delegate got up and said I had disassociated myself from the group. I replied that this was untrue.  I was invited to speak this summer, and I declined but that was no indication of a lack of support, just a wish to minimize travel during the summer.  I participated as the lead respondent in an SOS webinar on June 19. I think that is a show of support.  I support SOS.”

These outspoken Florida delegates have a great deal to answer for.  They got up to speak, and spewed lies; they cannot claim ignorance.  Who knows, maybe this being an election year has changed the waters at NEA.  The same NEA who last year fully endorsed SOS’s march on DC.
Let me emphatically repeat, SOS has not changed since our Washington march. Our principles remain the very same:
For the future of our children, we stand strong in support of:

1. EQUITABLE FUNDING FOR ALL PUBLIC SCHOOL COMMUNITIES
  • ·       Equitable funding across all public schools and school systems
  • ·       Full public funding of family and community support services
  • ·       Full funding for 21st century school and neighborhood libraries
  • ·       An end to economically and racially re-segregated schools 

2. AN END TO HIGH STAKES TESTING USED FOR THE PURPOSE OF STUDENT, TEACHER, AND SCHOOL EVALUATION
  • ·       The use of multiple and varied assessments to evaluate students, teachers, and schools
  • ·       An end to pay per test performance for teachers and administrators
  • ·       An end to public school closures based upon test performance

3. TEACHER, FAMILY AND COMMUNITY LEADERSHIP IN FORMING PUBLIC EDUCATION POLICIES
  • ·       Educator and civic community leadership in drafting new ESEA legislation
  • ·       Federal support for local school programs free of punitive and competitive funding
  • ·       An end to political and corporate control of curriculum, instruction and assessment decisions for teachers and administrators

4. CURRICULUM DEVELOPED FOR AND BY LOCAL SCHOOL COMMUNITIES
  • ·       Support for teacher and student access to a wide-range of instructional programs and technologies
  • ·       Well-rounded education that develops every student’s intellectual, creative, and physical potential
  • ·       Opportunities for multicultural/multilingual curriculum for all students
  • ·       Small class sizes that foster caring, democratic learning communities


What is new in 2012 at SOS?
A) We established a Civil Rights committee.  Why? Specifically because almost everything that is happening to children in our nation’s public schools is related to civil rights violations.

B) We created a Labor committee, to work on a platform that supports labor.  Why? Because we believe in unions.

C) We followed up on a promise made at last year’s SOS Congress.   Nancy Carlsson-Paige along with Deborah Meyer are currently working on our early childhood platform with our Early Childhood Committee.  

These were the three areas that SOSers felt we needed to strengthen after last years march.

Of course SOS still rejects No Child Left Behind and Race To The Top policies. 

Looking forward to seeing everyone at the Save Our Schools Peoples Education Convention in DC. where children, parents, teachers and public schools are so much more important than lies, or politics!
Still marching, 
Jesse The Walking Man Turner
SOS March National Steering Committee