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Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Race To The Top the new religion of fear, punishment, and false hope.

Albert Einstein said: “A man's ethical behavior should be based effectually on sympathy, education, and social ties; no religious basis is necessary. Man would indeed be in a poor way if he had to be restrained by fear of punishment and hope of reward after death.”
Reflecting on an article by Gary Scharrer in on the Education Accountability Project’s critical report on public education’s financial accountability
He writes, “Mark Hurley the person who organized the project states, “that minimally, school district financial reports should show:
  • What people are paid to do
  • What classes are being taught by grade and how many students are completing them
  • What contractors are providing what services and whether they are bid competitively
  • What districts are spending on non teaching activities

He goes on to say: Texas courts have spent the better part of 30 years refereeing school funding squabbles. Another lawsuit will be tried later this year. Richard Gray III is a lawyer representing 407 Texas public school districts in one of four lawsuits against the state. The education community believes "the system is woefully underfunded, Gray said. "We're back to a situation that's as bad as it's ever been, if not worse," he said. The poorest 15 percent of school districts now get at least $2,000 less per student than the wealthiest 15 percent  - despite lower tax rates in those property-rich districts.”
Readers ~ Texas does not stand alone in this lack of financial accountability. There are 49 other clueless states! No one in any State DOE, or in the U. S. Department of Education wants to tackle the issue of inequity in our schools. Certainly not a U.S. Department of Education that promises equity in the form of lotteries and schools competing against each other. Their solution instead is to immerse our children in a Darwinian Survival of the Fittest.
They've never provided the figures on how much is actually spent in classrooms - next to children.
And yet the biggest oversight on the part of the DOE by far, is how they continue to accept spending less money on children of color, and the poor.
The mantras that we continue to hear from the Reformer's are:
Poverty does not matter

Race does not matter.
Special needs do not matter.
Their mantra could instead be "we refuse to do the right thing for children of color, the poor, and children with special needs"

Keep your eye on the prize America.
Jonathan Kozol's Savage Inequalities still rules the land.
"No Child Left Behind" and “Race To The Top” have  done nothing to change things for children of color, or the poor.
The NAACP has since 1909 reminded America of its failure to bring equity to our schools.
Let’s call it what it really is.
America’s moral sin is our refusal to do the right thing for all children.
Every single court in America has been skirting around this issue since Brown v. Board of Education (1954)
58 years of skirting around our nation's moral responsibility...
58 years of pretending...
58 years of inequity in our schools...
58 years of waiting on something better for our children than a race to nowhere...
Silence and apathy are not acceptable!

This is why  I called No Child Left Behind "a scam" ~ from day one.
This is why I have held town hall meetings calling for a balanced assessment framework since 2003,
This is why I held a Children Are More Than Test Scores conference in 2004,
This is why I created Children Are More Than Test Scores, and
Why I started blogging in 2009,
This is why I walked 400 miles to DC in 40 days in 2010,
This is why I marched with Save Our Schools in 2011,
This is why I ran for the Save Our Schools March, and Call to Action Steering Committee in 2011,
This is why I collaborate with others to pass resolutions against high stakes testing in my professional organizations over the years.
This is why I cannot stop speaking up, 
This is why I went to the Selma Alabama Jubilee Education Summit in 2012,
This is why I testified against NCLB waivers in March 2012,
This is why I will occupy the U.S. Department of Education on March 30, 31, April 1 & 2,
This is why I am going with SOS to Washington DC for the People's Education Convention in August,
Silence and apathy are not acceptable.
My feet are tired, my voice is hoarse, but the spirit is ready and able to follow this quest for justice, this quest for equity, and this is my climb to Martin’s Dream.
Ready to occupy,
If you want to know what the Walking Man was listening to on my walk on this cold spring day it's Patty Griffin’s Up The Mountain (MLK Tribute Song).


  1. I am so sick of testing my students! I am a teacher who wants to teach, not test! "The World "Because of" Standardized Testing!"

    1. Oldschoolteach, I just visited your blog. It's take a real funny person to make this stuff funny.
      Thank you commenting, and thank you even more for making smile.

  2. Jesse,

    Wish I was your neighbor. You had me before Patty Griffin was even mentioned.

    1. In this new world of social media we are neighbors, and we are all brothers and sisters. The people have it within their means to rewrite justice. The people always have had it. We are what we read, and I have read Horace Mann.. Horace Mann said: " “Be ashamed to die until you have won some victory for mankind”
      We owe this little spot we live on today to those that came before us,

  3. Jesse, the quote you cite for Horace Mann was the initial quote I had on my blog. : )