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Friday, January 18, 2013

Who needs to talk race, poverty, and inequity in America's Public Schools? Especially when we have those very objective and so safe Common Core State Standards.
Mike Petrilli linked article (All A-Twitter about Education).  I'm a bit confused by it's claim tweeters are sort of talking past each other. Mike is one of those George Bush's DOE devotees who woke up in 2007, and found NCLB wasn't working. He found some new religion in the Common Core, a new job as Executive vice president of the Thomas B. Fordham Institute. He is twitter user, blogger, and policy advocate. 

My response to Mike Petrilli's obsession for counting twitters: 
I find it amusing Mike Petrilli is keeping tally of tweets. Counting tweets does not discount America's children are more than test scores. Or that desegregation is still the prize not new testing, or new standards. A prize America loves to ignore. Who wants to talk race when we can talk testing data? A decade later, and a nearly trillion dollars spent on NCLB/RTTT policies that still leave millions of children behind. America’s urban schools are becoming choice zones that leave our public schools more segregated than ever.
As Mike’s is counting twitters America’s urban schools are fast becoming the new projects.
In between some of those reform tweets is a view that testing and standards are the cure for poverty. A cure that seems only to speed up that good old public school to prison pipeline.
RTTT policy is a "testing cure” that every billionaire, and for profit school ventures love to love. That objectivity sounds old school, so very objective, and so very 20-century eugenics to me, .
An NCLB/RTTT policy by their own data leaves nearly 80% of America schools as failing. Of course states can always get a Secretary Arne Duncan’s bondage waiver, and pick up tens of millions as they pass that RTTT Go sign.
You remember the policy Mike Petrilli advocated while working at the President Bush’s DOE until he left.  The policy he discovered was not working after he left his NCLB lapel pin behind in 2007. Praise the lord he found his new religion in the Common Core. The one he ran to support when Indiana wanted out. Imagine if the Common Core turns out to just another policy lapel pin cure for poverty rooted in that old carrots and sticks approach similar to NCLB?

Well in my humble opinion neither testing nor national standards will save our public schools. You can bet they won't end racial isolation, economic isolation, or poverty. Come to think of if thse NCLB scores are all good then there wouldn't be a need to segregate at all. It would be a kind of second coming for those old separate, but equal dreamers.
I rather imagine a real federal commitment to desegregating America's public schools?
Skip the RTTT wavers,
Skip the Common Core State Standards, and Certainly skip the high stakes testing.
I rather America start holding it’s states accountable for failing to desegregate their public schools.
Rather than U.S. DOE counting RTTT bondage wavers Secretary Duncan might reward communities for actual moves to desegregate their public schools. This doesn’t require new testing or standards. We already have a built in moral standard with Brown V. Board of Education. All it requires is counting already available segregation data, and connecting Federal funding to real increases in those desegregation numbers. 
As Mike count tweets I’ll be trying hard to survive the policy mandates that reduce children and teachers to test scores.
In between teaching, learning, surviving mandates I'll take a few weekend trips. Going to the Selma Jubilee Educational Summit again this February, ( the DOE 2.0 in April, ( and once again walking to DC this summer.
Desegregation can’t be tweeted away, and is not some Race To The Top. It is still the law of the land that states are out of compliance with.  Brown v. Broad of Education threw out Plessy v. Ferguson. Perhaps Mr. Petrilli this is the line in the sand for any relevant school reform discussion some 117 years later. This is still about the the savage inequities that refuses to acknowledge desegregation is the prize. I reject the notion that proficiency measures are the path to desegregate America’s public schools.
Still Marching, 

Jesse The Walking Man Turner
Guess what the walking man is listening today? How about a little Undisputed Truth Smiling Faces (

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