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Friday, January 1, 2016

My 2016 Walking Man Resolution of Resitance to 124 years of failed education reforms

In 2014 Dean Paton Executive Editor of YES magazine wrote an important piece about the roots of privatization taking over our public schools. Two years later it is well worth the read people. His is a brief history of education reform since 1980.

However the roots of privatization go back over a hundred years. We can't separate commerce from wealth and power. What if there is a method to the insanity of returning to the same failing policies over and over again?
In the nineteenth century America’s academic elites feared American students were not college-ready. Thus in 1892 The National Education Association created the Committee of Ten to create uniform college admission requirements based on new content standards using common entrance exams.  From the beginning the standards established America’s wealthy, powerful and connected were never rooted in principles of democracy or morality, but on content knowledge measure through uniformed testing. 
Now let us include standards obsession with our history of school inequity. In 1896 four years after America’s love for standards found itself further supported by Plessey v Ferguson. Establishing segregation as the law of the land for nearly 6 decades. In 1954 Brown v the Board of Education ends jurisprudence segregation. For the first time in public education history the wealthy, the powerful and the connected status quo found their policies threatened. Hiding behind their trusted mantra of “standards and exam uniformity” gave cover to “de facto” segregation. Now standards and testing uniformity policies continued to make our public schools segregated and unequal places of learning.
I have come to accept that after 124 years inequity in our public schools “equity” was never the goal for America’s children. Justice for all was never the goal in America Public School System, but the path of least resistance towards maintaining a public school system that maintains the status quo.  Over a hundred years of education reform policies that amount to meaningless slogans that do nothing to lift all Americans. If you are not one of the wealthy, the powerful, the connected your right to a free public education is not rooted in the great good, your good, but the good of the status quo. Every Student Succeeds Act 2015 is just more of the same old 100 years of failed education reforms.
Sir James Matthew Barrie author of Peter Pan said: "Failure is the path of least resistance." Their method is clear it's has always been about keeping us working people down on their farms of servitude.
Our path from servitude remains the path of greater resistance.  
My Walking Man 2016 resolution is to step up my fight against inequity and injustice in our public schools.
If high stakes testing goes away?
I’ll still be marching.
If the standards go away?
I’ll still be marching.
Tell it in every town center in the land,
Tell it on city street corner,
And shout it from every mountaintop...
This Walking Man is marching until equity and justice are realities for every child in America’s public schools.
Equity and justice are my standards,
Jesse The Walking Man Turner

If you happen to be in New York City on January 6, 2016 come join this Walking Man, his fellow panelists, and BK Nation as we continue our fight for equity and justice in our public schools.

If you like to hear the song the Walking Man was listening to on his walk...Barry Finch's singing the song he wrote to honor my 2015 Walk to DC. "Come Join The Walking Man Band"


  1. Excellent information. Thank you so much for your great post and pictures are really very awesome. Great post.
    Alternative Education

  2. Bless you for your generous remarks Sunita.
    Deeply thankful,