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Tuesday, April 2, 2024

How many school children must be sacrifice to scam Ed Reforms?

We miss you our Power House Union Truth to Power Badass Teacher Voice Karen Lewis

A question what asked today on Badass Teachers Facebook page: 
“Hi everyone. Music teacher (21years) here.
If you have a moment, please chime in on these topics.  I am trying to get a wider perspective. 
Have today students become more resistant to learning?
Are you experiencing more behavioral difficult difficulties than in the past during class?
What ways have students changed in recent years? 
Has teaching become more difficult?

I sure appreciate any thoughts you are willing to share. Anything you say remains 100% anonymous. Thanks” 

I responded 
No Child Left Behind, (NCLB), shifted the focus from teachers being judged by how creatively they engaged their students to the only thing that matters are test scores in our schools.
That shift also siphoned off billions of dollars from actual services for students, to standards, expensive tech-based data systems, and testing. Equity is not everyone taking the same test. I can’t emphasize enough how harmful that loss of services has been to Black, Brown, and Special Education students. This is child abuse!
Former CTU president Karen Lewis who passed away from cancer helped teachers in Chicago understand what we do to children, we do to teachers, and frame the battle against these high-stakes and school choice education reformers as a Civil Rights battle.
What I am seeing is a loss of humanity that abuses children and teachers, I would even call it, trauma. This trauma began in 2002 and drained everyone's energy. Teaching and learning are becoming more and more exhausting. We also have very few places to safely discuss this. BATS is one of the few safe places left.
I wish Karen Lewis was still with us, no one understood it better or stood taller. 

Dr. Jesse P. Turner
Uniting to Save Our Schools
Badass Teacher 

If you like to listen to the tune that inspired my morning walk it is Teach the Children cover by Play for Change > <

Wednesday, March 20, 2024

You are a Racist, if you fear these 3 words: Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

Alabama lawmakers passed a bill Tuesday that, if signed into law, would prohibit public schools and universities from maintaining or funding diversity, equity, and inclusion programs." Link for Alabama Legislation banning Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

What does structural racism look like?

The Alabama Legislature is banning Diversity, Inclusion, and Equity in their public schools and universities. Looking at the definitions of the three in the Oxford English Dictionary we find the following:

“Diversity” is “the practice or quality of including or involving people from a range of different social and ethnic backgrounds and of different genders, sexual orientations, etc.”

Inclusion is a term used to describe and promote policies, strategies, and practices which aim to enable all learners to participate fully in education.

Equity is defined as being fair and impartial. Equity in education refers therefore to the systems that support or allow for the scaffolding of learning to take place.

Perhaps next, Alabama will ban public education itself?
Let me state it plainly if you voted for this bill, you are a racist.

Just calling it as I see it, Dr. Jesse P. Turner Uniting to Save Our Schools Badass Teacher

Woke up this morning, Education is Civil Rights, and Civil Rights is Education, 

If you like to listen to the song that inspired my morning walk today, it is Freedom Singers "Woke This Morning"

Sunday, March 10, 2024

What Scripted Literacy Programs and Chorme Books Miss

We hear much about the Science of Reading and mandated scripted programs, teacher-proof silver bullets. I was discussing how lessons are opportunities to insert some magic into our teaching. A group of teachers from a district using one of the state recommended SOR Silver Bullet Reading Programs; said we don't write lesson plans in one of my courses. I asked them how do you modify and differentiate instruction for Individual instruction for Second Language and Special Education Students? "Everyone gets the same, everyone learns at the same pace.  I asked what about those special learning moments that change everything? "We don't have them, to be honest, Dr. Turner the kids are bored and so are we. I said I don't see much science in scripted programs, and I bet even advocates of SOR might agree. 

It was Reads Across America Day, and as always, I visited a local school to read. I picked a few books to read at a local school whose teachers write lessons, teach a healthy dose of phonics, and squeeze lots of real reading. They assigned me two classes to read to. I always asked for classes with plenty of second-language learners. One of the teachers Mrs. Jefferson saw me in the office and said looking forward to having you read to my students later. She said 10 of them are new arrivals. I told her I was bringing one of my Spanish Language Teachers to help me read a bilingual book.

She said that was perfect. I love reading aloud to classes. I always wear my CCSU Colors and put on a great show.  Of all the paths I could take, and dreams I could chase, only one called my heart ❤️ 

Like all paths, teaching some days is tough, but then some are perfect. This is me on a perfect day with my LLA 440 student at Reads Across America Day. 

Mr. Martinez and I read “Super Oscar” A bilingual book about Oscar De La Hoya. The children loved hearing it in Spanish and English. Of course, we read like we were comic actors, hamming it up to highlight Spanish and English words like Música.  

We were on a roll this morning. Our plan was, to begin with, me saying to the class "Wo Wo Me", I brought the wrong book. This one is a bilingual book, in Spanish and English. 

Everyone knows Dr. Turner's is not very good. My apologies Ms. Jefferson, but I won't be able to read to your students today.  Sorry Children I can't read to you today. I would need a Superhero Spanish Teacher. Then from the back of the room came "Hola Dr. Turner, it is me Mr. Martinez a Superhero Spanish Teacher".  

We read, being sure to involve the children, and whenever a problem in the book popped in this one there were many. I close the book saying that is it children, it all goes downhill from here. I better leave now. Of course, a chorus of no you have to read more. You might even say Mr. Martinez and I scripted it, and then something very unsuspected happened. 

It was the highlight of the day. One newly arrived student to the USA got right up next to the book whenever Mr. Martinez was reading the Spanish text.  We thought maybe he wanted to see the pictures better. Mr. Martinez put the book right in front of him. Then he started reading every word in Spanish fluently and with feeling. It was as if he was part of our team. We had to have him join us. This is the stuff literacy educators live for, this is the stuff that scripted can't do. 

Teaching calls my heart still 40 years later,   
Dr. Jesse P. Turner                                                                                                                                    CCSU Literacy Center Director

Barry Lane and Jesse Enjoying a walk together 
If you like to listen to the song that inspired my walk today, it was Barry Lane's "Little Programs"