We are not beaten,
We are not tired,
We are not demoralized.
We are Uniting to Save Our Schools,
On a mission to lift every child, parent, teacher, and public school.
Ain't no Ed Reform Privatizing fools going to turn us around.
We are on FIRE.
Uniting to Save Our Schools: the fight to make our nation’s school equitable and fair is ongoing and worthy. We are in this struggle to make our public schools places where every child regardless of their Race, Zip Code, Immigration status, Income, or identity a quality and equal education. Schools where everyone’s stories are valued and celebrated. We are the WOKE educators Ron DeSantis fears.
In 2002 the United States Department of Education launch a Trillion Dollar No Child Left Behind Education Reform Bill that promised every child would be reading, writing, and doing match at grade level by January 1, 2014. These reforms would focus on a massive increase in the used of High-Stakes Testing and placed the blame for failing test scores on teachers and curriculums. All you need to know is that promise failed, and that trillion dollars made testing companies and publishers that biggest profits they had seen in decades. The scientific-based curriculums of NCLB were massive failures, but extremely profitable.
In 2009 Race to The Top became our nation’s new venture into education reform. Like NCLB it would focus deeply on Hight-Stakes Testing and forced our nation’s poorest public schools to compete for their survival. See: https://eric.ed.gov/?id=ED557422
I want parents, teachers, legislators, and policymakers to know there were researchers, teachers, parents, teacher educators, and activists that fought back from day one of both NCLB and RTTT. We spoke up, wrote, presented at national and international conferences, and spoke out in communities across the nation. I know because I am one of them. By 2010, I grew tired of being ignored by policymakers, legislators, and school administrators. I decided to go back to my Civil Rights roots and do what activists have always done; I would use my feet. I would as Congress John L. Lewis said embark on a series of “Good Troubles”. See my letter to President Obama challenging RTTT policies: https://childrenaremorethantestscores.blogspot.com/2010/03/my-letter-to-president-obama-one-that.html
In 2010, I walked 400 miles to protest the abusive High-Stakes testing Policies of No Child Left Behind and Race to The Top. On that walk a powerful coalition of educators, researchers, parents and even students emerged that brought 12.000 scholars, activists, teachers and parents to Washington DC in 2011 to fight against abusive education policies that force poor local community schools to compete against each. Abusive policies that place the blame on local community schools, their teachers and parents. That coalition was Save Our Schools, and it spur many others to form coalitions to fight abusive testing and inequity in our public schools. The future leaders of United Opt Out, NPE, Badass Teachers, Karen Lewis brought a whole crew of Chicago Teachers Union members, Journey 4, Justice, and many others were in DC in 2011. We had conference, rally and march in 2011. All were successful, and attendees shared ideas and strategies to fight back against education reforms that hurt children, teachers, and community schools. I would meet the most incredible Social Justice Education Warriors in 2011, and those warriors would launch a resistance movement. For a quick three-minute look at this historic moment in 2011 see: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3EumSu0t6Ec Even Matt Damon showed up. See: https://vimeo.com/27164498
From 2011 to today, Uniting to Save Our Schools has not stop fighting, or as Congressman John L. Lewis said getting into “Good Troubles”.
Tomorrow morning, I am gust hosting the Tom Ficklin 103.5 FM New Haven Radio. My Guests will be two of my favorite “Good Troubles” USOSers. Tune in to hear where the struggle has been, and where we are taking our “Good Troubles” to next. Of course you don’t need to wait for the show to join the struggle visit our Uniting to Save Our Schools webpage, and join this Good Trouble voyage to save our public schools. See: https://www.unitingtosaveourschools.org/
I am a man on fire, Dr. Jesse P. Turner Uniting to Save Our Schools Badass Teacher Fellow Good Troublemaker
If you like to hear the tune that inspire my morning walk its Roots cover of " Ain't gonna let nobody turn me around.