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Saturday, September 8, 2012

For George and all those union carrying first responders who ran into those towers on 9/11.

For brother George whose courage remains unquestioned,
For brother George who lives his life above the cheating,
My promise to you and the survivors and the fallen is I have not forgotten 9/11.
Reading this New York Times article below on cheating by

high achieving students. It mades me wonder about our nation's failure to give students something more than a test scores to look up to. 
Their is a real legacy left to us by our nation’s First Responders not rooted in cheating, but in the courage to do the right thing. This is what schools should be teaching not how to do better on some meaningless test. Article link:

The real legacy of Secretary of Education Arne Duncan's Race To The Top is not equity, or a closing of the achievement gap, but simply a culture of cheating. Neither NCLB, or this race of Duncan's has any moral foundation to it. His foundation is simply better test scores make better people. 
Let me say I disagree Mr. Secretary.

This coming Monday we shall remember those who lost their lives on 9/11/01.
Let's not forget that many of the ones running from those burning towers were most likely individuals with high test scores. The ones running out were the stock brokers, corporate lawyers, CEO's, and most likely not members of any of our nation's unions.
So brothers and sisters who ran in to save them?
Which ones dared to rushed in even after the first tower fell?
Which ones were walking people down the stairs as the world came tumbling down around them?
Let me tell who they were,
They were police officers, 
The emergency medical technicians, 
And fire fighters. 
The ones with union cards!
You know the ones whose test scores never won acceptance in to our Harvard(s) and Yale(s).
The ones like my old team mate Fire Captain George Bueno whose lost one of his crew.
Captain Bueno who had to fight for his pension for years after 9/11. 

I say test scores have nothing to do with making us better people, but hearts of courage do.
Imagine if our nation's public schools immersed our young people in a culture of courage rather than a race to the top.
America’s 21-st century is at a cross road in public education. One road calls us to follow ed reformers who consider children data and human capital. They offer a legacy of numbers.
The other road calls parents and teachers to leave something greater.  
We are being asked which legacy to we want our public schools to pass on to our nation's young. I want an American legacy rooted in courage not testing and cheating. I want a legacy of something greater than testing. I want future generations to know the courage of the ones who run in while others run out. 
Two from the heart brother George,
Jesse The Walking Man Turner


  1. Sorry Walking Man, but I don't think our education leaders get it. Test scores drive everything in their world. These people are not about producing people of courage, but obedient little workers. Yes courage counts more than test scores. However the lets make little obedient workers is winning at every turn these days. I am not certain we can stop it at this point. I am seriously considering leaving the classroom at this point Walking Man.

  2. Dear Anonymous, if you leave the classroom they win. If you leave the classroom now you leave America's children at the time they need you the most. This is not only about testing it is also about unions. Every veteran teacher who leave takes a bit of living labor history with them. It is not only children who need us now, but new teachers.
    I know it feels like we are losing. I know waiting for the public to wake up these days can feel hopeless. This is not the time to turn away, but to turn up the heat.
    George and his fellow first responders had the courage to go in even when the first tower fell. I take solace in their courage, their commitment, and their determination turn toward their fellow citizens in those falling towers. We can honor them by staying even when the very fabric of our public school system is being ripped apart.
    Anonymous, I don't have any answers, but I have faith that staying is the right thing for veteran teachers to do.
    Faith is a lesson I learn from my Momma who took comfort in her faith.
    I find courage in the story of Gideon whose army was far out numbered by Midianite army. Every time Gideon pray for more soldiers God demanded he have faith, and cut his numbers of soldiers down. A God that said " Surely I will bire with thee, and thou shalt smite the Midianites as one man."
    The Bible says in Judges 6:34 "But the Spirit of the Lord came upon Gideon, and he blew a trumpet."
    Together let each and every one of us sound our trumpet. Stick around. Find your trumpet Anonymous where ever you keep it.

    Let's all drink together from Gideon's cup. and let's all stick around,
    Jesse The Walking Man Turner