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Monday, April 28, 2014

Before there was a United States Department of Education

Long before there was a United States Department of Education, the Federal government did something about inequality in our public schools. Our supreme did something before compromising away equity in our public schools.

1954 The Supreme Court rules on the landmark case Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka, Kans., unanimously agreeing that segregation in public schools is unconstitutional. The ruling paves the way for large-scale desegregation. The decision overturns the 1896 Plessy v. Ferguson ruling that sanctioned "separate but equal" segregation of the races, ruling that "separate educational facilities are inherently unequal." It is a victory for NAACP attorney Thurgood Marshall, who will later return to the Supreme Court as the nation's first black justice.

1957 (Little Rock, Ark.) Formerly all-white Central High School learns that integration is easier said than done. Nine black students are blocked from entering the school on the orders of Governor Orval Faubus. President Eisenhower sends federal troops and the National Guard to intervene on behalf of the students, who become known as the "Little Rock Nine."

1962 James Meredith becomes the first black student to enroll at the University of Mississippi. Violence and riots surrounding the incident cause President Kennedy to send 5,000 federal troops.

1974 Lau v. Nichols U.S. Supreme Court: When children arrive in school with little or no English-speaking ability, "sink or swim" instruction is a violation of their civil rights, according to the U.S. Supreme Court. 

The United States Department of Education policies continues to chase test scores and standards rather than lead the fight for equity and justice in our public schools. The silence of our U.S. Department of Education on equity is shameful. Mr. President, members of Congress and the Senate, it's time to start doing something about inequality, and dump those do nothings NCLB, RTTT, CCSS, PARCC and SBAC. Once you stood by a six-year old little girl named Ruby Bridges, and we respected and loved you for it. Morality matters more than test scores. Isn't it time you started standing by our children again?
Love you Ruby,
Jesse The Walking Man Turner

If your wondering what the Walking Man is listening to on this bright April morning it "People Get Ready" by the Impressions

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Mr. President, I woke with my eye still on the prize you missed

Mr. President, I woke up this morning with my mind still set on equity in our public schools.
Testing children will not bring equity to our public schools.
Having them Race To The Top will not bring equity to our public schools,
Common Core State Standards will not bring equity to our public schools.
Closing poor schools will not bring equity to our public schools.
Putting our public schools up for sale to the highest bidder will not bring equity to our public schools.
Mr. President, I once though you might be the change that would bring equity to our public schools.
Mr. President, I woke today knowing you are not the president who will bring equity to our public schools.
Mr. President, I woke up today knowing I still need to keep on walking, keep on talking, and keep on marching for equity in our public schools.

Mr. President, see you in DC on July 28, 2014.
My eyes are still on the prize you let slip away,
Jesse The Walking Man
Listening to Roots Ain't nobody gonna turn me around Mr. President.

What If? What if the Ed Reformers had to send their children to public schools?

What if only elected officials who send their children to public schools were allowed to vote on education issues?
What if only Ed Reformers who send their children to public schools could talk about education reform?
What if only education policy makers who send their children to public schools could be appointed Commissioners of Education?
What if Ed Reformers had to be public school graduates themselves?
Something makes me think things would be different.
if that were the case, then the issues we would be talking about now would be:
Class sizes,
An army of reading and math tutors,
More art teachers,
More music teachers,
More school field trips,
More after school programs,
More play time for young children,
Innovative, creative, imaginative Saturday and summer school programs,
Our school would stay open in the evenings for family activities, and adult education program,
If only these Public School Education Reformers had public schools education.
Proud public school graduate, and the parent of a public school graduate,
Jesse The Walking Man Turner

just in case you want to know what I am listening to on my walk today. It's What if Daddy by Bobby Bare

Monday, April 14, 2014

Part of CCSS plan educate menaces to democracy

It's simple education reform rooted in testing efficiency is immoral policy.
Dr. Martin Luther King said: “The function of education, therefore, is to teach one to think intensively and to think critically. But education which stops with efficiency may prove the greatest menace to society. The most dangerous criminal may be the man gifted with reason, but with no morals.”
It's simple Education Reform that makes testing it's focus:
Does not care about art,
Does not care about music,
Does not care about play,
Does not care about recess,
Does not care about literature,
Does not care about history,
Does not care about science,
Does not care about thinking intensely,
Does not care about morality,
Does not care about childhood,
Does not care about imagination,
Does not care about creativity,
All they care about is creating efficient compliant menaces who question nothing,

Dr. King also reminded us: " In the end, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends"
My question for America will you be remembered for your silence as our children and teachers are reduce to test scores?
Silence and apathy are not acceptable,
Jesse The Walking Man Turner
If you want to know what the Walking Man is listening's Barry Lane's "More Than A Number"

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Still marching

Just in case some people thought I retired from the struggle to liberate our children from this evil insanity that seeks to reduce them to test scores. Like that old song: Ain't nobody gonna turn me around keep walking, keep talking, marching marching,  right up to freedom land....
I haven't written, because my pen has run dry, not because I can't see the keyboard, the truth is I haven't written, because I am the thick of this fight to take back our schools. Like those Minute Men of old that fought for our independence in between the battles I have seeds to sow, and fields to plow.
I'm not weary,
Not slowing down,
Not broken down,
I'm looking up
I'm stepping up,
Ain't nobody gonna turn me around.
Sometimes I sound like a broken record,
Like I'm stuck in place,
But look closer people I am always moving.
Today I like to share a little conversation I had at the university this week.

An arrogant colleague at the university commenting on my activism said: You must be tired of fighting against what will never change? None of it makes a real difference anyway. Don't you just want to get on with your real work?"
How does one respond to a person who thinks a scholar's roll is to walk from injustice?
I said only those of little faith, believe Pilate's hand washing washed away his sin. I walked away saying I am not neutral in the suffering of my people.
Paulo Freire said: “Washing one's hands of the conflict between the powerful and the powerless means to side with the powerful, not to be neutral. ”
I am really an insignificant man, really quite small in the eyes of the powerful, the connected, and the wealthy, you might even say I don't exist in their eyes, but you can not say I stood by while our nation's children were reduce to test scores, our teachers demoralized, and for sale signs were placed on our nation's public schools.
Until the last breath,
Jesse The Walking Man Turner

Want to know what this Walking Man is listening to on his walk today? It Woody Guthrie's "Land is your land"