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Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Billionaires amd Hedge Fund managers or Civil Rights leaders and groups?  Valerie Strauss article in the Washington Post today pointed out "Eleven civil rights groups urge Obama to drop test-based K-12 'accountability' system"

I wonder whose voice will the White House listen to?
Civil Right Leaders or Billionaires?
Let me put my thinking cap on...
There was a NAACP Resolution opposing charter schools in 2010,
Still this White House has made Charter Schools the center of their Race To The Top policies.
So no more wondering it's billionaires people,
It's raining billionaires in the white House,
It's raining billionaires in the senate,
It's raining billionaires in the congress,
It's raining billionaires in governor's mansions,
It's raining billionaires in state legislators,
It's raining billionaires in every mayor's office,
It's raining billionaires in every State Commissioner of Education office,
It's raining billionaires in mainstream media,
It's raining billionaires on Wall Street,
Those voices not heard by the powerful, the connected, and the wealthy,
America's parents,
America's teachers,
America's children,
America's Civil Rights Leaders.
They have made America's schools capital ventures,
Turned America's children into data points,
Turned America's teachers' into rotten apples,
I'm not urging anything,
Silence and apathy are not acceptable,
Occupy our public schools now!
Jesse The Walking Man Turner

If you like to know what the Walking Man was listening to on his morning walk today it's "We Are The Many"

"We occupy the streets
We occupy the courts
We occupy the offices of you
Till you do
The bidding of the many, not the few"

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Beyond the Achievement GAP, or it's the Opportunity Gap people!

Day 4,780 of NCLB's Reign Of Testing Terror.
Americans were told in 2001 that our education system was in crisis, and the solutions would be "Outcomes-based reforms," and NCLB would fix our schools.
Every child in grades 3 to 8 would be reading, writing, and doing math at grade level by 01/01/14. Never happened!
They promised they would reduce the Achievement Gap. Never happened!        
They promise they would reduce racial isolation in our public schools. Never Happened!
They promise that new standards and testing would wipe away special needs and second language learner issues. Their solution simply make all children take the same test. Another  promised not delivered!

Over a trillion dollars federal tax dollars went to pushing new standards and testing and outcomes-based education reforms. 4,780 days later the data is in. Our children in grades 3 to 8 are not reading, writing, and doing math at grade level. I call this, the single largest policy failure in American education history.  A massive policy collaborative failure at the Federal level and state level. 
No one in the United States Department of Education was ever asked to account for this policy failure, no one was fire, and no one was reprimanded. There were no legislative hearings held to question these policy failures. Not legislative hearing even as policy makers advocate once again new standards, new testing, and more "Out-Comes based solutions again.
I know of no legislators, policy makers, or USDE leaders in Washington DC advocating for any real significant change in policy. They advocate Common Core State Standards, new tests, more charter-schools, and every initiative is "Out-comes driven"

I can't help, but feel America's children, parents, teachers, and local schools are on their own. I do however suggest a different model for improving our public schools.
I propose shift to an "In-Put model. Others have advocated and are advocating for it. I suggest we drop the notion of “Out-Comes” based reforms, and put the Achievement Gap on the back burner.  I am not proposing we put special needs learners, children of color, or second language learners on the back burner. I want these learners on the front burner. We do that not by turning these learners into data, but by equalizing the learning field. 
The time has come to advocate for "In-Put' based solutions. We don't need more outcomes data; we need to start collecting, analyzing, and supporting "In-Put solutions that directly address the inequalities in our nation's public schools. If your improvement does not help reduce the inequalities of racial, poverty, and special needs students then we don't need it.  

Abraham Maslow over six decades ago proposed his Maslow’s “Hierarchy of Needs’” which suggested that before human beings could meet the higher expectations there basic needs had to be met.
In order to learn human beings must have their basic needs for food, water, sleep, shelter, need to feel safe, and need love, intimacy and friendship. OUT-Come based solutions cannot fill these needs in our schools, but “In-Put” driven solutions can. I am suggesting NCLB/RTTT reforms focused on the wrong data and held the wrong people accountable. Children, teachers, and public schools are not responsible for rectifying inequality, but society is.
It is time to make equity the standard, and hold policy makers and legislators accountable for reducing inequalities that are overwhelming our nation's public schools.

Abraham Maslow said: "
All the evidence that we have indicates that it is reasonable to assume in practically every human being, and certainly in almost every newborn baby, that there is an active will toward health, an impulse towards growth, or towards the actualization." Something deep inside me has me thinking Maslow would say NCLB had it all wrong.

How many generations must be sacrificed, before we accepts that it's the “Opportunity Gap” not the  “Achievement Gap” that matters?
Jesse The Walking Man Turner

Wonder what the Walking Man was listening to on his walk in the rain this morning...It was Eric Clapton's "Change The World" > <