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Saturday, May 30, 2015

You never know who you'll meet on a good walk

Thomas Paine said" “The world is my country, all mankind are my brethren, and to do good is my religion.” I am standing next to Mark Naison here, a man whose religion is to do good. Especially for the ones a young Jewish poet named Emma Lazarus called to America in her poem found at the Statue of Liberty.
He talks the talk, and walks the talk of her words in the "The New Colossus"
I remember my third grade teacher Mrs Gitter reading Emma's poem on top of her desk holding an old kerosene lamp making every word come alive. Reading:
"Not like the brazen giant of Greek fame
With conquering limbs astride from land to land;
Here at our sea-washed, sunset gates shall stand
A mighty woman with a torch, whose flame
Is the imprisoned lightning, and her name
Mother of Exiles. From her beacon-hand
Glows world-wide welcome; her mild eyes command
The air-bridged harbor that twin cities frame.
"Keep ancient lands, your storied pomp!" cries she
With silent lips. "Give me your tired, your poor,0
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!"
Mrs Gitter did not read "The New Colossus", because it would be on the test. She read it, because it mattered to America. She read it, because it mattered to a bunch of third grade children who could see the Statue of Liberty everyday on their way to school. She read it, because it would shape a new generation of Americans. She read it, because she loved us, and we knew loved us.
Well America needs people whose religion is to do good, and I am looking forward to walking for my brother Mark Naison in the fellowship of doing good. Come walk with us for children on June 23rd in the Bronx....
Can't wait until I start walking to Bronx on my way to DC,

If you are wonder what song inspired me on my walk today it's Martha Bass's 1972 Walk with me > <

Friday, May 29, 2015

Testing failed America in the 20th, and it is failing America in the 21st century.

There was another age when America was obsessed with testing, an age where progressive Americans worried that our nation would not be able to compete economically in the future, an age where these very progressive people decided they should create tests that would determined who is a burden and who is not. The American Eugenics Movement sterilized over 60,000 women based on their intelligence testing. They became the model for the Nazis "Master Race".
It's wise to study our past, and to look at our policy makers present focused on testing in our schools. Testing failed Americans at the turn of the 20th century, and it is failing our children in the 21st century. History repeats itself, and it's time we learned from it.
Children are more than test scores,
Dr. Jesse Patrick Turner

PS, I am less than two week from beginning my walk from Connecticut To DC. At this point we have 4 radio shows following the walk, and asking for weekly updates, over 17 connecting the dots Walking Man events planned. I can't wait until I start walking, meeting, and hearing from students, parents and teachers along the way. I am a man on fire, a man on a mission, a mission inspired by a love of children, their teachers, and their public schools. I am one man walking in the name of love to DC,
PS if you like to listen to what inspired my walk to's Peter, Paul and Mary's "If I had a hammer"

Thursday, May 7, 2015

Who will stand up against the lies of school choice?

I hear this Psalm in my dreams. "Who will rise up for me against the evildoers? or who will stand up for me against the workers of iniquity?"
I rise every day saying here I am Lord. How could I call myself a Professor of Education without advocating for children, parents, teachers, and our local schools without standing up against those who constantly are assaulting the humanity of our children.
This is National Charter School week, what you won't hear from Washington DC, any Governor's mansion, or the mainstream media is in Florida alone in just three countries we have 200 million dollars in fraud. You won't hear that the FBI is investing fraud involving Charter schools in almost all major cities.
You won't hear that the data indicates only 17% of children attending charter schools are out performing the students they left behind. Not one word will be written about the billions being spent on an education reform where 83% do perform no better or worst on testing. No one in the media is going to tell parents Charters have the highest turn over rate for teachers.
No one wants to stop the money train, the train with no rules, the train that answers to no one, and does more to racially isolate children of color than any other type of school.
I am walking to DC,
Because children and parents deserve more than a lottery,
Because choice without equity is the wrong choice,

If you want to listen to what I was listening to on my walk this's "Here I Am Lord" by Michael Talbott  > <