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Thursday, May 26, 2016

EQUITY delayed is equity denied? EQUITY denied is injustice

Moral Mondays, Connecticut BATs, Save Our Schools March CT are launching a Equity Now Campaign for equity and justice in our public schools. We are calling our campaign "Equity Now", and it is a year long campaign beginning with Equity Now Salon across the state from June to December, holding a Equity Now Legislative Institute in January, and a massive Rally in Hartford our state capital.

Our first "Equity Now" Salon on June 9 is a TEDxCCSU event. We sent out our invitation late Monday afternoon, and in less than 48 hours we were at capacity. The house ids full, but this is not a one time thing. This is the start of Equity Now Salons across the state. So if you missed this one there are more coming. This is the start of something bigger than us. This is Connecticut's march to justice in our public schools.
Why an Equity NOW campaign. 
I am trying to understand something a legislator told me recently when I ask why can't we have equity in Connecticut's public schools. 
She said we are working on it, it's complicated, it costly, and to be honest voters
are not willing to invest in it. 
My reply what should we say to Black, Brown, and Poor Children in Connecticut?
Children be patient, it complicated, it's costly, and to be honest people are not willing to invest in it.
We are doing the best we can for the children of the wealthy, and doing what we can for poor children of color.
If we don't have equity in our public schools, then we don't have justice in our public schools.
William E. Gladstone said "Justice delayed is justice denied." Our Equity Now coalition refuses to accept a system that tells Black, Brown, and Poor be patient equity is coming someday.

Three quick beliefs about equity I have on equity in our public schools:
1 In conversation about equity it often come down to property taxes the way we fund our public schools. As long as property taxes are used to fund our public schools, the system is fixed deeply in the corner of some will get more and some will get less. Any formula using property taxes to fund our public schools equals quality education by Zip Code.
2. Equity does not equal spending the same amount of money per child. Equity means providing all children with access to the best public education we have.
3. Using test scores as the accountability to hold schools responsible for equity is a status quo of justice denied.
Rather than use test scores to measure accountability. We should hold public schools accountable by insisting wealthy and poor children access same quality education.
We could hold schools accountable by demanding all children regardless income, color or zip code have access to:
The same services,
The same resources,
The same small class sizes,
The same quality art and music programs,
The same highly trained professionals.
Finally if you want to hold public schools accountable for inequity. You should start measuring the above indicators of equity not the test scores of Black, Brown, and Poor children forced into a system of inequity.

Connecticut will be in the house come July 8 at the Lincoln Memorial in DC at the Peoples March for Social Justice and Public Education. July 8 won't end inequity and injustice in our nation's public schools. Justice is not some stagnant puddle of water, it is an storm filled ocean on which brave ships of justice ride. If you live in Connecticut or any place USA come ride with us on these ships of justice?
Like Dr. Martin Luther King I reject justice delayed,
Jesse The Walking Man Turner 

If you like to hear more about my views on our Equity Now Salons, the Peoples March, and equity...please consider listening to my guest with Denisha Jones (6/26/16) appearance on DC We Act Radio BUS Education Town Hall.

If you are wondering what this Walking Man listened to on his sunshine filled walk over the Avon mountain its....Marvis Staples version of Eye on the prize..>

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