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Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Another meaningless ranking falling short of jusitce

Above is a link to a Wall Street Journal 24/7 article discussing the 2017 Quality Counts Report from Ed Week.

Coretta Scott King said: "Poverty can produce a most deadly kind of violence. In this society violence against poor people and minority groups is routine. I remind you that starving a child is violence; suppressing a culture is violence; neglecting schoolchildren is violence; discrimination against a working man is violence; ghetto house is violence; ignoring medical needs is violence; contempt for equality is violence; even a lack of will power to help humanity is a sick and sinister form of violence."

These rankings always focus on quantitative observable and measurable outcomes, and almost always pass over the research showing "out of school factors" such as how "poverty" impacts public education.  They seldom address what Coretta called society's violence against poor people. They view poverty as some intangible outcome, some mythical possibility, something out there that needs mentioning, but too big to ever address directly.  They mention it, and run from it. They retreat to rankings as if they prove some form of objective American innocence. America we may wash our hands in objective rankings, but this blood of generations of ignored poverty will not wash off.  
Dr. Paul Thomas in his reply to rankings rightly reminds us about those out of school factors: "that 60-80+% of those measurable outcomes; and thus, outcome-based data of educational quality are more likely a reflection of social conditions than school-based quality. "

When this 24/7 Wall Street article mentions poverty it uses the words "MAY NOT". "By contrast, “children living in low-income areas [may not] have the resources to help them get off to a good start.”
What is this "MAY NOT," but another cover up.  

My Momma, taught me sometimes a man has to jump up and testify. Allow me to jump us and testify on this "May Not" bull.
Having been a child who experienced poverty, hunger, and even homelessness, let me set the record straight:
No one learns in school on a hungry stomach,
No one pays attention when there is no heat at home,
No one learns when the electricity has been cut off at home,
No one learns when you have no home to go to after school,
No one learns without the medicine they need to heal and live.
Only Bureaucrats, Policy Makers, Politicians, Billionaires, and those who have never known poverty use the words "May NOT".
A truth to power from the Walking Man nothing destroys learning like poverty.

If America truly wants to lift our poorest public schools? America needs to lift our poorest communities.
Good Jobs matter,
Full stomachs matter,
A living wage matters,
Health care for all matters,
Affordable housing matters,
Quality Early Childhood Education Matters,
Sick leave matters,
Facing up to institutional racism matters,
Ending the School to Prison Pipeline matters,
A pathway to citizenship matters,
Pensions matter,
Unions matter,
Libraries matter,
Hospitals matter,
Free Mental Health Care matters,
Real Super markets and affordable public transportation matters.

What doesn't matter is America's rankings,
What doesn't matter is more tax breaks for billionaires. 
What never mattered is 40 years of trickle down economics that never made it to our poorest cities and rural communities.
What would matter? Is ending this constant failure of our 50 states to make the eradication of poverty their number one priority.

Poverty always matters,
Any nation that does not do all it can do to end poverty is committing a crime against their most vulnerable citizens.
The world's richest nation cannot claim to hold any moral mantle of justice, when it has failed to lift the poor for generations.
It is simple America, our greatest sin has always been our failure to lift up our most needy children, parents, and families.
Our greatest threat is not on our borders, but our indifference to our poorest brothers and sisters growing in our own hearts. 
Our silence and apathy is our greatest sin,
Jesse The Walking Turner

If you like to listen to the song inspiring my walk this morning its Phil Collins "Another Day In Paradise"

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