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Tuesday, January 22, 2019

I will give no quarter to these status quo education reformers

Teachers and parents, after 17 years of failed education reforms that spent over 1 trillion dollars, and counting. Reforms based on test scores, data sink holes, and school choice without equity programs, after giving billions and billions to failed charter schools. The mission is clear, we must place the blame where it belongs. It is clear our children, their parents, teachers, and their community schools are not failing. But America's presidents, senators, congress members, state governors, mayors, and legislators at every level have and are continuing to fail our children.

We have an opportunity to reshape public education, a chance to put humanity, equity, music, art, physical education, inquiry, hope, compassion, first. I welcome this struggle, I became a teacher to fight this fight, and I am willing, able, and already marching for equity and justice for all in our children in our public schools.

Leslie O'Shaughnessy, asked where do we start with messaging this? Perhaps we start with saying no more lies, no more scams, no testing and rigor with save our children, our teachers, and our public schools. Maybe we start by saying the whole system was built on 'Systemic Racism", and that has to end first.

We can start calling out these snake oil education reformers, legislators of both parties. We begin with saying all children deserve equity in our public schools not just some.

If you can’t give all children equity, then you stand for equity for “some”. Teachers and parents won’t vote for equity for some. We are drawing our line in sand of liberty and justice for all…ALL MEANS ALL. We will not vote for those standing for Liberty and Justice for some in our public schools.

Our message is clear, it is simple, and it’s speaks truth to power. America's children, all our children deserve fully funded public schools today. Equity now, not tomorrow, next year, ten years from now, decades from now. Black, Brown, Poor and Special Education Children have already been waiting for over 170 years. They have waited long enough!

Fully funded equitable public education is the place we should have drawn our line in the sand long ago. Tis, not too late, it’s never too late for justice. We draw the line for Justice and Liberty for all. Now show us your true colors? Where do you stand?

No legislator who stands against equity for all deserves the votes of parents and teachers. Every education reform with equity is a scam, and every education researcher and educator must call them out on this. We can give no cover to these compromises of justice, these sellers of forever compromises of fairness, these purveyors of a 170 years of status quo of inequity and injustice.

I will give no quarter to any legislator, policy maker, or education reformer promoting we can't do equity today, justice today,
Dr. Jesse P. Turner
Uniting to Save Our Schools
Silence and apathy are not me,
Dr. Jesse P. Turner

If you want to listen to the tune that inspire my walk in the cold's Eyes On The Prize by Sweet Honey in the Rock

Monday, January 14, 2019

Dear Mr. President the sacred word is ALL not Wall

Readers, I have borrowed the dissent form one of my heroes who wrote "Dear Mr. President and Sir" practice letters to President Woodrow Wilson. It is with the deepest respect and gratitude to the life of W.E.B.Dubois, that first editor of "The Crisis" the NAACP's 106 old Civil Rights magazine. Thank you W.E.B. Dubois for lighting the way to the rejection of helplessness, silence, and apathy. 
Dear Mr. President, there is written into our our Declaration of Independence an essential American aspiration. An aspiration that has become our nation’s promise that life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness are meant for all people. I find it odd that you see building some wall as more important that working on our nation's promise of life, liberty, and happiness for all. Perhaps your Mar-A-L
ago crowd doesn't quite understand the word "All" I like to remind them of these words today: "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness." Notice the word ALL sir? Please inform your cigar smoking, champagne drinking and caviar eating Mar-A-Lago Club buddies of your the key word is "ALL" not wall? 

These words "Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness" are our nation's well-known aspiration. A 243 year unfulfilled promise. A promise written into our national fabric, but blocked to many by systemic racism, sexism, and economic oppression. I am holding America to those words for all in our United States Declaration of Independence.
Those three examples of the "unalienable rights" which the Declaration says have been given to all humans by their creator. They sir, are unquestionable. You might want to inform your White Nationalist friends about these rights. 

I woke up today, just like I did every other day, understanding there is work to do. That Declaration promise is not yet real for our Black, Brown, Immigrant, LGBT, and the poor brothers and sisters. 

That promise written by humans, but with the understanding that they are not man made, but given to us by God. If you want to do God's work sir, may I suggest you give up your wall, and join us in making those three rights real for every American. Come do God's work Mr. President nothing else really matters. 

Mr. President, I woke up today with my eye on the prize, and I not looking away for any wall. Got these eyes on the prize!

I am my brother and sister's keeper, and they mine.
Jesse The Walking Turner 

If you are wondering what song inspired me on my walk on this cold January's the cover of "Keep Your Eyes On The Prize" 

Tuesday, January 8, 2019

When we fight we win

A Solidarity Shout Out, to my Teacher UTLA and HFT brothers and sisters, 
I want to remind teachers everywhere, about the event of 2018. Teachers in Arizona, Colorado, North Carolina, Oklahoma, and Mighty West Virginia strike that have set a new agenda for teachers everywhere..."We can't win, if we don't fight back...When we fight back we win.
2018 was the beginning of the revolution to take back our public schools. In 2019 the Mighty Mighty UTLA and my Little Train That Could Hartford Federation of Teachers (HFT), you voices shall lead us forward in this fight back to save our public schools, our children, our profession, and the communities we serve. Word just came in, the BOE has suddenly decided to come back to the table, it appears they just realized HFT members are ready to fight hard. On January 11th, UTLA is going to stage a wear Red for Education Walk in. The point is simple if we don't fight we can't win, thus winning begins with fighting back. 

Solidarity to all my UTLA & HFT brothers and sister,
Jesse The Walking Man Turner 

Just in case you like to know what song inspired my walk on the Mountain's Bill Brag Ruthy Merenda and the NYC Labor Chorus "Union Maid" > <

"You can't scare me, I'm sticking to the union!"

Thursday, January 3, 2019

How can you not be outraged?

Selma Jubilee Education Summit 2012 with SOS & UOO  

My message today is simple:
If, you look at the education policies of No Child Left Behind, Race To The Top, and Every Student Succeeds, and you are not outraged than you are part of problem?

Stand up, Get up, Speak up. 
If, we are not willing to demand equity and justice in our public schools for our children today, then we do not stand for justice anywhere...
Demand Equity,
Demand justice,
Demand it today,
Anything is an outrage, 
Dr. Jesse P. Turner 
Professor of Literacy, Elementary, and Early Childhood Education.
Selma 2014 with SOS & UOO 

If you like to listen to the tune that this Walking Man listened to on his morning walk's Bob Marely's Stand Up For your Rights...