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Monday, July 29, 2019

Dear Senator Ron Paul your immigrant hate can't stop my love

I refuse to let these haters bring me down to their hater world...
Senator Ron Paul apparently thinks Congress Woman Ilhan Omar should go back to Somalia to appreciate the food stamps her family received when they first came to America as refugees.
Senator Paul, where should I go back to? As a child, my mother was given food stamps when we were homeless. Of course, you were born wealthy and would have no clue about needing that kind of help. All you have ever had to do is call Daddy.
Senator, let me share a little secret. My wife sealed a single one dollar food stamp behind the frame holding my Ph.D. It hangs in my office, and I have never told anyone it is there. Somehow, knowing it is there reminds me of the sacrifices my wife and I made to earn that degree. We moved 2800 miles to go to the University of Arizona to chase our American dream.
We had the promise of full-time jobs. We packed our bags as soon as those promises came in. But, as soon as we arrived those promised jobs turned to part-time ones. Like millions of other Americans whose promises fall through...we did what working people have always done...Without a Daddy Big bucks to call, we made do.
Only a fool thinks people who need food stamps are not appreciative. Only a fool thinks that needing that kind of help doesn't carry some extremely heavy shame. Shame that sinks deep in your bones. People who just call Daddy, have no idea about climbing up from that deep bone shame.
How would you ever understand, that even with my student loans, and 4 part-time jobs between us we needed food stamps to get by. Living in a right to work state where no one would give you a full-time job because then they would have to offer you health care.
You never had to take your sick daughter to the doctor with no way to pay, and hope the doctor would treat her...
Yeah, Rich Daddy Boys have no clue what it means to walk in the shoes of the working poor.
We regularly visited the food pantry. We don't talk about it, we have never told our friends, or family about it. We hold that pain deep in our hearts, and we never ever talk about it. But, you Sir need some teaching.
How would you a Daddy's Silver Spoon boy, understand...What everyday Americans go through? You know the ones that work for a living, daring still to reach for the stars. They make countless sacrifices, swallow their pride often, and unlike you, they never complain. They just get it done.
You, sir, have no clue about the difficult path America's poor and the working poor must walk. You have always been able to call Daddy Big Bucks.
I am not angry,
I don't hate you,
I wish you no harm, and
I pray that your family will never have to walk in the shoes of Congress Woman Omar.
I pray for your children and grandchildren never have to go into debt to pay for their higher education or need food stamps, or a food pantry.
Senator all I ask is you keep your hate to yourself.
Dear Congress Woman Omar, and to every American who may need food stamps to survive, this song is for you. For you are our star reachers, and you are loved. 
Love Wins,
Dr. Jesse P. Turner 

In case you like to listen to the song that inspired my blog tonight...its Play For Love Around The World Change 

Radical against the unimaginable

Looking back from 64 and decades of being a teacher I have found the new normal is an unimaginable betrayal of childhood, learning, teaching, and public education.

If one of my teacher educators professors had said someday future teachers will have to defend play in the classroom, play in the schoolyard, recess, imagination, inquiry, curiosity, equity for all? That standing up for these things would be radical.

I would think her or him insane or if I accepted it as truth? I might have gotten up, and chosen some other profession. The new status quo for teachers at every level in America is to go along to get along. Stay quiet, or you'll be punished by the wealthy, the powerful, and the connected.

The New Radical
Teachers keep your heads down,
Be quiet,
Say nothing publicly.
Do this, and we'll let you get by.
Teachers, be silent and be safe.

To stand up for the truth in education is the new radical,
To stand up for Black, Brown, Speical Education, and Poor Children is the New Radical,
To stand up for a living wage for all is the New Radical.

To fight for health care for all is the New Radical,
To fight for our elders to retire with economic dignity is the new Radical.
To fight against hate is the New Radical,
To fight racism, sexism, homophobia, religious bigotry is the New Radical,
To fight for the union is the New Radical,
To fight for affordable Higher Education,
To fight White Supremacy in the public schools is the New Radical.

To stand up for play, imagination, gym, art, music, in public education is the New Radical.
To stand up for school librarians and libraries is the New Radical,
To stand against a School To Prison Pipeline that dooms children of color,
To stand up and fight back is radical.

I know who I am,
I know where I stand,
Call this teacher RADICAL

The new normal in public education demands an end to teacher silence and apathy,
Dr. Jesse P. Turner
Radical Educator For Justice For All

I know what Radical looks like, for I have stood on that stage with Radical Educators who stand and fight back in the classroom and outside the classroom every day.

I know what Radical looks like because my rank and file sisters and brothers have met with Chigaco Teacher Rank and File leaders. We have broke bread together in Chicago. We have embraced a radicalism for justice in and outside the schools and the communities we teach in at every level of education.

If you like to listen to the song that inspired my morning walk today? Its Rebel Diaz's tribute to Chicago teachers.

Monday, July 22, 2019

What If, policymakers and legislators listened to teachers?

There is no greater disconnect in education reform than between our politicians, policymakers and our nation's teachers than on the value of high stakes testing and standards.
One group feeds off the campaign contributions of for-profit education reformers,
Another group depends on elected officials to keep them employed,
And our nation's teachers dealt with the pain of damage left behind by policies driven not by data, but by greed.
How else can we accept hundreds of billions of tax dollars wasted on testing, while school budget after school budget is slashed?
America needs to ask only one question.
What if we started spending this money on other solutions?
Let me begin the list for us:
Summer schools,
Saturday schools,
Music teachers,
Art teachers,
School librarians,
Special Education teachers,
Reading Specialists,
Gym Teachers,
Real books,
School nurses...

WHAT IF, we change the same old, same old to something that mattered?
Dr. Jesse P. Turner

If you like to listen to the song that inspired my walk this morning its Rebel Diaz singing "Chicago Teacher". 

On my way to Chicago this week. You can bet your bottom last dollar, that this Walking Man will be meeting and listening to some Chicago Teachers.

Tuesday, July 16, 2019

Scientific Truth Seeker Dr. Julian Vasquez Heilig

I know University of Kentucky School of Education Dean Julian Vasquez Heilig,  he is a scholar with a thirst for truth, and a human being driven by a deep sense of justice. Someone needs to seek the scientific truth of school reform. Someone needs to explain that equity and justice in our public schools should be truth-based. And to call it out when it is not! Dr. Vasquez Heilig has made this his life's work. 
I have been an avid reader of his blog > < for years, and we have become professional colleagues over the last few years. He is a must-read, and follow a scholar.

"Ever wonder why a lion’s share of positive (non-peer reviewed) findings about school choice comes from certain places? We take on that question in our new piece published in the 2nd edition of the Handbook of Research on School Choice. " JVH 

Think about hair loss infomercials, they often claim to have science behind them, but even the slightest investigation reveals nothing more than testimonials. So, what sells their products without any real science behind them?  
The truth is simple men fearing baldness will grab on to anything to prevent baldness. It is the same with School Choice, parents are grabbing at anything to save their children from inequity in our public schools. Market-based Education Reformers behind School Choice, don't care about the science, the truth, they care about profit margins. 
Equity in America's Public School System has become a market-based infomercial scam. These marketers are not held accountable by our policymakers, legislators, or mass media. 

In the movie "Wall Street" Michael Douglas, (Gordon Gekko) said these lines to young brokers:
"The point is, ladies and gentleman, that greed, for lack of a better word, is good. Greed is right, greed works. Greed clarifies, cuts through, and captures the essence of the evolutionary spirit. Greed, in all of its forms; greed for life, for money, for love, knowledge has marked the upward surge of mankind." 

Tell us why Dr. Turner? GREED! 
Thank you Julian Vasquez Heilig for seeking the truth, exposing injustice, and for constantly disseminating the truth that matters.
Dr. Jesse P. Turner 
Moral Monday Education Ambassador Connecticut

If you like to like to listen to the tune this walking man was listening to on his walk this morning. It's OneRepublic's "Truth To Power"

Monday, July 15, 2019

Dear Bigot in the White House

Dear Mr. President, about this telling United States Congresswomen to go back home. It is simply astounding how little you know about our United States Constitution.  
I am not certain if you ever studied U.S. History in school. Perhaps this is why you threaten to sue any school/university you went to if they release your transcripts? 
However, as a former social studies teacher, I would be remiss if I did not point out two important sources for understanding who is eligible to serve in our United States Congress, and who is a citizen of our United States of America. 
First, Article 1, Section 2 of the United States Constitution: "No Person shall be a Representative who shall not have attained to the Age of twenty-five Years and been seven Years a Citizen of the United States, and who shall not, when elected, be an Inhabitant of that State in which he shall be chosen".
Second, I like to point out something called the 14 Amendment in our United States Constitution.
"All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the state wherein they reside. No state shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any state deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws." 
No amount of hate you hold in your heart changes the fact that Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York, Ilhan Omar from Minnesota, Michigan's Rashida Tlaib and Ayanna Pressley from Massachusetts are members of Congress and United States Citizens. 
Next, it is blatantly clear, that your rant targeted Black and Brown Female members of Congress. Which leads to something else I like to point out to you as well. 
In Webster's On-Line Definition of Bigot: "a person who is obstinately or intolerantly devoted to his or her own opinions and prejudices especially: one who regards or treats the members of a group (such as a racial or ethnic group) with hatred and intolerance."
Finally, I have an important heads up for you. Come November 3, 2020, We the people, are going to fire the Bigot in the White House.
Jesse The Walking Man Turner

If you want to listen to the tune I listened to on my walk this morning its Paul Cauthen "Everybody Walking This Land"

Thursday, July 4, 2019

Mr. Party Boy President, like Frederick Douglass, I still haven't found what I'm looking for.

Alan Singer's article today is a good read. He reminds us of that July 4, 1852 when Frederick Douglass was asked to speak in our Nation Capital. You can read Mr. Singer's piece at

After reading Mr. Singer's article, I decided to weigh in our things as well, and write a public statement to our Make America Great Party Boy President as he jumps up and down at the tanks at the Lincoln Memorial and the fighter jet fly bys....

Dear Mr. President, as you hold your party with your campaign contributors, billionaires, tanks and fighter jet fly overs today at the Lincoln Memorial. You might want to read a little, study a little, and take a look in the mirror.

On July 4, 1852 Frederick Douglass was ask to speak...his speech is worthy of deep study. However, I hear your IQ is so high that deep study is beyond you. So, I will just give you a small quote from Mr. Douglass. I would not want to tax your massive IQ with too much reading.
"What to the American slave is your Fourth of July? I answer, a day that reveals to him more than all other days of the year, the gross injustice and cruelty to which he is the constant victim. To him your celebration is a sham; your boasted liberty an unholy license; your national greatness, swelling vanity; your sounds of rejoicing are empty and heartless; your denunciation of tyrants, brass-fronted impudence; our shouts of liberty and equality, hollow mockery; your prayers and hymns, your sermons and thanksgivings, with all your religious parade, and solemnity, are, to him, mere bombast, fraud, deception, impiety, and hypocrisy — a thin veil to cover up crimes which would disgrace a nation of savages." ~Frederick Douglass 7/4/1852

You might consider Mr. Douglass's words, and what those families and children in our nation's detention centers are thinking about our nation's birthday. My thinking is like in 1852, we are far from another party on the nation's lawn in DC. My thinking is like Frederick Douglass, they are thinking our shouts of equality, liberty and justice for all depend on which border you crossed, skin color, or income status... On this July 4, 2019, I shall not celebrate liberty and justice for some with you.
Sir, I shall recommit to that age old Mr. Douglass struggled to make liberty and justice ring true one day. It is the only real American commitment worth fighting for.

Dr. Jesse P. Turner

If you are wondering what tune this walking man is listening to on his 7/4 morning walk...its U2's 'Still haven't found what I'm lookig for'

Monday, July 1, 2019

Teachers have a sacred duty to tell their teaching stories

It is July 1, 2019, time to start preparing for NCTE's Embracing Diversity through Meaningful Inquiry July 12–13, 2019 Columbia, South Carolina week.

I am looking forward to spending time with my Save Our School March Friends, Bess Altwerger, Rick Meyer, Ricardo Rosa.

I have the honor of introducing the mighty mighty Dr. Julian Vasquez Heilig there. If by chance you do not know Dr. Vasquez Heilig, just google him. His blog Cloaking Inequity is always on my reading list. He is a must read, must follow, must listen to pro public-school education activist voice. He is a must study social justice equity scholar and activist.

I am working hard planning my own session: “A pedagogy of Love: from Whole Language Educator to Civil Rights Activist: This session shares: The Autoethnology of Jesse The Walking Man Turner transformative journey from teacher to Civil Rights Activist. My story is an invitation to others to join me. I shall also share ways to join the fight openly and safe ways to join the fight subversively for teachers who fear retaliation at their work. This is real, we do have many teachers being bullied at their schools for standing up for children. Caring for our children, means caring for each other, and standing up for public education at all levels from Pre-K to University. It is all under attacked by these profiteers who are reducing public education to capital manipulation. The Common Good has no place in their world of our children are their profits.

The plan is simple, we teachers have a sacred duty to defend their students, each other, and the communities we teach in. This duty compels us to fight for justice in the school house, and outside their walls.

It's not a new idea, Dr. Yohuru Williams often speaks about that old alliance between teachers, labor, and the Civil Rights Movement. It's an old school alliance, when Dr. King called, we teachers join every march.

I am going to NCTE to deliver the message that alliance needs reviving more than ever before. SOS has been answering that called since its birth in 2010. The plan is to use one teacher's story to inspire a birth of new stories. Saving our public schools requires a generation of new stories.

At 8 years old, I was in DC in 63 at that March on Washington. Sometimes, I think I am always marching.  I have always been fighting this battle not only for my students, my fellow teachers, our public schools, but for the soul of our teaching profession.

Our profession is under attack, from Education Privatizers who want teachers to be silent, to be obedient, to toe the line of our children, their teachers, and our local public schools as profit margins.

I am an one of those old school teacher, when injustice came around, I have always answered the call.
Nothing has changed, I never left that Teacher, labor, Civil rights Alliance.

My message at NCTE 2019 will be simple. Teachers are duty bound, to be active members of that old alliance.

Teachers, there's a train coming.
Get on board,
Dr. Jesse P. Turner
Save Our Schools
Moral Monday CT Education Ambassador
CSU-AAUP Due Justice Liaison
If you want to listen to the tune I was playing during my walk this July morning its The ther Beat(en) Geraration