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Thursday, August 15, 2019

Education reform policies missing the data that really matters

Dear Education Reformers, Policy Makers, and Legislators, where is the data that really matters on your high stakes testing policies? 
If you tried to approve a new medicine or intervention treatment in the medical world, you are required to gather data by talking with patients, care providers, and family. 
This data is not considered soft data, but crucial data.
No medicine can make it to market with this data. There is the data that matters, and the data that really matters!
When did you ever ask children, parents, and teachers about the testing, the reforms, the school closings, moving art, music, and play out of the curriculum for test prep in schools of color? Your education reform took aways the things that mattered, and replace them with a Darwinism education reform policy that demanded unfunded schools compete against each other for limited resources.

You claimed you were giving Black and Brown parents a choice. Your choice left most of their children in more segregated and underfunded schools. Schools with less play, art, music, nurses, counselors, and tutors. Your reforms made billions for Wall Street CEOs, billions that should have been used to fund the arts, music, and wrap-around services needed in communities of color. 
Someone has to say it, your reforms are as deeply rooted in Structural Racism as those that existed before Brown Vs The Board of Education. 

Jonathan Kozol, (2006), wrote in The Shame of the Nation: The Restoration of Apartheid Schooling in America“There is something deeply hypocritical in a society that holds an inner-city child only eight years old "accountable" for her performance on a high-stakes standardized exam but does not hold the high officials of our government accountable for robbing her of what they gave their own kids six or seven years before.” 

I am calling this failure to collect the data that really matters. I say you did not collect it because you already knew that children, parents, and teachers would have told you. Their tears, their pain, and suffering would have shut you down.
I accuse you of education malpractice,
Dr. Jesse P. Turner
Professor of Literacy, Elementary, and Early Childhood Education 

If you like to listen to the song that inspired my morning walk today its Andra Day's Stand Up For Something"

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