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Saturday, May 30, 2020

I Will Not Be Complicit In America's Apartheid Schooling

I am a proud member of the sister and brotherhood of resistance to systemic racism in our public schools. 

I am going name inequity in our public schools for what it really is. It is this constant violence of systemic racism against Black and Brown children in our public schools that feeds White Supremacy in America.

r Link to one of the many articles predicting the coming school budget cuts.

Imagine 170 years of inequity and injustice in our public schools? Now imagine Black and Brown children attending our public schools that never ever were fully funded? Parental Love requires giving children all they need to grow and prosper. America has refused to provide Black and Brown children what they need to grow and flourish. This refusal to give all America's children what they need to grow and prosper represents our national shame, but the sinful violence against Black and Brown children. The struggle before us is evident, complicity is a crime. A sin and crime against human decency and humanity.

Recognize the violence against our nation Black and Brown children in our education policies. Coretta Scott King informed America of what violence against Black, Brown and poor looks like "I must remind you that starving a child is violence. Neglecting school children is violence. Punishing a mother and her family is violence. Discrimination against a working man is violence. Ghetto housing is violence. Ignoring medical need is violence. Contempt for poverty is violence." ~ Coretta Scott King

So, now comes this pandemic that clearly focuses the light of injustice and inequity on these schools. Remote learning further pointed out a digital divide that exacerbated inequity in Black and Brown communities.

Now, a caring nation that values all children would remedy these inequities, not cuts budgets. Jonathon Kozol calls our public education system, "Apartheid Schools." Jonathan Kozol said:
"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." ~ Kozol, (The Shame of the Nation: The Restoration of Apartheid Schooling in America).

Trust me, our work is to liberate our nation's children from 170 years of apartheid schooling. Until then, these budget cutters should be named for who they are. The leaders and evildoers of America's Apartheid School System.

Trust me, there is a connection between this police brutality that murders in Black and Brown communities and the brutality of inequity in our public schools.If you are silent? Then you are complicit in 170 years of white supremacy?
I will not be complicit in this evil. I am a member of the resistance uniting to save our schools.

I am a proud member of a community that rejects complicity,
Jesse The Walking Man Turner
Member of USOS

If you like to listen to the tune I listen to on my walk this morning? Its the Play For Change cover of "Teach Your Children". > < 

Thursday, May 28, 2020

Love Rescue me

The news of the past week has been so bleak. 100,000 lives lost to COVID-19, the brutal murder of George Floyd in Minneapolis, just 2 weeks after the killing of Ahmaud Marquez Arbery. Moral Monday CT/Balck Lives Matter met last night online with people from all around the world. We said their names; we spoke ones not heard on the news as. There are far too many. It helped to be in community with others.

Yesterday I was lost, but friends and community found me, lifted me, and we listened deeply to our collective fear and pain.
Today I shall light my candle, say my prayers, and reflect on one of those lives of more significant works.
Today, I shall remember the life of Mother Teresa.
Her words fill me this day,
Today Mother Teresa's words fortify me.

"Peace begins with a smile.
There are no great things, only small things with great love."

"Happy are those.
Spread love everywhere you go.
Let no one ever come to you without leaving happier.

If you judge people,
You have no time to love them."

If you can't feed a hundred people,
Then feed just one."

"Kind words can be short and easy to speak,
But their echoes are truly endless."

"Let us always meet each other with smile,
For the smile is the beginning of love."

"Be faithful in small things because,
It is in them that your strength lies."

"Yesterday is gone.
Tomorrow has not yet come.
We have only today. Let us begin."
"I have found the paradox that if I love until it hurts,
Then there is no hurt,
But only more love."

The struggle for justice is real, it is a struggle of many coming together. I am part of this struggle for the right to breathe, live, and strive for all people.

I am no Dr. King.
I am no world leader,
I am really quite small in ways of the world.

I am, however,
My Sister's keeper,
My Brother's Keeper,
And they are my keepers,

I am one seed of hope, among many,
A twig reaching for the light,
Together we are the coming forest of justice for all.

In the meantime,
I shall not hate,
I shall lead with love,
See me here,
In my silliness,
At my best.

I am a teacher, and
My superpower is not the letters after my name,
It is the love that fills my heart
My goal today is to remember,
I am not alone,
I am part of a community of loving usurpers,
Come to tear down hate,
I share lean on higher lives,
Today I shall call upon,
Mother Teresa's life and words.

I shall remember those words "there are no great things, Only small things with great love."
I am a small:
My works are small,
But, my works are filled with great love.

Love Wins,
Dr. Jesse P. Turner

Moral Monday CT Education Ambassador

The only song that I listen to over and over again on my walk this morning is "Love Rescued Me" <

Sunday, May 24, 2020

Central To You: No More Summer Reading loss

In this COVID-19 Spring rush to remote leaning, we will spend decades trying to understand how much learning time did children actually lose.

My thinking is with summer fast approaching, we need to do all we can to avoid any summer reading loss. Consider spending 30-minutes with Nelba Marquez-Green, (The Ana Grace Project), and Dr. Jesse P. Turner the Central Connecticut State literacy Center discussing how to avoid summer reading loss.

Hoping you join Nelba and I as we support Parents, Step-Parents, Foster Parents,  and Grandparents prevent summer reading loss.

May 26, 9:PM EST

A quick read about summer reading loss:
is an assistant professor at the Harvard Graduate School of Education and THOMAS G. WHITE is a senior research scientist at the University of Virginia discusses the negative impact that summer reading loss has on children of color, and possible solutions to summer reading loss in the following article.
Solving the Problem of Summer Reading Loss

"Richard Allington and his colleagues (2010) tried this. They recently reported the results of an experimental study in which low-income children got books to read in three successive summers. The 1,330 participants were pre- dominantly black or Hispanic children who be- gan the study in the 1st and 2nd grades at 17 high-poverty elementary schools in Florida. Children were randomly assigned to a treatment group that received 12 books in each of three summers or to a control group that re- received no books. The children chose the books themselves. Each spring, they were brought to a book fair where they picked from a large selection of trade books. The results of this in- the intervention showed a small but statistically significant improvement in the children’s reading skills, particularly among children at the low- est socioeconomic level."

This summer may be the most important in the literacy development of our children in generations. Simple truth summer reading matters, and it should be a family affair.
Please consider joining us for this free Facebook Live Event on the Ana Grace Project Page.

If you are wondering what the Walking Man listened to on his morning walk today its Barry Lane's "more Than A Number" 

Monday, May 18, 2020

Ask me now teacher?

Imagine one Black Teacher?
She wrote it on the chalkboard:

“Literature is indispensable to the world. The world changes according to the way people see it, and if you alter, even by a millimeter, the way a person looks at reality, then you can change it.” ~ James Baldwin

I knew it was important; everything she wrote on her chalkboard was. Why is Literature indispensable young Jess? I was far too young to fathom the why at 17. Ask me now, TEACHER? Ask me now at 64, ask me now in the middle of this pandemic, ask me now that I live long enough to bury my grandparents, parents, sisters, students, and dear friends.

Mrs. Stanfield Honor English Grade 12

Sometimes:                                                                                                                                            The hate,
The evil,
The injustice,
Crushes me.

Sometimes the lack of:
Crushes me.

Sometimes even my:
Prayers are not enough,
A candle burning in the dark is not enough,
Falling on my knees is not enough,
Not enough,
Crushes me.

Sometimes hope eludes:
My prayers,
My hopes,
My prayers,
Eluding hope,
Crushes me.

In my lost hours,
I plead oh Lord intervene,
Do here,
Do it now,
Intervene now,
Crushes me.

When all is darkest:
I search scriptures,
I remember her lessons,
I hear her despair, not young Jess,
Mrs. Stanfield,
Did I not fortify you,
Look on your shelves,
I gave you:

With her lessons, I cannot be:

Not enough,
For she gave me heroes.
I am uncrushable.

God saves:
Scripture holds me steady,
I am never alone,
Candles and prayers are my armor,
I am uncrushable.

Literature is my Shepard:
In the valley of death,
When I am the one out of the 100 lost,
My better prayers are on my shelves,
In my treasures of found,
Books and,
I am uncrushable.

Uncrushable because:
My Faith,
My Prayers,
My Candles, and
Her lessons,
Imagine if she was your teacher,
Imagine your heroes,
Imagine her lessons, and know:
I am never alone.

Imagine if she was your teacher?

If you are wondering what this Walking Man listened to on his walk this morning? Its Crosby, Stills, and Nash > <

Wednesday, May 13, 2020

All Of Me, 4 All of You: Summer Vacation canceled

Summer Vacation is Canceled.

I will not be fishing, kayaking, hiking those beautiful New Hampshire mountains this summer. My moment of honesty on this May 13, 2020 pandemic day of reasoning. No one goes back to physical classrooms in the Fall.

It will not be because opening our public schools cannot be done safely. We could open them in a that "Can Do" America" of the past. He is about making America Great for some, not all.  It all costs money and would mean asking America's wealthy to help pay for it. This President gave trillions of dollars in tax breaks to billionaires and millionaires. He lacks the courage to take them back.
He lacks the heart and the will to make returning to school work safely. He is Wall Street's President, not the peoples.

He won't do it.

We will need hundreds of thousands of new teachers and teacher aides to reduce class sizes, to staggering schooling, and over 50 million gloves and masks a day. We need double or triple the custodial staff, nursing centers in our schools ready, and able to test staff and students. Now some countries are already working on these things, but not Wall Street President. He lacks the courage, the conviction, the will, and the heart to make it work.

Where is his heart?
Follow his tax breaks, and gifts to the 1%.  
Making it work begins with taking back that trillion and half dollar tax cuts this White House gave to Billionaires.

Their solution.
Senator Rand Paul said: "Dr. Fauci, I don't think you're the end-all," Paul said, adding, "We can listen to your advice, but there are people on the other side saying there's not going to be a surge." My translation of Senator Paul, "There Will be Blood." GOP Leadership thinking our children attend elite private schools with large classrooms and small class sizes, social distancing is no problem for our children. As for the rest of America, trust us, there will be surge. Remember, we are the White House and the GOP who said the virus would go away like the Flu. It was a hoax.
In other words, there will be blood, but not our blood.

What am I going to do?
I can't fix Washington DC.
But, neither am I helpless,
I am a teacher,
Who modes future generations.

I am stepping up.
I am going to step up this remote learning game, spend a thousand hours, ensuring that our Literacy Center is an exceptional online experience. It won't be the same, but it won't be rushed, I will pull this brain apart finding ways to bring as much love, humanity, empathy, and community building into our Literacy Center. My heart will break some, but it will not break.

We shall return one day. One day when we return, and we will return.
It will be a smooth welcoming home.
There will be one massive reopening, and hearts will begin healing.
As America's Greatest Generation did their part,
This generation shall do their part, and
We shall come to know the new Greatest Generation.

Come this Fall.If you ask Dr. Turner what he did this summer?
I will reply spent my summer vacation working to make the best possible learning community for our teachers and children.
Trust me it may not be perfect,
It will not be the same,
But, it will not be some tin can cheesy.

This summer begins the work.
It has already begun,
It will be the best I can give,
It will be all of me.

I shall do this work with empathy, hope, and all the love my Teaching Heart has to give.
I shall not disappoint my CCSU Literacy Center teachers and children,
All of me loves all of our Public School teachers and our children.

All of me, for all of you,
 Dr. Jesse P. Turner CCSU Literacy Director,

Moral Monday CT Education Ambassador

If you are wondering what did this Walking Man listen to on his walk this morning? Its john Legend's "All of Me"