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Friday, September 10, 2021

Achievement Gap my Ass, It is America's Moral Gap


I often hear experts talk about the "Achievement Gap" and pointing to Standardized test scores as proof of massive public school failure. Some blame schools, teachers, parents, and some even the children themselves for not having the rigor it takes to do well in school.
While we might agree about massive failure. I place little faith in standardized data or seek to blame schools, teachers, parents, or children.
As for Rigor, well, that word's root is Rigor Mortis, associated with death and pain. 
Having said I agree with the massive failure of our public school system, but not with who to blame or how to measure it.
I say use real logistical school-based data, class size, the ratio of pupils to the number of counselors, art teachers, music teachers, librarians, access to books, social workers, and specialized support services in a school. The size of their sports programs, the physical condition of their school buildings, and libraries. 
Truth to power moment America. Wealthy schools have smaller ratios to pupils for all the above., and much more. As for Race, well, No big secret people, White Schools also have lower ratios as well. You can measure failure in more meaningful ways besides test scores. 
What are we afraid of? Well, we might discover it is less an achievement gap and more a Moral Failure of a nation not willing to give all our children an equitable, high-quality public education.
Dr. Jesse P. Turner 
Uniting to Save Our Schools
Proud Badass Teacher

If you like to listen to the song that inspired my morning walk today...its Harold Melvin and the Bluenotes "Wake Up Everybody" <

Thursday, September 9, 2021

Be someone's chicken soup person


Ain't no, 16 Tons going to keep me down, Momma. 
"I was born one mornin' when the sun didn't shine,
I picked up my shovel, and I walked to the mine,
I loaded 16 tons of number nine coal
And the straw boss said, 
"Well, a-bless my soul."
Momma always called me her chicken soup boy. She came to call "Chicken Soup Boy" when we were homeless and spending our nights sleeping in the train station. 
One night when we settled down on our usual wooden bench. We were surrounded by all our worldly possessions of one suitcase and two paper bags; tears started running down her face, and she kept apologizing for our circumstances. I looked at her, and said Momma doesn't this bench feel softer tonight? I'm starting to like this place. 
Don't be sorry; it is like Ernie Ford's song 16 tons. 
I'm strong, 
I'm big, and
I am loving these 16 tons. 
She looked at me, wiped her tears, and said you are like chicken soup for a cold. You are warm, good, and fill my heart to the brim. It wasn't easy back then, and to be honest, it was me crying most nights. Things often get worst when you are down. Victor Hugo said, "Misery follows poverty." The poor have been carrying the load for this world for far too long. Somethings break you, and some make you. Momma carried her 16 tons with dignity, grace, and love.
Neither Poverty nor any 16 tons made me. I was made strong by a mother whose love still sustains me. 
We all have loads to carry, woes to bear, and dark nights find daylight. 
Friends, may your load grow lighter, and dignity, grace, and love always lift you up. 
Keep the faith,
Dr. Jesse P. Turner 
AKA Momma's Chicken Soup Boy

If you like to listen to the song that inspired my walk today, its Tennesse Bernie Ford 16 Tons  
We either lift others, or we all fall
We either lift each other, or we all fall