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Tuesday, March 5, 2024

Activism lifts our soul and body Uniting to Save Our Schools.


Change requires we put in the work 

In 2010, during the National Council of Teacher Conference held in Philadelphia, a panel of educators discussed the harmful effects of high-stakes testing on students and public schools. The panelists presented research indicating that such policies were killing students' motivation to learn and were consuming eight weeks of valuable learning time. 

Despite this, lawmakers and policymakers remained silent on the issue. After the session, two teachers, Nancy Creech and Ruby Clayton from Michigan, asked what could be done to address the issue since no one seemed to be listening. Dr. Jesse P. Turner, a university professor, suggested educators follow in the footsteps of Civil Rights Leaders and walk to Washington DC to bring attention to the issue. 

Thus began the story of the Walking Man. Dr. Turner embarked on a 400-mile walk from Connecticut to Washington DC to raise awareness about the harmful effects of high-stakes testing. Over fifty pounds was lost during the journey; he was welcomed in DC by Bess Altwerger Vivian M Vasquez, the Dean of the School of Education. A plan was put in motion to organize the Save Our Schools Conference, Rally, and March in 2011, which brought together Diane Ravitch, Jonathon Kozol, Karen Lewis, CTO leaders, the 

Wisconsin Teachers Union, and 12,000 others to DC. This event sparked a resistance movement that is still active today, fighting against harmful education reform policies of high-stakes testing, privatization, and choice without equity reforms. Resisters are in the face of harmful education reform policies in all 50 states these days. 

I believe that silence and apathy are unacceptable, and he continues to unite educators to save our schools. Activism lifts both the soul and the body. 

If we don't fight back, we lose, and losing is not an option for our children, teachers, and public schools, Dr. Jesse P. Turner     
Uniting to Save Our Schools                                                                                                              Badass Teacher

If you like to listen to the tune that inspired my walk this morning? It is Barry Lane's "Jesse Turner the Walkin' Man"

Silence and apathy are not acceptable 

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