Can We Snatch Defeat From the Jaws of Victory ?

The War on Public Ed, schools, teachers, students, parents/families/cities is raging on all fronts. They, the Corporate State Elite and their Machiavellian Agenda, are Winning. Years of planning, preparing, and a war chest that is in the billions/trillions if need, they are all but assured of victory. For them its just a matter of time before they can stand on the deck of another air craft carrier and declare victory ( like Bush II did ). The resistance was slow to recognize they/we were being warred upon. When we awaken to reality, it was almost too late. Now, we are slowly awakening and resisting. The only issue/question that remains: Can We Snatch Defeat From the Jaws of Victory? – Dr. James Avington Miller Jr. The War Report on Public Education

The War Report on Public Education


by Dr. James Avington Miller, Jr

The War on Public Ed, schools, teachers, students, parents/families/cities is raging on all fronts. They, the Corporate State Elite and their Machiavellian Agenda, are Winning. Years of planning, preparing, and a war chest that is in the billions/trillions if need, they are all but assured of victory. For them its just a matter of time before they can stand on the deck of another air craft carrier and declare victory ( like Bush II did ). The resistance was slow to recognize they/we were being warred upon. When we awaken to reality, it was almost too late. Now, we are slowly awakening and resisting. The only issue/question that remains: Can We Snatch Defeat From the Jaws of Victory? – Dr. James Avington Miller Jr.
The War Report on Public Education

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A Saturday Poem – Priceless

Sometimes, I really have to remember why I am teaching. This morning I read through some of my old poems, just to get some hope and inspiration. I found this one that I wrote six years ago as I watched 21 young people receive their high school diplomas. I am in this teaching gig for the miracles – the miracles that occur when I am a very small part of transforming a young life.

Our kids are so much more than a test score.

I hope you like this one. If you are a teacher, I thank you for all you do for your students. Keep – keeping on. Don’t give up. Fight on for a better day for our children and grandchildren.

Priceless is the smile
on her face –
she who was abused
violated at only four years old.

Priceless is the smile
on his face –
he who was ridiculed
called filthy names by his friends.

Priceless is the smile
on their faces –
they who were once labeled incorrigible
a threat to the classroom
those kids who will never learn.

Priceless is the smile
on each face –
as they sit in cap and gown
with their senior class
and receive their high school diploma.

Who could ever put a price tag
on even one of their miracles?

And – one more little inspiration for you all today – Don’t Give Up from Peter Gabriel.

An URGENT Appeal From Tennessee – Voucher Sharks Are Circling

I am reblogging this piece from TREE – Tennesseans Reclaiming Educational Excellence. Please read the whole article. What they are doing to our most at-risk and needy students is criminal.

The students, teachers, and parents of Tennessee need your help to tell legislators NOT to turn their backs on our students with special needs, and to say NO to opening the door to fraud.

Thank you for reading and taking action. Thank you for protecting our children from harm.

Voucher Sharks Are Circling

On Tuesday, the House Education Instruction & Programs committee will consider an additional voucher bill that is broader in scope and more devoid of accountability than any voucher proposal Tennessee has seen before.

30 Seconds of your time can say NO to this legislation.

House Bill 138 has NO limit on number of vouchers available. NO requirements at all for participating education providers, and NO testing or reporting requirements. An eligible student under this bill is any Tennessee child with an Individualized Education Plan (IEP) providing for special education services. Currently, 120,000 students in Tennessee meet that standard. Make no mistake, this vision – over a hundred thousand available vouchers with no meaningful standards or oversight – is not an outlier. It’s the ultimate goal of voucher advocates, and it’s where they hope any voucher law will ultimately take Tennessee.

This bill states that a parent of any child with an IEP, in exchange for a promise to not enroll the child in public school, may have BEP funds deposited into a bank account the parent controls. The parent is to use the funds to educate the child in some fashion, whether by enrolling in private school, purchasing an online learning program, hiring a tutor, or some other means. This bill specifically states that there will be NO regulations or standards applied to a participating educational provider. Private schools accepting this voucher are not required to be accredited or have any operating history. A provider need not actually provide the services called for in the child’s IEP. The bill calls for NO testing or reporting of educational results. ZERO accountability. And this lack of accountability runs counter to all of the laws that have been passed in recent years requiring testing and accountability for our public schools. Why would our legislators allow our tax money to be spent without any accountability, after spending years trying to establish accountability in our schools?

It’s staggering to think of the abuse, waste, and inadequate education that this bill would produce if it becomes law. The proposal is modeled after a similar law in Florida, which has produced rampant fraud and educational malpractice. It’s like a perverse science experiment, using disabled school kids as lab rats and funded by nine figures in taxpayer cash: Dole out millions to anybody calling himself an educator. Don’t regulate curriculum or even visit campuses to see where the money is going.”  [*Disclaimer – this article contains graphic and offensive language and behavior used by the private schools that received taxpayer funds under Florida’s program.]

We need your help TODAY to speak up against this outrageous proposal. Take 30 seconds and CLICK HERE to tell legislators NOT to turn their backs on our students with special needs, and to say NO to opening the door to fraud and misuse of Tennessee education dollars on a monumental scale.

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To Test or Not to TEST? STOP THE INSANITY NOW – great new web film from Michael Elliott coming SOON!

There is another powerful video coming soon that will seal the fate of the high stakes test movement in the United States. A Parent, a Teacher, and a Principal are interviewed in this amazing web film from producer Michael Elliott.

Bottom line – if you take the test, you are supporting the education reform movement. If you refuse the test, you are sending the message that the reformers are just plain wrong for America.


We have more power and influence than we think we have.

So watch for this ground breaking video coming out in just a few days.


The Personification of Pearson: Always Earning

By Lucianna M.  Sanson – Poetic Justice Editor and Blogger

My daughter was in Kindergarten when she first met Pearson. According to my daughter, Pearson was the bully that chased you around and around the playground until he finally got a grip on your blue denim jacket- and- with a mighty heave, stopped you dead in your tracks, spun you around, grabbed you by the collar, put his face right up close into yours, demanding not only your lunch money, but anything else you had in your pockets: coins, pencils, rubber bands, erasers, paper scraps, chewing gum, jawbreakers, even lint. Even Lint. Yeah, Pearson was THAT kind of bully. It seemed that he wanted everything that every kid had- all of your money, paper, ABC gum- you name it.


Needless to say, I marched myself down to the elementary school and discussed Pearson with my daughters teacher. I was told that Pearson was a challenge but that he had been adopted by the state and would be staying in my daughter’s school. As a ward of the state, there was nothing the teacher could do about that; however, she would make sure that my daughter was exposed to Pearson as little as possible and that she would never have to be in the same room with him during testing. Time passed- and my daughter- through lack of contact- rarely saw Pearson during the remainder of elementary school.


Fast forward to Middle School. Orientation. Guess who greets us at the door???? Yup.  Pearson. This guys is everywhere AND suddenly he is popular!!!  POPULAR! He is the darling of the new Teach for America teachers and old school testing gurus alike. He is still a bully, only now he is a sly one, a sneaky one, a slithery serpent of a bully who insinuates himself into the good graces of both Guidance and Gradebook alike. My daughter is wary of him, but this time, they are in every class together. She said that he doesn’t pick on her anymore but sitting next to him still makes her uncomfortable. I told her to just do her work and ignore him unless he becomes a real issue during testing and essay writing time. Thankfully, other than his overbearing and popular persona, Pearson doesn’t influence my daughter much during middle school. High school, however, will be a different story.


In high school, as luck would have it, my daughter actually began to enjoy spending time with Pearson. I don’t know what she saw in him, but she liked working with him on the school computer programs. The more time she spent with him, the more she began to like him. She had no problem with how much personal information he wanted from her.  As much as it creeped me out, it didn’t seem to phase her. Perhaps this is due to a “generation” gap,  but I can’t seem to shake the image of that pilfering bully on the playground all those years ago.I can’t stand the thought of his nimble fingers picking her pockets, rifling through her purse, or picking her brain.

These days, Pearson isn’t so much a bully as he is nosey. He wants to know everything about my daughter.  He asks her questions about her name, ethnicity, her likes and dislikes, questions about her parents. He records all of it in his data-bank of a brain, squirrelling it away for use at a later date. What is he going to do with this data? Where is it going? Who sees it? My daughter has even told me that he asks about us, her parents. Where we live, how much money we make, our phone numbers, our email addresses. I told my daughter our personal information is none of Pearson’s business and she doesn’t have to tell him anything about us- or her- if she doesn’t want to. She can refuse to answer any of his questions.


Hopefully, my daughter will take my advice about Pearson to heart. She will start college before too much longer, to become a school teacher, and Pearson will be at the same school.  Pearson, it seems is EVERYWHERE. Apparently, Pearson isn’t going to a four -year college; high school (and some dual enrollment classes)  gave him all the tools he needed to be college and career-ready.


Ironically, although he isn’t going to be attending my daughter’s college as a student, he IS going to be there. He got a job working for a company where he is in charge of monitoring the student teachers at my daughter’s college. Although he has no formal degree, he is working for the company  my daughter will be PAYING  to grade her student teaching experience! So Pearson, with his lack of education and lack of teaching experience, will be making money grading videos of my daughter ( which she has to pay money to upload ) while evaluating her as a student teacher. Wow. Pearson certainly does get around. In fact, you could say that from the moment my daughter met him, he was always earning.


Poetic Justice is so honored to welcome Lucianna M.  Sanson as an editor and blogger. We are so happy to have you with us Luci!

This is what we are fighting for – exceptional children like Super Ewan – all children are exceptional in my world..

Super Ewan has made it to the main stream TV news! Last night he was on Erin Burnett’s Out Front show on CNN. He is totally amazing.

150313202434-eb-super-ewan-comes-to-detroits-rescue-large-169Click on this link to view his appearance on CNN:

Super Ewan represents all our children. They are wonderful – unique – powerful – and full of all the good things that can turn this world around. They are not common and standard as the school reformer’s rhetoric declares to the world. We adults must protect ALL, empower them, allow them to speak out in truth, and help them make the world a better place.

We salute you Super Ewan and we support you as you help the people in Detroit. You inspire us grownups to do the right thing because … it is the right thing to do. Thank you.

Please visit Super Ewan on his FaceBook page and on his website. Also, you can help his cause from afar by supporting his Gofundme account.

Long Live! A Rant for the Bleeding Heart Educators of America

A free and quality education is a civil and human right that is being obliterated by the political and corporate take over by such men as Bill Gates and such corporations as Pearson – all led by politicians and their deadly No Child Left Behind, Race to the Top, SBAC, PARCC, and Common Core.

This poem is written in honor of the brave teachers standing up for children and fighting for quality public education in America.

Long live
the misfit and the outcast
the forgotten and the abused
the diamond in the midst of this messy morass.

Long live
the truth tellers
the wisdom weavers
the bringers of peace and happy healing.

Long live
the free thinkers and non-conformists
the mindful and deliberate
the conscious and the definitive.

Long live
the true teachers
those who guide by the side
who take a moment and make it forever.

Long live
the bleeding heart educators of America
those who care with their hearts and their minds
those who will never give up
those who will never shut up
those who will never abandon the dream that
they can touch a life forever!


Why bother teaching music in public schools?

Why bother teaching music in public schools?

Thank you Ken Previti – yes – we did know the answer before the questions was posed.

Reclaim Reform

Why bother teaching music in public schools?


The answer is in the question. Music.

Watch this for a full explanation.

You knew this before the question was asked. If you didn’t remember it, you do now.

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When children are informed about why their parents are opting them out of high stake tests

Here is a repost with permission from Lourdes Perez Ramirez a new friend and the founder and CEO of HispanEduca – a wonderful non-profit organization “empowering Hispanics/Latinos with access to education policy and reform so they (we) can impact and shape it!”

He followed every single instruction he had been given to refuse his computer-based tests scheduled for today.

He clicked SUBMIT without having answered a single test item. He raised his hand, very politely, and his teacher knew the student had finished before his classmates because he and his mom had decided to refuse.

His wonderful, Hispanic mom, who has two jobs every single day of the week, could not pick him up and keep him away from school for more than an hour, and then come back for the rest of the school day. Missing a few hours of her job would be the difference between paying the rent or being evicted.

After HispanEduca and the mom handed the principal a test-refusal letter, the school agreed, and the mom authorized for the child to spend the rest of the testing period at the school’s office.

There he was, doing some homework, when an office employee of this Orange County middle school approached the boy and threatened him saying that “he had to take the test because it was mandatory and if he didn’t he would be affected!”

But this 8th grade boy had been instructed, kept informed for more than a year, of what was going to happen today;  what to say and do and the importance of respecting his elders no matter what. And respect he did, when he told the lady”

“I know what I am doing; you are wrong, I will not be affected, and my mom supports me. I am a good student. Do you want me to call the organization who is supporting me and my mom so they can tell you that what I am doing is my right?” 

The old lady shut up and went back to her desk. She didn’t say another word, and the boy went back to his homework. He felt empowered! He knew there were responsible adults behind him, working on his behalf and his right to have the same education opportunities that non-Hispanic children have.

Does school staff know; have they been informed this is illegal?

Maybe not.  But keeping an 8th grader informed of what is going on, makes it even more satisfactory because we are also educating these wonderful children on civil rights issues. Even if they are residents with a visa. They too have rights. These children have rights and we have to make sure they feel protected and supported.

Kudos for this boy! We know there must be many more out there!

And Kudos to you Lourdes, and your organization HispanEduca, for helping Hispanic families learn of their rights and find their voice and power in the age of abusive school reforms.


The Other PARCC – Parents Advocating Refusal on High-Stakes Testing – A MUST WATCH AND SHARE

This is a brilliant web film. This will make you cry. This will make you angry. But will it make you do something?

From film maker Michael Elliot:

“The PARCC Testing begins tomorrow, and the children of New Jersey and all over the country begin struggling through these assessments. The question must be asked by parents everywhere, how long will it take and how much damage will be done, before this ill fated reform agenda is defeated. How long?
Please watch the film, comment and like and share… Lets make our voices, the voices of parents, teachers and children, heard.”

<p><a href=”″>The Other PARCC – Parents Advocating Refusal on High-Stakes Testing</a> from <a href=””>nLightn Media</a> on <a href=””>Vimeo</a&gt;.</p>