Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Word Is Getting Out About Concept

DNA has the story of the 12th ward meeting about the Gulen school that has inserted itself there with the Alderman Cardenas' blessing.

(I need to make a note to find out if he's been on a Turkish junket yet because that is inevitable.)

Anyway, I was surprised to see the G-word in the story, but I guess it came up.

Nowaczewski also addressed the group's alleged ties to the teachings of a Turkish Muslim scholar Fethulla Gulen. She said the Concept board "has nothing to do with any movement, Gulen movement or any movement."
Although the company says some of its founders may have been inspired by Gulen, the company said it has no ties, including financial or religious, to a "Gulen Movement."

Nowaczewski is the paid staff person for the undemocratic, unelected state charter commission, which is perhaps the second most glaring example of taxation without representation in our state. The first is the Chicago Board of Education, and the third is the TIF system.

Anyway, she's evidently incapable of even ten minutes of research or any kind of skepticism (critical thinking.) If you look at the cookie-cutter similarity in all of the Gulen schools across the land, you see pretty quickly that it's much more than a random, unrelated group of people who "may have been inspired" by Fethullah Gulen.  It's a network, very, very much on the DL.

And the spiritual leader of the network is the seminal figure in modern Turkish Islam, a man who lives in now self-imposed exile in Pennsylvania. You really have to spend some time sifting through it all, but the Gulen movement is sort of a business-philanthropy-religious force that has accumulated a great deal of political power inside Turkey.

I have nothing against any these things. America is a place of refuge for persecuted religious sects; it has a long history of helping foment political change in foreign lands; and we have no shortage of homegrown secret societies.

However, we generally have not turned over public education to these groups. That, I oppose.

On a positive note, there is an implication in Ms. Nowaczewki's naive protestations that it would be a net negative for the Concept schools to have any kind of more formalized affiliations with Gulen. It appears to me that she's trying to imply that they looked at the issue and decided to believe the Company line that they have no connection to any kind of organized Gulen movment and were relieved because that would be a negative thing. Am I wrong? Isn't that implication in her statement?

Anyway, I take no relief in the Concept company line that "they may have been inspired" by Gulen. Really? When the history of this thing is finally written, I have no doubt we will find that Nowaczewki's investigation consisted of asking the Gulen people if they were part of a movement, and the Gulen people saying, "that is kooky talk." Really, can someone FOIA the relevant documents to that investigation? I'd like to see them.

Meanwhile, here's some reading for you.

Like I say, I support people's right to do what they want, believe what they want, say what they want, and associate with others the way they want; however, it is unprecedented for public education systems to be turned over to a group closely associated with a major player in a foreign political drama. It's unwise.

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