Wednesday, August 24, 2016

TBFURMAN: If You Teach In A Concept School

TBFURMAN: If You Teach In A Concept School:

If You Teach In A Concept School

If you are a teacher at a Concept School here in Illinois (CMSA, Horizon Science-Belmont, Horizon Science-McKinley Park, Horizon Science-Southwest), the the following statements are incontrovertibly true for a person in your situation:

The people running your school, and the CMO managing your school, are deeply connected to the upper echelons of the Gulen Movement. Your school exists as a revenue stream for the Gulen Movement, which appears to be permanently resettling here in the States during this post-failed coup period in Turkey. The Gulenists have been here in small numbers since before Fethullah Gulen himself arrived, and their numbers have grown rapidly since then.

Your school is an economic engine for them; the school receives a great deal of tax money, and all of this money is available for the Movement. Unlike a normal public school, it is basically impossible to determine who receives the money a charter school spends, particularly the portion that goes directly to the CMO. The schools generate business for Gulen-linked contractors, and the whole thing snowballs into a walled-off economy that brings in more and more of the Gulenists from Turkey. This, of course, is all in addition to the real estate deals and financing deals that make charter investors wealthy.

It's all for the Movement, minus whatever paltry salary they are paying you to be the American face of it all.

The Turkish men managing your school all know this to be true, and the Turkish men working in your schools on H-1B visas know it to be true. The American teachers are not part of the equation, other than as cover.

It is almost certain that the Turkish men working in your schools are kicking back part of their salary as a tithe to the Gulen Movement; the extent to which they are true believers, or simply people taking advantage of a job opportunity in the States, probably varies. But they are understand very clearly what is going on.

The people running your school will probably tell you that the Gulen Movement is a selfless, peaceful social movement and that they have no connection to it, although some of them may possibly at one time or another, have been vaguely inspired by Gulen. None of these assertions are true. The Gulen Movement is a complex, often malevolent political-religious force, deeply involved in human rights abuses in Turkey. They have an aggressive and massively successful public relations campaign here in the States, and they have fooled or confused a great many lawmakers and policymakers. The people running your school are the true believers.

Your charter school is in almost all respects just like any other charter school, except for all of the above. They need you to do the basic chores of teaching, coaching, and supervising kids, and they don't expect you to be aware of or even concerned about what is really going on. Your school is not a fake school; it's a regular charter school run by people who run 
TBFURMAN: If You Teach In A Concept School:

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