Class Warfare Blog

July 22, 2016

Or Should I Say Purges

In a huge purge following upon the attempted military coup in Turkey, Turkey’s President seems to be remaking that country’s education system. Over 15,000 civil servants in the education ministry alone have been detained, 21,000 teachers have their licenses withdrawn and more than 1,500 university deans have been told to quit their jobs. Academics currently on study missions abroad have been told to return home while those in Turkey are banned from traveling abroad until further notice.

The fact that these numbers are so large has lead some to speculate that hit lists had to have been ready before the attempted coup.

So, a conservative dictatorial political system has decided to purge progressive teachers and strike fear in those who remain to make sure they toe the party line. Why does that sound so familiar?

In this country a small band of wealthy citizens has undertaken a transformation of our public schools more aligned to their party platform (business) and have “convinced” or bribed school officials to spend billions of dollars to replace “failing schools” with better ones. So far, the “better schools” have performed, at best, no better that the “failing schools” they replaced and are often worse, with many clear examples of greed and malfeasance mixed into the efforts. They too strive to purge the ranks of teachers of the “bad” and “incompetent” although they have no way to identify those, so they settle for lists. Even if the lists are rife with mistakes, they do have the effect of cowing those not culled. And maybe teachers unions will be eliminated as a side benefit.

One effort is less subtle, the other more, but are they really different?

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