Sunday, April 24, 2011



In a single generation, The Turkish leader, Mustafa Kemal Ataturk was able to transform the Turkish nation ravaged by war into a stable and strong country. One of his best achievements- which in turn allowed even greater development- was to invest in improving education for all citizens of the Republic. Developing a strong educated population, in his opinion, was a patriotic duty.

"Education," he told his people, "must be apart from all kinds of superstition and alien thoughts; it must be noble, national and patriotic."

Education was not merely a matter of personal development, in the eyes of Ataturk. Without education, no nation can flourish economically.

Our principle is that national education shall be based on single school and secularism. Our goal in education is to raise citizens that shall increase the economic power and civilization and social value of the national society

Unfortunately in the United States, the general attitude among conservative Republican politicians has devolved into something quite different. Check out this information from

  • The Republican governor of Indiana would have you believe that teachers are the “privileged elite.” Gov. Daniels believes that teachers and other public-sector employees enjoy “feather-bedded payrolls, very expensive salaries and benefits.”
  • In Ohio, a bill dramatically curbing the rights of teachers to collectively bargain for pensions, benefits, and an array of other contract items has just passed the state Senate.
  • In Tennessee, teachers statewide are rallying this weekend to protest bills pushed by Republican legislators that would abolish the rights of teachers’ unions to negotiate. (Fun fact: Tennessee teachers are the 9th worst paid in the country, with NAEP math and reading scores at 42 and 33 out of 50, respectively.)

    From the floor of the state Senate, tea party Republican Jim Summerville recently warned Tennessee's teachers to mind their own business where education reform is concerned.

    "Make no mistake,'' he said, "the final responsibility is ours — and we are warriors.''

    Lest his point be missed, Sen. Summerville added, "We will bend public education to our awe, or break it all to pieces.''

  • In Alabama, a law passed by the Republican-controlled legislature in December has upset the Alabama Education Association so much that the AEA has filed a lawsuit that seeks to prevent the bill from taking effect. The new law would block teachers and school employees from having the state automatically deduct AEA membership dues from their paychecks. The AEA argues that no legitimate government interest is served by the prohibition, and that the organization was singled out by Republican lawmakers because of the organization's tendency to support Democrats.

And there's more…

  • New Jersey Governor Chris Christie’s claims that teacher pensions are bankrupting the state. Meanwhile, Christie now says he wants to cut income taxes for the rich.
  • Under the guise of solving Wisconsin’s budget problems, Walker has declared war on public-sector unions. He sponsored legislation that would cut the salaries of state and local public employees, slash their benefits, prohibit them from bargaining for anything but wages, force a yearly vote of union members, and allow management to fire workers who try to form a union. He’s also threatened to call out the National Guard to take the jobs of any employees who refuse to comply with his new rules.
  • North Carolina’s Virginia Foxx, who is noted for bizarre statements on the House floor and has publicly asserted that federal funding for education is unconstitutional. Incidentally, Foxx chairs the subcommittee on higher education. Other committee members include Tim Walberg of Michigan and Joe Heck of Nevada, both of whom support abolishing the U.S. Department of Education..

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  1. Nomad dear...I read your post on occasion, but I get frustrated as soon as I try to right click/open link in new tab on a link that you've included. I typically, when reading and presented with an interesting link, do just that action I mentioned to read when I'm done with the current material I'm reading (your post for example). It is very annoying to be reminded by a dialog box that I might just be stealing your ideas, when I merely am trying to read content on your included links. Typically, when I finish reading content on a page, I close the tab that I was on....and I always forget that I have to go back to your page. So...if your post was interesting enough, I have to navigate back from another page where I see a link to your blog.
    Earth shaking problem, no...but annoying none-the-less. I get that you are proud of your work, but the links aren't your copyrighted material. Is there anyway to allow right click/open in a new tab/window? Otherwise, sorry, I'm going to stop reading. It's just too time consuming.

  2. I removed that. To tell you the truth, it seemed like a good idea back when I saw the idea at another site but it was annoying even for me! :)
    Thanks for taking the time to point it out (and with such grace too) Actually it was rather hypocritcal of me anyway, since I have often used material from other sites. (I try to include a link, of course.)

  3. I must admit, I'm ashamed of myself for complaining about it today. Sorry! But thank you for removing the block to my happy way of gathering content!
    Cheers! Happy Spring!

  4. No, don't be ashamed at all and definitely no need to apologize. It hadn't occurred to me that it was as irritating to my readers as it was to me! Thanks so much for letting me know and I am glad you didn't just quit reading. In any case, that wasn't a snark when I said you handled it with grace.
    Happy Spring to you, my friend.


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