Thursday, May 10, 2018
Thursday, May 3, 2018
An Alabama Education Association lawsuit filed Monday alleges that the state charter commission’s approval of Montgomery’s first-approved charter school is “invalid” or “arbitrary.”https://amp.montgomeryadvertiser.com/amp/403869002?__twitter_impression=true
The National Association of Charter School Authorizers (NACSA) recommended LEAD Academy be denied ahead of the state commission’s vote, because “the applicants failed to present a clear and comprehensive education program plan” and because a proposed loan from American Charter Development to cover costs of a new building raised financial concerns.
“This charter school is simply not a good charter school, “ AEA associate executive director Theron Stokes said. “An objective outside agency looked at it and said it doesn’t meet the standards that are necessary for it to be a charter school.”
The AEA sought an injunction to prevent public funds or lands from being exchanged with LEAD Academy. The school does not have a building yet, and the AEA said it has “information and belief” that LEAD Academy chairperson Charlotte Meadows has been discussing purchasing one of the three schools selected for closure by interim state superintendent Ed Richardson.
Meadows confirmed to the Montgomery Advertiser on Tuesday that LEAD had inquired about Dozier Elementary School.
The terms reached allow LEAD Academy to recruit staff and advertise to students as it prepares to open for the fall semester. However, LEAD is prevented from offering contracts to staff and and enrolling students.
The terms also prevent LEAD from acquiring any public funds or land between now and April 30. That includes any Montgomery Public Schools Properties and prevents LEAD Academy from receiving any funds from local governments. Meadows asked the Montgomery City Council for financial contributions Tuesday night.
Meadows told the Advertiser on Tuesday that there was a possibility of LEAD not being able to open in the fall if a building is not secured quickly. At Montgomery County Courthouse on Wednesday, Meadows sounded more confident.
“There’s no way the name Charlotte Meadows will be associated with anything but an excellent charter school,” Meadows said. “That’s what we will provide and we expect to have the school starting in August 2018.”
The contract has yet to be finalized between LEAD Academy and the state committee, which acts as the authorizer holding LEAD Academy accountable to benchmarks established in the contract.
The contract must be completed within 60 days of the approval date. LEAD Academy planned to open this fall and offer K-5 curriculum to 360 students.
The state commission is the authorizer for LEAD Academy because the Montgomery County Board of Education (MCBOE) did not become an authorizer until January, the month after LEAD applied to the state.
Charter schools that will be approved by the MCBOE — or interim state superintendent Ed Richardson as head of an intervention school district — have until March 16 to apply.
Originally Published 4:26 pm CST March 7, 2018
Updated 6:40 pm CST March 7, 2018
Creation of Montgomery's first charter school hits snag
MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) -
A snag has developed in the plan to set up Montgomery's first charter school.
Monday, officials with Lead Academy confirmed they will not be purchasing the building that currently houses the Montgomery Chamber of Commerce's small business incubator, located at 600 South Court Street.
School leaders said the proposed deal with the Chamber of Commerce fell through but did not provide any details about the situation.
Leads Academy officials say the search is now on for a 'Plan B' to find another location.
The goal is to begin classes this fall, but delays in securing a location could delay that start.
WSFA 12 News has been unable to reach chamber leaders for their reaction.
The Alabama Public Charter School Commission approved the city's first charter school start-up in a 5 to 1 vote on Feb. 12.
Alabama LEAD Academy, has no finances, no educational experience and Soner Tarim of the Gulen Movement on it's application AEA LAWSUIT looming
ALABAMA'S FIRST CHARTER SCHOOL Application for Charter School
Dr. Soner Tarim from Harmony Science Academy in Texas is on the board
The Alabama Public Charter School Commission Monday gave approval for LEAD Academy to become Montgomery County's first public charter school, in a 5-1 vote, with Commission Chairman Mac Buttram abstaining. Buttram said he abstained because he has previously worked with members of LEAD Academy's board. LEAD Academy plans to open in August for the 2018-2019 school year with 360 students in Kindergarten through 5th grade, expanding by one or more grades each year until it serves a total of 1,250 students in all grades by the 2024-2025 school year. Public charter schools are publicly funded but have more autonomy than traditional public schools in finance, personnel, scheduling, curriculum, instruction and procurement.
The flexibility is intended to encourage innovative programs that serve some students better than traditional schools. According to a presentation made by the four founding board members to the Commission, the acronym LEAD comes from the vision for the school: "to build leaders by engaging students, focusing on high achievement and developing the whole child to become knowledgeable, productive, well-rounded citizens." Leaders, engaging, achievement and developing being the keywords there. LEAD Academy Board Chair Charlotte Meadows, a former Montgomery Board of Education member, said in a press release, "We are excited to start preparing for the upcoming school year and serving students that are looking for another option in Montgomery."
The board held a public meeting in January in downtown Montgomery, where, at the time, press reports said the school may be located, but Meadows told the Commission those plans are not yet final. This will be the first public charter school to use a Charter Management Organization, or CMO, to perform what Meadows called "central office" duties for the school. Unity School Services, a newly-formed for-profit organization, will serve as the education service provider for LEAD Academy.
The role of the education service provider, according to the presentation, is similar to what central office personnel do in local school districts and includes developing, monitoring, and evaluating curriculum and instruction and conducting professional development and training for teachers and other personnel in the school. Unity School Services' founder Dr. Soner Tarim, who founded the Harmony Public Schools network in 2000, attended the meeting and fielded questions from Commissioners about how the school will operate. Harmony Public Schools network is the largest charter school network in Texas, with 54 schools and 34,000 students, and the second largest in the nation, Tarim said. After the meeting, Buttram, who has served on the Commission since its inception in 2015, said the for-profit nature of Unity School Services doesn't worry him.
|Soner Tarim receiving an award just weeks before|
he stepped down as Harmony Superintendent resurfaces in China and Alabama
LEAD Academy faces challenges, critics ahead of planned fall opening
We’re not at that point yet," Meadows said. "I feel like I’ve got several strong possibilities for buildings right now, and I think either one of the three I’m looking at could well work. If they don’t, the board will have to decide, ‘OK, we’re going to punt to 2019.'"
A hoped-for $3 million deal to purchase the Small Business Resource Center fell through. Meadows said she has inquired about the possibility of acquiring Dozier Elementary School, one of four schools interim state superintendent Ed Richardson announced would be closed in the fall as a cost-saving measure for Montgomery Public Schools (MPS). A building is also required to complete the school's contract with the state commission, due within 60 days of the Feb. 12 approval date.
If a building is secured, it will be paid for by American Charter Development, a charter school financer that would lease the building to LEAD Academy for the first three years before selling the building to the school outright, Meadows said.
LEAD currently has $2,000 on the books after $500 each from board members Lori White, Ryan Cantrell, William Green and Meadows. LEAD's goal is to collect $500,000 to cover staff salaries and start-up costs for the three months prior to opening, a goal the board has tried to reach through both corporate donations and individual contributions. Meadows said the opening of the school is not contingent upon the wallets of Montgomery citizens.
"I agree it doesn’t look like we have $500,000 in the bank, and we don’t," Meadows said. "We do have a commitment of a loan from a bank so we will have the finances to start if we don’t raise any money. That would not be ideal, but it can be done."
The school will earn money through state and federal education funds like other public schools, and could also see revenue from the Montgomery County education fund, donations and grants.
Meadows said the board members will not profit from the school. The school is projected to make $105,000 its first year, spending $6,900 per student while making an estimated $7,200 per student.
The only person who will profit from school revenue is Soner Tarim, founder of charter school network Harmony Public Schools in Texas. Tarim, through the recently formed charter management organization Unity School Services, is acting as adviser to LEAD Academy and will be in charge of establishing a curriculum alongside the school's yet-to-be-hired principal.
Tarim's 54 Harmony schools in Texas have a 100 percent college acceptance rate at schools while serving more than 33,000 students, 61 percent of whom are economically disadvantaged and 64 percent of whom are the first in their family to attend college, according to the school system's website.
Meadows said Tarim will be in charge of "day-to-day operations" and will bring staff to Montgomery to serve as a central office.
Facing criticism that none of LEAD Academy's board members have taught or started a school before, Meadows called Tarim "the expertise we need."
"Soner is the person with experience we’ll be relying on for all the education expertise. We also have several teachers working with us in an advisory capacity and we’ve got the entire State Department of Education that’s supposed to help get us started," Meadows said. "Then we intend to hire principals and teachers, and they will be the experts in the school curriculum, the teaching. That’s not ever supposed to be the board’s role. We know there’s going to be people that are critical and not trusting. They don’t have to choose a charter school as an option for their child. This is for parents who want something different."
But the hiring of Tarim, who is in talks to make 10 and 13 percent of LEAD Academy's revenue, does not come without controversy.
Harmony schools were subject to investigation beginning in 2011 due to rumors of a connection between the schools and the Turkish Gülen movement, which Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan blamed for the 2016 Turkish coup.
The Turkish government issued a complaint in May 2016 accusing Harmony of self-dealing and funneling American taxpayer money to Gülen, a Turkish cleric and political opponent of Erdogan, who has reportedly been living in Pennsylvania since 1999. The complaint was dismissed by the Texas Education Agency in Oct. 2016, according to the Houston Chronicle.
Meadows said she questioned Tarim about the alleged ties before hiring him in the fall, saying "he's explained where all of that came from."
"Soner told us last time he was here that he is not even able to go back to Turkey anymore," Meadows said. "The fact the state of Texas has awarded him some of the awards he’s received over the past couple years and the fact we’ve gotten to know him and what he’s been able to accomplish, I’m convinced he’s not part of a Gülen movement. Furthermore the board has complete authority over all contracts and all hires. The CMO (Tarim) can make recommendations, and we expect he will, but it will be the board’s decision."
Meadows said she saw Tarim's commitment when he flew into Atlanta and drove through the Jan. 17 snowstorm to get to Meadows' house for the National Association of Charter School Authorizers (NACSA) phone interview.
NACSA ultimately recommended LEAD Academy be denied, a concern mentioned by critics and the AEA lawsuit.
Wednesday, April 25, 2018
Margo Davidson is currently running for Congress, She has also been in trouble not 1 time but 2 times for crashing Government vehicles with a suspended license. See Criminal Report and Court case below. THIS IS WHAT RUNS FOR CONGRESS
Opening Schools for Gulen
https://theupperdarbysentinelnews.com/2018/04/17/muslim-based-gulen-movement-tied-to-william-penn-sd-vision-academy-charter-school/ Excellent investigative reporting by Agnes Lawless Bedard
|Margo Davidson with Gulenist Adem Oksuz|
VISION ACADEMY MIS USE OF TAXPAYERS FUNDS CURIOUS CASE OF ISAAC DURMUS
Vision Academy Charter School was opened in 2015 in the William Penn School District. The principal of the school is Isaac Durmus who is also listed on federal documents as the co-CEO of the school. This is not the first school that Durmus has been involved in. According to documents, Durmus has been involved in charter schools for over 10 years and the schools all have one thing in common, they have all been linked to the Gulen Movement.
|Margo Davidson at Ribbon Cutting for Gulen School VISION ACADEMY|
n 2011, nine teachers filed unfair hiring complaints against the school, alleging Truebright hired and promoted Turkish nationals, many who lacked teaching certificates, at the expense of more-experienced and certified American-born teachers. One teacher brought discrimination lawsuit against the school, which was settled out of court in 2013. Yet, this knowledge still led to Durmus being approved to open a charter school in the William Penn School District.
Wait it gets better, democrat Margo Davidson accepted PAC funds from Betsy DeVos StudentsFirst
Tuesday, April 17, 2018
Schools receiving threats included East Central, Webster and Rogers high schools, Dove Science Academy, and Union 9th Grade Center. Also named in threats were the Bixby and Berryhill districts.
At East Central, the threat never resulted in a lockdown, but there was a police presence at the school for a couple of days. On Monday, the day after the threat was reported, there were very few students at school, Portman said.
“Most of the kids who came to my class were those who don’t speak English. They were unaware of the threat,” said Portman, who teaches Spanish AP and Spanish for Hispanics.
Harmony Parent the TRUTH: Harmony Public School in Katy, TEXAS student arres...: A second student was arrested Monday after he made a threat to the Harmony Public School campus in Katy via social media, according to auth...
Thursday, January 18, 2018
Gulen University Virginia International University VIU, double dipping excessive H1-b and Student Federal Loans
Is VIU Using H-1B to Staff a University or to Harbor Its Old World Friends?
|2017||5||2: Professors of computer science and international affairs||3: Application developer, curriculum director, dean of general studies|
|2016||3||1: Professor of computer systems||2: Associate dean, instructional designer|
|2015||10||0||10: Four public relations positions; three analysts; one each: IT specialist, operations manager, software developer|
|2014||5||1: Professor of public affairs||4: Two analysts, two curriculum coordinators|
|2013||7||1: English language professor||6: Director of international continuing education, educational specialist, media specialist, program management analyst, student education event planner, university editor|
|2012||7||0||7: Admissions manager, business development officer, informational technology specialist, international business administrator, computer systems administrator, public relations specialist, student event planner|
|2011||1||0||1: education administrator|