Monday, January 30, 2012
Sunday, January 22, 2012
Friday, January 20, 2012
Gulen Schools Worldwide: Name symbolism in the Gulen Movement, predictable ...: http://turkishinvitations.weebly.com/name-symbolism-in-the-gulen-movement.html Name symbolism in the Gulen Movement Journalists have rema...
Saturday, January 14, 2012
Thursday, January 12, 2012
Tuesday, January 10, 2012
|researcher of the Gulen Movement, Dr. Joshua Hendrick|
"in the USA, the Gulen Movement has 100 publicly funded charter schools" please see comment below for clarification of Dr. Hendrick's interest in this social / political movement.
Dr. Hendrick asks the Gulen Movement to "come clean" with Americans regarding their managment of charter schools:
Dove Science Academy, Horizon Science Academy, Harmony Science Academy, Magnolia Science Academy, Syracuse Academy of Science, Lotus School of Excellence, Beehive Science Academy, Fulton Science Academy, Abramson School of Technology, Coral Science Academy, Sonoran Science Academy, Lisa Academy, Gateway Science Academy, Orlando Middle School, Memphis School of Excellence, Triad School of Excellence, Minnesota School of Science and many more.
Research Interests and Activities: Dr. Hendrick’s teaching and research interests overlap in the fields of political sociology, social movements, the sociology of religion, human rights, and development studies with a primary regional focus in Turkey, and a secondary focus in the broader Middle East.
Joshua earned his PhD in sociology from the University of California, Santa Cruz in 2009 and his M.A. is socio-cultural anthropology from Northern Arizona University in 2001. He received a B.A. in anthropology and a B.A. in religious studies from the University of Georgia in 1999. For his dissertation, Joshua conducted eleven months of field research in Turkey and the US where he focused on the discursive and organizational strategies of Turkish Islamic activism. Globalization, Islamic Activism, and Passive Revolution in Turkey: the case of Fethullah Gulen was recently published in the Journal of Political Power.
Monday, January 9, 2012
Horizon Parents Truth: Gulen Charter Schools- To be or not to be?: If there is No Gulen Charter Schools, why does Hizmet damage control go to such great lengths to discuss and deny Gulen Charter Schools. W...
It’s been difficult for me to get my hands around the issue of the Fulton Science Academy’s charter renewal. Most issues like this involving children or faith are pretty easy to grasp. Start with something like land use then combine some NIMBY sentiments and a pinch of xenophobia. But FSA’s situation is entirely different with a lot of influencing factors coming into play. Those on both sides of the issue are not afraid of employing emotional appeals or hyperbole to make a point. And in issues like this the truth usually is found somewhere in the middle. So after spending many hours of my Christmas break reading up on this fiasco, I’ve come to the conclusion that FSA’s charter renewal is really just…
A game of chickenYep, both sides were plowing ahead at full speed, waiting to see who would swerve first. Unfortunately those along for the ride include several hundred children, their families, taxpayers and a few bond holders. And all of these groups stand to lose big because of it.
“Increasingly volatile and combative relationship”That’s how the credit rating agency Fitch described things between the FSA and the Fulton County School Board. They made this comment as they were downgrading FSA’s credit rating on their $19 million building bond. The relationship was volatile because each side had a big club to bring to the fight. FSA’s club was their recent Blue Ribbon Award from the Department of Education. Surely the school board would not deny a request from a school with such a high distinction. Armed with this, they asked for a ten year renewal on their charter, the maximum allowed. Additionally they requested a full waiver of Title 20 rules.
FCSB’s big club was a Georgia Supreme Court decision in 2011 that found that the state could not approve charter schools. That authority, according to the court, rests only with county school boards. It makes FSA’s appeal process more difficult. This is the FCSB’s chance to flex its muscle under the new ruling. As such, the Title 20 blanket waiver was off the table and they would only consider a three year charter renewal.
Neither side moved much after months of discussion. The FSA reduced their proposal to eight years but the FCSB made it clear that they would only consider three. Nevertheless, only the eight year proposal was brought before the school board. And at the end of this game of chicken, the FCSB didn’t swerve. Crash! They unanimously voted down FSA’s eight year request.
Both sides have acted poorly. Supporters of the FSA have been out in force claiming that the FCSB wants to shut down an award-winning school. It’s hyperbole pure and simple. It’s clear to me that the FSA wanted to force the school board into making such a vote even though another offer was on the table. Nobody desires to shut down this school.
On the flip side, the FCSB has not acted in good faith since the vote. FSA has relented (finally), agreeing to the three year term. However, the FCSB now will not consider it, saying the matter is closed. I don’t understand why they cannot move to amend or reconsider a matter that was before them. Most deliberative bodies easily have this option available under their rules. It would be best for all parties involved to approve the three year charter renewal and move on.
Tomorrow I’ll talk about why the FCSB is justified in wanting a shorter charter term for the Fulton Science Academy. And as always, there’s an elephant in the room that needs to be discussed. Stay tuned.
Sunday, January 1, 2012
Company behind Lake County charter school proposal had problems in Ohio
By Bob Susnjara
A suburban company seeking to run a taxpayer-funded charter school at Great Lakes Naval Station drew scrutiny from Ohio officials for questionable spending of public money at similar ventures there.
Des Plaines-based Concept Schools and two other companies are competing to operate the proposed Great Lakes school that would accommodate up to 500 students in kindergarten through eighth grade. The school, open to all students in North Chicago Unit District 187, would focus on science, technology, engineering and mathematics.
Ohio’s state auditor had questioned the company’s spending on unknown bank finance charges and teacher bonuses for student recruitment — along with wire transfers of money to Turkey — at Concept-managed charter schools in Cincinnati and Cleveland.
But Concept Vice President Salim Ucan said those spending concerns are long past and that the company beefed up internal controls when the most recent critical Ohio audit was released in 2009.
Ucan said he doesn’t expect the past problems in Ohio to affect the nonprofit company’s quest to operate what would be Lake County’s second charter school. It would join Prairie Crossing Charter School in Grayslake.
“All of the schools that we manage are academically successful and financially sound,” said Ucan, who co-founded Concept with Turkish-American educators in the late 1990s.
Illinois State Board of Education spokeswoman Mary Fergus said Concept is one of three companies to respond to a request for proposals to run the Great Lakes charter school, which may open for the 2012-13 academic year.
The Great Lakes school would be on Navy property as part of the North Chicago district, but overseen by the state. While open to all district students, operators may set aside a fixed number of slots for children from military families and students who live outside the district.
Officials from the state, Lake County’s regional education office and Navy are on a team reviewing the companies’ proposals, Fergus said. A public hearing on the group’s recommendation must occur before Feb. 2.
Concept manages 27 charter schools in the Midwest. Its portfolio includes Chicago Math and Science Academy and Quest Charter Academy in Peoria.
In Ohio, Concept operates 19 charter schools under the names Horizon Science Academy and Noble Academy. Similar to Illinois, the schools operate with state and federal money.
Documents released by the Ohio auditor in June 2009 raised numerous questions about the spending of thousands of dollars in public money at Cincinnati’s Horizon Science Academy.
For example, there were no original itemized receipts for nearly $3,000 in expenditures, which included bank finance charges, a supermarket gift card, items from an electronics store and a visit to a Turkish restaurant.
“Without appropriate documentation, it is not possible to determine if the expenditures included items that would not be considered a proper public purpose,” the audit stated.
Moreover, the audit questioned payment of a combined $1,220 to two teachers for “new enrollment efforts” and $11,570 in employee bonuses at the Cincinnati school.
Another audit from 2001 for Cleveland’s Horizon Academy labeled as questionable three wire transfers to Istanbul, Turkey, totaling $36,030 to repay a loan that was made to the school by a board member.
Ucan, after reviewing the Ohio reports provided to him Thursday by the Daily Herald, forwarded documentation indicating all questionable expenses have been repaid to the state and the financial issues are considered resolved by the auditor’s office. He said the loan never was questioned by the auditors, just the method of using wire transfers.
Internal controls were increased in 2009, when Concept Schools started a central office to handle financial matters for its Ohio schools, he added.
“There are multiple steps that need to be taken for any expenses now,” Ucan said.