by Dr. Julian Vasquez Heilig in Charter Schools
Did you know that Muhammed Fethullah Gülen Hocaefendi (pictured), an Imam who exited Turkey and is sequestered in rural Pennsylvania, is operating the second largest affiliated network of charter schools in the United States? (Yes, this is the same Gülen that Michael Flynn allegedly was trying to have extradited from the United States)
In the past I have blogged about the Gülen-affiliated charter schools in the posts Bad Charters, Bad Charters, “Whatcha gonna do when they come for you” and Gulen-affiliated charter schools are bad apples? and Empire of Deceit says charters squandering taxes and violating immigration laws.
When I watched the film Killing Ed, I was skeptical, as I am paid to be. So when I was in Houston to give a talk at Rice University, I ran into a former Gülen Harmony student and asked a few questions.
Q: Was it true that the Gülen schools were populated with many teachers from Turkey who had difficulty speaking English
Q: Was it true that some students didn’t actually do their own science projects as alleged in the film Killing Ed.
I spent more time confirming with the student some of the other allegations about lack of playgrounds, self-dealing, and aberrant behavior from administrators. I was shocked their behavior was being allowed in Texas.
So, I am announcing today, in addition to getting the negative attention they deserve from law enforcement and the media, the California NAACP has now stepped up to the plate with a resolution to call for an investigation of ALL the Gülen charter schools.
RESOLUTION #16 CONCERNING THE IMPACT OF GÜLEN CHARTER SCHOOLS
WHEREAS, there exists over 200 schools in the United States operated by the Gülen Organization, teaching over 80,000 American students. This organization operates under the names Magnolia Science Academy (CA), Horizon Science Academy (OH , IL), Harmony Science Academy (TX), Sonoran Science Academy (AR), Coral Academy of Science (NV), Dove Science Academy (OK), as well as others.
WHEREAS, audits having been conducted in LAUSD, the State of Oklahoma, the State of Georgia (resulting in their closure), the State of New York, have resulted in a pattern of massive accounting irregularities involving without limitation the use of Gülen related landlords such as Terra (NY, NJ), the Sky Foundation (OK), Harmony Public Schools (TX), Concept Schools (IL, OH), the use of Gülen Related Management Companies such as Accord (CA), Concept Education Services (OH), Apple Education (NJ), Terra Science and Education (NY), as well as others.
WHEREAS, Gülen schools; such as Magnolia (CA) have targeted the African American and Hispanic communities as shown in the documentary film Killing Ed.
WHEREAS, all 200 Gülen schools recruit teachers from Turkey under the H – 1B Visa program thereby replacing fully qualified American teachers.
THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, the California NAACP urges federal, state and local authorities to conduct forensic audits of both the schools, and the management organizations operating them.
BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED, that the California NAACP further urges that these investigations be conducted by state and federal auditors as opposed to state boards of education, as well as other relevant investigations necessary to evaluate fully the apparent, suspect financial dealings, visa misuse, and highly suspicious conduct.
If you want to understand depth, breadth and shocking nature of the alleged malfeasance against Gülen-affiliated charter schools, I highly recommend you check out the film Killing Ed. (Also, check out the Empire of Deceit website) As shown in the film, the Gülen-affiliated charter schools are some of the worst proverbial bad apples in the charter sector.
What is really disconcerting about charter schools is that they stick together like glue no matter the malfeasance shown to them. They use their charter lobbying associations in California, Texas and elsewhere to fervently protect these bad apples regardless of alleged illegal activity. While charter schools, their leaders, and supporters say vehemently in public that they support transparency and accountability, the $$$$$$$ that they spend in legislatures says loudly otherwise.
Incidentally, one of the Gülen-affiliated Magnolia schools petitioning for re-authorization was rejected recently by the LA school board. Although, the LAUSD board did broker a political deal to allow many, many other charters through. However, in the past the LA County board has overruled LAUSD’s local-control to keep the “embattled” Magnolia.
Please stay tuned to Cloaking Inequity for the other education resolutions passed by the California NAACP. Also, here is another controversial resolution we passed at the convention— but right and important. California NAACP seeks to remove ‘Banner’ as anthem, supports Kaepernick