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Harmony Science Academy, Gulen, Turkish connected, gets almost 30 mil from feds.

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madfloridian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-04-13 03:16 PM
Original message
Harmony Science Academy, Gulen, Turkish connected, gets almost 30 mil from feds.
Edited on Fri Jan-04-13 03:34 PM by madfloridian
I think this is wrong. I think public schools are losing great amounts of money as not only federal money but local taxpayer money as well are going to charter schools. This 29 plus million is going to these schools that appear to be connected to the Turkish Gulen movement.

Here is a brief summary from Education Week.

District Race to Top Winners Turn to Implementation

The first federal Race to the Top competition that reaches down to the local level leaves most large, urban districts out of the winners circle in favor of charter schools, midsize systems, and two large consortia of school districtsall of which must now turn to implementing proposals that collectively have won them $400 million.

The 16 winners, announced last month by the U.S. Department of Education, beat out more than 350 other applicants and include three charter school organizations, traditional districts such as Carson City, Nev., and Guilford County, N.C., and a group of 22 rural districts from Kentucky.


Here is a list of the finalists from Ed.gov.

Race to the Top District Applications Winners

It is in chart form. Harmony Science Academy, TX, will receive almost 30 million dollars.

Here is more info on the Gulen connected charter schools from the Washington Post.

Largest charter network in U.S.: Schools tied to Turkey

The largest charter school network in the United States is operated by people in and associated with the Gulen Movement (GM), a secretive and controversial Turkish religious sect. With 135 schools enrolling more than 45,000 students, this network is substantially larger than KIPP, the well-known charter management organization with only 109 schools. A lack of awareness about this situation persists despite it being addressed in a national paper and in articles about Gulen charter schools in Utah (also here), Arizona, (also here), Illinois, Tennessee, Pennsylvania (also here), Indiana, Oklahoma (and here), Texas (also here), Arkansas, Louisiana (also here), New Jersey, Georgia, and North Carolina. It was also reported that the FBI and the Departments of Labor and Education are investigating practices at these schools.

..."The Gulen Movement originated in Turkey in the late 1960s and has become increasingly powerful. Its members are followers of Fethullah Gulen (b. 1941) a self-exiled Turkish preacher who has been living on a secluded compound in rural Pennsylvania since 1998. Members call themselves hizmet, meaning volunteer services movement. The GM conducts four primary activities around the world: a media empire, business organizations, an enormous number of Turkish culture-promoting and interfaith dialog organizations, and a network of schools in over 100 countries, a large portion of which are U.S. charter schools.

After the dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991, the GM began to establish schools outside of Turkey, first in the newly established republics of Central Asia and then beyond. One expert noted that the ...worldwide extent of Fethullah Gulens educational network testifies to the internationalist, even imperialist, nature of the movement. Last year an analyst viewed the raison d'tre for the schools spreading across the globe in this way: Students will learn how to speak Turkish, the national anthem, how to be the 'right kind of Muslim', etc. In essence, it buys (the GM) loyalty.


The New York Times also covered this group of charter schools.

Charter Schools Tied to Turkey Grow in Texas

The secret lay in the meteoric rise and financial clout of the Cosmos Foundation, a charter school operator founded a decade ago by a group of professors and businessmen from Turkey. Operating under the name Harmony Schools, Cosmos has moved quickly to become the largest charter school operator in Texas, with 33 schools receiving more than $100 million a year in taxpayer funds.

While educating schoolchildren across Texas, the group has also nurtured a close-knit network of businesses and organizations run by Turkish immigrants. The businesses include not just big contractors like TDM but also a growing assemblage of smaller vendors selling school lunches, uniforms, after-school programs, Web design, teacher training and even special education assessments.

Some of the schools operators and founders, and many of their suppliers, are followers of Fethullah Gulen, a charismatic Turkish preacher of a moderate brand of Islam whose devotees have built a worldwide religious, social and nationalistic movement in his name. Gulen followers have been involved in starting similar schools around the country there are about 120 in all, mostly in urban centers in 25 states, one of the largest collections of charter schools in America.

..."But an examination by The New York Times of the Harmony Schools in Texas casts light on a different area: the way they spend public money. And it raises questions about whether, ultimately, the schools are using taxpayer dollars to benefit the Gulen movement by giving business to Gulen followers, or through financial arrangements with local foundations that promote Gulen teachings and Turkish culture.


Here is the website of Harmony Science Academy's FAQ. There is a response by Arne Duncan which troubles me.

Why does Harmony recruit teachers from outside of the United States?

At Harmony Public Schools, we are committed to providing the very best education for our students, and we recruit international teachers within and outside the U.S. Today, Texas and America have a shortage of qualified math and science teachers. This unfortunate situation was highlighted in a January 2011 report from the U.S. Department of Education, which identified specific areas of deficiency (including math and science) and called for the hiring of teachers in those areas as rapidly as possible. Secretary Duncan also says, "Schools across the nation are in need of a diverse set of talented teachers, especially in our big cities and rural areas, and especially in the areas of Math, Science, Technology, Special Education, and English Language Learning."


That is the sound of our Secretary of Education for a Democratic president...just plain lying.

I suggest that someone talk to the unemployed America teachers of math, science, technology, special education, and ELL.

That is Arne going along with the same kind of propaganda that has demeaned our teachers and education system so they could turn it over to private companies.

Just imagine. Almost 30 million of our taxpayer money is going to a charter school with ties to another country.

Just imagine what that money would do for school systems being defunded and neighborhood schools being closed.

All it took to allow the steamroller to keep going was both parties being on board with the corporatization of education.

No, I am not a whiner, not a troll, not an Obama-hater. I am retired teacher with a breaking heart at what is rapidly being done to our schools.

Crossposted at DU3

Shamelessly asking for a rec before it drops there.







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femrap Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-04-13 05:30 PM
Response to Original message
1. This is the first I've
heard of the movement. I just can't believe this type of schooling has infiltrated the US to the extent it has.

I'm :wow: All of that money gone to a private movement.

The Elite of the World know no borders.
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Enthusiast Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-05-13 05:33 AM
Response to Original message
2. Madfloridian, this is just shocking.
I think the Obama Administration is deserving of criticism. What a horrible Secretary of Education! Why have we adopted a Republican education strategy? Republicans are wrong about EVERYTHING!
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