Skip to comments.Look What's Going On in Charter Schools
Posted on 04/10/2012 5:52:48 AM PDT by Kaslin
The charter school movement was presented to the American people as a way to have more parental control over public school education. Charter schools are public schools financed by local taxpayers and federal grants.
Charter schools are able to hire and fire teachers, administrators and staff and avoid control by education department bureaucrats and the teachers unions. No doubt there are some good charter schools, but loose controls have allowed a very different kind of school to emerge.
Charter schools have opened up a path for foreigners to run schools at the expense of the U.S. taxpayers, without much news coverage. One of the few breakthroughs in the media was a June 7, 2011, front-page article in The New York Times, which carried over to two full inside pages, about the many charter schools run by a secretive and powerful sect from Turkey called the Gulen Movement.
Headed by a Turkish preacher named Fethullah Gulen who had already founded a network of schools in 100 other countries, this movement opened its first U.S. charter school in 1999. Gulen's schools spread rapidly after he figured out how to work our system and get the U.S. taxpayers to import and finance his recruitment of followers for his worldwide religious and social movement.
The Gulen Movement now operates the largest charter school network in the United States. It has at least 135 schools, teaching more than 45,000 students in at least 26 states, financed by millions of U.S. taxpayer dollars a year.
The principals and school board members are usually Turkish men. Hundreds of Turkish teachers (referred to as "international teachers") and administrators have been admitted to the United States, often using H-1B visas, after claiming that qualified Americans cannot be found.
In addition, the Gulen Movement has nurtured a close-knit network of businesses and organizations run by Turkish immigrants. These include the big contractors who built or renovated the schools, plus a long list of vendors selling school lunches, uniforms, after-school programs, web design, teacher training, and special education materials.
Several other news sources have started to publish information about the Gulen charter schools. In Ohio, an NBC-TV station reported that Ohio taxpayers' money was used to recruit teachers for charter schools from overseas, especially from Turkey.
The Philadelphia Inquirer reported that Turkish scientists, engineers and businessmen have opened several charter schools in Pennsylvania, plus 120 charter schools in 25 states, funded with millions of taxpayer dollars. Just one charter school, called the Truebright Science Academy, received $3 million from the Philadelphia School District.
According to a guest article in the Washington Post on March 27, Gulen's U.S. schools are openly discussed in the Turkish press. The goal for Gulen's schools is to "teach tens of thousands of people the Turkish language ... introduce them to our culture and win them over," and so the schools regularly take students to Turkey for "cultural immersion."
The New Orleans Times-Picayune reported that charter schools in New Orleans and Baton Rouge are linked to businesses run by people from Turkey.
In Texas, 36 Turkish charter schools, called the Harmony Network, have received over $100 million in government funds. These schools now have 290 (mostly Turkish) employees on H-1B visas, about 16 percent of its workforce.
In Inver Grove Heights, Minn., a substitute teacher named Amanda Getz reported about what goes on inside a charter school called Tarek Ibn Ziyad Academy, TIZA. TIZA is a K-through-8th-grade charter school funded by U.S. taxpayers and sponsored by Islamic Relief.
The teacher says there is no clear division between the subjects studied during school and the study of the Quran after school. She says that homework assignments for after-school religious instruction are written on the board right alongside assignments for math and social studies.
Getz says she was informed that, on Fridays, the Muslim holy day, there would be a school assembly in the gym after lunch. She was instructed to take her students before the assembly to the bathroom, four at a time, for "ritual washing," and afterwards "teachers led the kids into the gym, where a man dressed in white with a white cap" led the students in Muslim prayers.
This school has only 300 students, but it has a waiting list of 1,500. TIZA shares its building with a mosque and also with the headquarters of the Muslim American Society of Minnesota, whose mission is "establishing Islam in Minnesota."
Getz said almost all TIZA students stay after school for "Islamic studies" instruction provided by the Muslim American Society. The religious instruction is technically not part of the school day, but the school buses don't leave until after Islamic studies are over. Most American taxpayers would be mighty surprised at what their money is financing.
Mrs Schafly is right - I am mighty surprised. And this is downright insanity.
Home school yes - but our taxes still go to support such outrageousness, and the Department of Education wants even more funding!
It is quite clear Congress is too small to adequately supervise that with which they have been trusted...the care of the American Republic.
435 Congresscritters was fixed in the late 1800’s. By original apportionment of 1:30000 we would have almost 10000 congressman today- about what would be required to exert appropriate Federal oversight.
This needs to be defunded today.....
Thanks for posting.
Alabama is one of several states which still have no charter schools, but a bill is currently before the legislature to approve some number of charter schools. So, charter schools do have to be approved by the states, and it doesn’t seem to be clear to what extent the creation, control and funding of charter schools is a state function or federal function.
It appears that the Alabama bill is intended mainly to provide alternatives in areas with low performing schools.
Frankly the country would be better off if the hypocrisy in education funding was exposed and policies altered. The “charter school” program began when significant numbers of taxpayers in mostly urban ares balked at sending their kids to failing urban schools. The real solution would be vouchers and choice which would empower parents , create competition and actually educate kids. The NEA are core constituent of the Democrat Party of course has opposed and scuttled almost all voucher programs however successful. The ultimate hypocrisy is typified by Obama who scuttled a voucher program in DC and Rahm Emmanuel who opposes school choice, both send their children to private schools. Meanwhile for three generations urban youth mostly minorities are herded into atrocious failing public schools where thet remain uneducated, ignorant and easily controlled. The hypocritical liberals in urban areas of course “choose” private schools for themselves. In a way the Muslim parents are to be complimented that they forced the system to serve their needs.
Fetullah Gulen is one of the most radical of Islamic extremists in the US. He’s in the US because the Turks (so far) don’t let terrorist supporters in their country.
Catch 22. If these were Christian charter schools few of us would complain about schools that are beyond the control of education department bureaucrats whom we believe have the primary goal of indoctrinating students with the socialist agenda.
I cant do anything to eliminate the DOE but you can keep your kids out of their clutches. DOE needs to go, along with EPA, TSA and some other gov alphabet agencys.
Is my shocked face. We told you this would happen. You wanted Christian Charter schools... We asked what would happen when the Muzzies got a hold of it...
Now you know.
Privatize the whole shebang and they stop receiving tax money and this becomes a non-issue.
More in depth on the Gulen movement:
He came to the US ostensibly for medical treatment, but was about to be charged with “insurrection” against the Turkish government.
Colorado has a huge Charter School movement, but there aren't any "Christian Charter Schools." Yes Christians tend to be more heavily involved, and the school is not hostile to Christians (unlike many of the "regular" public schools), but the schools have been quite rigorous in separating the education from any religious instruction. The kinds of things at these "Muslim" charter schools do not happen at other charter schools.
I'm all for a crackdown.
In our Community Organizer In Chief's hometown of Chicago.
Privatize the whole shebang ...
Exactly. Private tuition or private charity. Instantly solves almost every current problem.
Gulen lives in the Pocono region of Pennsylvania. His home is fenced and guarded.
People think of Pennsylvania as a rather rural, largely conservative, densely populated state where nothing much is going on, and outside the biggest cities this is all quite correct.
But I live here in the rural heart of PA and you'd be more than surprised at the situation if you saw it up close. The poor, the immigrants, the illegals, and most especially the muslims are coming in big. They are causing ghettos to crop up in communities that never had them; they are opening not just mosques but compounds, ostensibly religious and often tax-relieved; they are taking state and federal funds -- our money -- for charter schools, cyber schools, and innumerable "non-profit" organizations. They are demanding hospitality, concessions, adjustments, benefits, favors, privileges, exemptions, exceptions, waivers, ad nauseam. If you're not here you can't know how bad it is and yet it's just the beginning. Every year it's worse and almost nobody is pushing back.
Maybe we can use this to push for more leeway for Christians to organize charter schools.
I understand the legal issues, but when life deals us a lemon, let's at least try to make lemonade with it.
I'll put up with Muslim charter schools if we can get Christian charter schools — and in an inner-city environment with failing schools, having charter schools run by church groups has already been tried and can work. We send our 13-year-old to an independent fundamental Baptist school that has no desire to be connected to vouchers or anything like that. Many people in my church do homeschooling. The simple fact of the matter is not everybody can afford to make the choice we've made.
You will note that I didn’t say “Tax-chick wanted Christian schools”...
There are a number of folks here who did. The threads on charter and home schools for expressly this purpose are archived and accessible.
I’m ok with people teaching their religion in their own private schools. The freedom to choose means exactly that. And yes, you are going to get radical nutballs like this Turk who are going to do bad things with it.
That is the price of freedom. And yes... It’s worth it.
Are there taxpayer-funded Christian public schools? If a Christian organization wanted to start a taxpayer-funded charter school doing the equivalent of what these Muslim schools are doing, would it be allowed?
If yes, then I’m OK with these schools, except possibly the H-1B visas (although it might be difficult to get Turkish language instructors here in the US.)
Are there any schools? No idea. Once you get the government involved, all bets on things like “fairness” and “logic” are pretty much out the window.
Just great( serious sarcasm).
That is the price of freedom. And yes... Its worth it.
Yeah, we do that a lot don't we... :-)
The more complicated answer is that state laws differ and some are more restrictive than others. However, there is no federal legal impediment to a group of Christians starting a charter school, if allowed by state law, and teaching traditional American values — sort of a Newt Gingrich or Hillsdale College approach at the pre-college level — as long as religion is not explicitly taught with tax dollars.
Of course, depending on state laws, there are ways to handle that and one of the easiest ways would be for a church to rent space next to the school for voluntary after-school religion classes taught by people who are not on the staff of the charter school. As long as there is no formal or informal pressure to attend the after-school religion classes nothing can be done legally.
One of the best ways to handle this, in my opinion, is to get some members of the local Orthodox Jewish and Roman Catholic community on board and use their board members to make **ABSOLUTELY SURE** the school, during instructional time, is teaching traditional conservative American values and not evangelical Protestantism. In many cities, there are lots of frustrated conservative Catholics who don't like the liberalism of their local Catholic schools and enough Jewish conservatives who would like to help.
The devil is in the details here. A Christian-based charter school will get lots of attention to the curriculum. For example, how will the issue of evolution be handled in a science class? How about the Reformation in an European history class?
If people want an explicit Christian school with explicitly Christian instruction, they need to start one through their church or a group of Christian parents. That cannot and should not be done with tax dollars. But having a public charter school organized along Christian principles much like those of late 1800s America before John Dewey should be legal if handled right.
Please get this article to your state legislature ASAP before they pass the bill. We have to head off stuff like this at the root. You are now informed, so inform your representatives.
That’s kind of how freedom works. You give people choices and some of them are bound to make choices you consider wrong. It’s an either or situation, either you get to make the right choice which means others get to make the wrong choice, or nobody gets to make any choice.
Obviously you are as brilliant as I, and I as you. Have a drink to celebrate our co-brilliance!
I took your sage advice last night. Vodka diet Coke with a side order of something relatively interesting dialed up off of Netflix. ;-)
I had cheap pink wine and “Michael Palin’s Hemingway Adventures” on DVD. (It was filmed sometime before the introduction of the Euro, when he still had hair.)
Next, If Muslims can do this, then so should Christians and Jews. Be Alinsky! Use their own rules against them.
Finally, the very best defense for our nation against the Islamic jihad is to have a nation of citizens who fully understand, fully believe, and are capable of defending their Christian/Jewish faith. This can **never** happen in a godless government school.