Saturday, June 25, 2011

Recipe 4 World Peace: Everybody learn Turkish!

This is what the Gulenists believe deep down in their hearts. It is also why Turkish language and culture are always taught in the Gulen charter schools, why students are given subsidized, Gulenist-guided trips to Turkey, and why student participation in regional Turkish Olympiads is so strongly promoted.
However, you will be extremely hard pressed to find any reference to all of this Turkish instruction in any of their charter school applications. But that shouldn't matter! Everyone just needs to thank Fethullah Gulen for creating such a wonderful recipe for world peace!

Here's a new article about the Turkish Olympiads appearing in Zaman, a Gulenist-operated Turkish newspaper. Gulen is glorified four times.

When the 1st International Turkish Language Olympiads were launched in 2003 by Dilset, a publishing house, the goal was to reward students who excel in learning Turkish and to courage others.
Back then, 62 students from 17 countries took part in the event. Since 2006 the International Turkish Education Association (TÜRKÇEDER), a civil society organization, has undertaken the job of holding the Olympiads. Currently, the event continues in its ninth edition across Turkey with a boost in the number of participating nations and students. One thousand students representing 130 countries are taking part in the Olympiads this year...

According to Tuncay Öztürk, the deputy chairman of TÜRKÇEDER and general secretary of the International Turkish Language Olympiads, the motive behind the event is to bring the youth of the world together for peace with an eventual goal of promoting world peace.

Öztürk says the language of Turkish serves peace in the Olympiads. “Helping to build dialogue [DIALOGUE IS A GULENIST BUZZ WORD] bridges between the countries of the world is our goal. We thought it could be well achieved via Turkish. By building these bridges, we know them, and they know us,” he told Sunday’s Zaman.

In general, the Olympiads can be seen as the reflection of “beautiful services,” including the Turkish schools opened by Turks, inspired by Islamic scholar Fethullah Gülen, around the world, Öztürk noted. “The Olympiads are part of efforts at dialogue and the schools’ efforts to promote love and peace in the world,” he added.

Students who represent their countries are selected by local administrators. If the number of Olympiad contenders is high in a country, the students have to take part in competitions, and those coming in first earn a berth in the Turkey competition. After they arrive in the country, the students face another competition, this time to take part in the top contests, the song and poetry finals. A student from Tajikistan came first in the song contest and a student from Georgia won the poetry contest on Tuesday and Wednesday, respectively...

...The Olympiads continue with their shows, and they will run through the closing ceremony on June 30 in İstanbul.

“We started with 17 countries, now we have reached 130. There is a big demand [to host Olympiad shows] in Turkey. There is also demand from the world [to join the Olympiads]. The halls are not big enough to meet the demand in İstanbul and Ankara. We cannot meet the demand for invitations. Both the content and the expenses of the event get bigger every year,” Öztürk explained.

Olympiads unite Turkey as well

Not only have the children of the world but Turkey also has been gathering under the umbrella of the Turkish Olympiads. Regardless of their worldviews, prominent artists, academics, journalists and public figures gathered at the Turkish Olympiads, a Gülen-inspired event. Among the guests and jury members at the song and poetry contests were producer Sinan Çetin, organizer Ahmet San, dancer Tan Sağtürk, producer Elif Dağdeviren and poets Yavuz Bülent Bakiler and Hilmi Yavuz. Meeting at the contests, they all thanked the organizers of the Olympiads and expressed their support.

“The Olympiads turned into an event that is loved by everybody from every age,” Zaman Editor-in-Chief Ekrem Dumanlı said in his article. “Maybe the value of the event is not perceived exactly, but future generations will understand it. As they [who do not understand the value of the Olympiads] see youths who are familiar with Turkish folkloric dance, literature and cuisine from around the world, they will appreciate it,” he added....

 ------------------------------------------

These are just a few of the performances by American charter school students who competed in 2011 at various U.S. regional Turkish Olympiads. The winners of these preliminaries are very likely to be in Turkey attending the Gulenist pageant described in the article above. These U.S. charter schools exist to serve the goals of this foreign, cult-like religious movement.

A  video of a Southeast USA preliminary. Note how Southern is spelled “Southearn.’ But I suppose it doesn’t matter since the English language holds little importance in the Gulenists’ dream of a gloriously pan-Turkic world.

-----------------------------------------
Children from Fulton Science Academy in Georgia competing at the Atlanta 2011 Turkish Olympiad Southeastern US sponsored by the Gulenist Istanbul Center.


More about this school’s Gulen movement connections HERE, HERE, HERE, and HERE.

-----------------------------------------
Child from Triad Math and Science Academy in North Carolina competing at the 2011 Turkish Olympiad Washington DC Finals sponsored by the Gulenist American Turkish Friendship Association.

More about this school's Gulen movement connections HERE.

-----------------------------------------
Children from School of Science and Technology in Texas competing at the 2011 Turkish Language Olympiad Southwest America sponsored by the Gulenist Raindrop Turkish House.

-----------------------------------------

Child from Paterson Charter School for Science and Technology in New Jersey competing at the 2011 Turkish Olympiad New York sponsored by the Turkish Cultural Center New York.


More about this school’s Gulen movement connections HERE and HERE
-----------------------------------------

Updates:


Forget the idea behind Esperanto. In the Gulenist mindset, it’s Turkish all the way.

The International Turkish Education Association (TÜRKÇEDER), which organizes a “Turkish language bayram” in Turkey every year, is busy making preparations for this year’s International Turkish Language Olympiads.

The date for the ninth Olympiads has been confirmed, and three new competition categories have been opened. While 750 students from 120 countries participated in the Olympiads last year, 1,000 finalists from 130 countries will participate this year. Generally held between the end of May and the beginning of June, the event will fall on June 15-30 this year, due to the general elections on June 12.

Last year’s slogan, “We are speaking the same language,” will be replaced with “One language, 7 billion people,” signifying the world uniting under one common language, while this year’s competitions will be held in Ankara, İstanbul, Konya and Bursa. Moreover, large-scale regional events will be organized in nearly 20 cities throughout Turkey. Turkey’s Kızılcahamam Asya Thermal Complex will again host the Turkish-speaking children of the world for the duration of their two-week stay.

Categories added to the Olympiads this year include picture and sound as well as an essay competition for foreign students studying in Turkey, raising the number of categories to 20. The theme for the picture competition will be “respecting sacred values.”

The difference between the new sound category and the singing competition is language. The songs in the singing competition will be in Turkish, while those in the sound category will be sung in students’ native tongues.

10,000 students prepare each year

Noting that preparations for the Olympiads take a year worldwide, Secretary-General of the International Turkish Language Olympiads Tuncay Öztürk said that “approximately 10,000 students train for the Turkish Olympiads -- which attract increasing attention and recognition each year -- all learning Turkish under the supervision of teachers.”

“Students, feeling the excitement of the Olympiads well before they reach Turkey, participate in closely contested qualifying rounds in order to make the finals,” he said. “Each student can only participate in the Olympiads once. Consequently, thousands of different students learn Turkish every year and gain a deeper understanding of our culture. A large number of participants watch these national finals from Turkey.”

The Turkish Olympiads in Turkey are the finals. By organizing their own national competitions, each country selects its finalists and sends them to Turkey. Students who competed in Olympiads in the past cannot participate a second time. The website www.turkceolimpiyatlari.org provides detailed information about the Olympiads.

------
From another of the many Zaman-published articles about the event: “Turkish Olympiads gets full score from the Turkish capital.” Sunday's Zaman 26 June 2011 (emphasis added)*
... State Minister Egemen Bağış stated: “I thank you all for your performances. We are touched by this every year and sometimes our eyes are filled with tears of joy. The Turkish language you are learning is spoken by 200 million people around the world. I congratulate your teachers, who moved thousands of kilometers away from their homes to teach you this language.”...

Felicity Part (SP) leader Mustafa Kamalak, spoke to the participants, saying: “These are the things that the government does not have a hand in. When I see these children, I think that three figures should be understood better today: Bediüzzaman Said Nursi, Necmettin Erbakan and Fethullah Gülen. For this reason universities should be established in the names of these people.”...

Monday, June 20, 2011

The Gulen movement, charter schools, Turkey’s ruling party, the Muslim Brotherhood, The Nation, and American Thinker.

I’ll leave the sorting-it-all-out up to you. As you read this entry, just know that:

#1: The Gulen movement is operating 120 U.S. charter schools (with more opening soon), as well as a whole host of what-they-present-as “Turkish cultural” and “interfaith dialog” organizations. One of the Gulen movement’s favorite activities has been to lobby politicians and other community leaders. Members of the Gulen movement lavish gifts, dinners, and awards on people whom they've targeted, including their charter school families. One of the biggest propaganda programs they sponsor for people around the world are ongoing free, or greatly subsidized (by members of the movement), Gulenist-guided trips to Turkey. Texas politicians are just now starting to question all these trips, but that doesn't mean they have acquired much insight about the Gulen movement (see the article in the American-Statesman: “Some lawmakers have second thoughts about Turkey trips.” 19 June 2011).

#2: The AKP became the ruling party in Turkey because it is Gulen movement-backed.

#3: SourceWatch has described Stratfor as "pro-corporate." American Thinker has been described as "the right wing's echo chamber." The Nation has been described as "left-leaning."

Sorting out the Gulen movement, Turkey’s ruling party, and the Muslim Brotherhood

Turkey’s Justice and Development Party (AKP) won parliamentary elections June 12, which means it will remain in power for a third term. The popular vote, divided among a number of parties, made the AKP the most popular party by far, although nearly half of the electorate voted for other parties, mainly the opposition and largely secularist Republican People’s Party (CHP)…

…since Turkey is a democracy, the rhetoric is usually heated and accusations often fly, ranging from imminent military coups to attempts to impose a religious dictatorship…

…the AKP has clearly taken Turkey in new directions in both domestic and foreign policy. In domestic policy, the direction is obvious. While the CHP has tried to vigorously contain religion within the private sphere, the AKP has sought to recognize Turkey’s Islamic culture and has sought a degree of integration with the political structure…

The rise of the AKP and its domestic agenda has more than just domestic consequences. Since 2001, the United States has been fighting radical Islamists, and the fear of radical Islamism goes beyond the United States to Europe and other countries. In many ways, Turkey is both the most prosperous and most militarily powerful of any Muslim country. The idea that the AKP agenda is radically Islamist and that Turkey is moving toward radical Islamism generates anxieties and hostilities in the international system…

...it is useful to consider Turkey in a broader geopolitical context. It sits astride one of the most important waterways in the world, the Bosporus, connecting the Black Sea and the Mediterranean…

From the American point of view, a close U.S.-Turkish relationship came to be considered normal. But the end of the Cold War redefined many relationships, and in many cases, neither party was aware of the redefinition for quite some time. The foundation of the U.S.-Turkish alliance rested on the existence of a common enemy, the Soviets…

The break point came in early 2003 with the U.S. invasion of Iraq, which came after the AKP election victory in late 2002. The United States wanted to send a division into northern Iraq from southern Turkey, and the Turks blocked the move...

But for the United States, the decision on Iraq became a defining moment, when the United States realized that it could not take Turkish support for granted. The Turks, on the other hand, decided that the United States was taking actions that were not in their best interests. The relationship was not broken, but it did become strained...

Thus, the Turks, not wanting to participate in the Iraq war, created a split with the United States, and the European rejection of Turkish membership in the European Union has generated a split with Europe...

…The foundation of Turkey’s relationship with Israel, for example, had more to do with hostility toward pro-Soviet Arab governments than anything else. Those governments are gone and the secular foundation of Turkey has shifted. The same is true with the United States and Europe. None of them wants Turkey to shift, but given the end of the Cold War and the rise of Islamist forces, such a shift is inevitable, and what has occurred thus far seems relatively mild considering where the shift has gone in other countries. But more important, the foundation of alliances has disappeared and neither side can find a new, firm footing…

Read “Islam, Secularism and the Battlefor Turkey’s Future,” a 18-page special report by Stratfor (Aug. 23, 2010) to learn more about Turkey and the Gulen movement. A section entitled “The Turkish Islamist Movement” starting on page four explains the movement’s ascension to power and the role of its global network of schools. 

========================================================
Far more disturbing than the salacious details of Weiner's dalliances is the fact that apparently his mother-in-law is a member of the Muslim Brotherhood.  Furthermore, Huma Abedin's brother, Hassan, "is listed as a fellow and partner with a number of Muslim Brotherhood members."... 

How is it that the Western media, with its hourly analyses of Weiner, missed this salient point, yet Arab news sources revealed this connection?...

Which should now raise even greater concerns since Huma Abedin-Weiner is the deputy chief of staff to Hillary Clinton, the United States Secretary of State...

Couple this with the Clinton family playing a key role in promoting Fethullah Gulen who has worked assiduously to overthrow Turkey's secular government.  Gulen, who currently resides in Pennsylvania, has told his followers that in order for "worldwide Islamic domination to succeed, every method and path is acceptable, including lying to people."

In March of this year, the FBI was investigating the more than 120 charter schools in the United States that are linked to Gulen's movement.  These schools, funded with millions of taxpayer dollars, promote Gulen's worldview that is both anti-Israel and anti-America.  In fact, in 2010 it was reported that Bill Gates had given almost 11 million dollars to the Cosmos Foundation, which is a Gulen enterprise.

Moreover, one needs to question why Huma Abedin, a member of a family of devout Muslims, would ever marry a Jewish Congressman -- in a ceremony officiated by Bill Clinton.  Sharia law clearly forbids Muslims from marrying non-believers, so what does this portend?

Furthermore, when Huma Abedin accompanied Hillary Clinton to the Dar El-Hekma women's college in Saudi Arabia, where Huma's mother is co-founder and vice dean, it was reported that "Hillary explained that Huma holds an important and sensitive position in her office."  Where was the scrutiny?

Why are so many at the highest levels of American government ignoring the methodology of Islamists like Gulen, who has declared that the best way to seize power is to lie in wait "with the patience of a spider" in order to "wait for people to get caught in the web"?  Is Clinton so naïve?...

Learn more about the Gulen movement / Bill & Hillary Clinton connection at "Why Bill Clinton mentioned Gulen at the Turkish Cultural Center's dinner in September 2008."

======================================================== 
Here’s a scary quote in today’s New York Times from Mehdi Akef, a former top official of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt, one of that group’s more conservative leaders, on the political strategy of the Brotherhood-founded Freedom and Justice Party:

“Our preliminary platform will be shown through the Freedom and Justice Party. But our full platform will not be disclosed until we are in complete control and take the presidency as well.”

There are lots of Pollyanna when it comes to the Muslim Brotherhood, those who believe that the organization is a benign, pro-democratic group that wants to model Egypt on the Turkey of Prime Minister Erdogan, whose Islamist AKP runs that country. Leave aside, for a moment, whether Erdogan’s reactionary, populist yet pro-business AKP, which has gone a long way toward destroying Turkey’s secular, nationalist tradition, is a good model for Egypt. In Egypt itself, the Brotherhood is a reactionary force and dangerously so—not for the United States, and not because it is anti-Israel, but because it embodies the worst, religious fundamentalist tendencies of the Egyptian people...
-----
By the way, an assortment of people came to Fethullah Gulen’s rescue after he was denied a Green Card by the Department of Homeland Security by writing letters of support saying he was an “extraordinary educator.” Of course, the DHS denial was overturned and Gulen has been living a self-exiled-from-Turkey life on a secluded compound in Pennsylvania ever since.

I will continue to ask, why has the U.S. government allowed American schoolchildren to be sucked into all of this?

Saturday, June 11, 2011

The New York Times vs Harmony Public Schools

The New York Times has published a lengthy article about some highly concerning financial practices of Texas’s Harmony Schools. The front page piece, which appeared above the fold on June 7, 2011 (and filled over one and one half pages inside), is entitled “Charter Schools Tied to Turkey Grow in Texas.” Written by Stephanie Saul, a Pulitzer Prize winning investigative journalist, the article has introduced hundreds of thousands of people to the reality that the Gulen movement is deeply, deeply involved in the U.S. charter school business.

In an attempt to control the damage to their operations which will be produced by this long-awaited public transparency, the superintendent of Harmony Public Schools (AKA Cosmos Foundation) responded with the usual Gulenist denial. Soner Tarim's open letter states:
…As we told the Times reporter repeatedly, Harmony Schools…have no affiliation with Fetullah Gulen or the so-called Gulen movement yet the article repeatedly states and implies that such an affiliation exists, based on a composite of innuendo, circumstantial evidence and rumors…The facts are clear:  We do not teach religion at all and we are not affiliated with any movement…
Tarim and Helen Rose Ebaugh – University of Houston professor, movement sympathizer, and regular and probably-well-compensated speaker at Gulen conferences – need to get together so they can get their stories straight. Here’s what Ebaugh said at “Mapping the Gulen Movement,” a 2010 conference sponsored by Dialoog Academie, a Gulenist organization in Amsterdam (@ 11:57 minutes into the YouTube video of her presentation): 
“Do you know in Texas we now have 25 Gulen schools? They’re called charter schools, totally financed by the state, and it’s causing problems...”

The membership of the Gulen movement consists nearly exclusively of Turkish-born individuals. Looking at who runs each of the Texas charter schools listed in the Center for Education Reform’s “National Charter School Directory” (“the only complete and searchable national database of America's operating and approved charter schools”) will reveal that the ONLY group of charter schools being operated in Texas by Turkish-born individuals are those of Harmony Public Schools and its affiliated smaller branch, the School of Science and Technology group.

Superintendent Tarim needs to be made aware that, in United States courtrooms, circumstantial evidence is completely legitimate and sometimes the most powerful. From a legal dictionary:
Circumstantial Evidence is also known as indirect evidence…Circumstantial evidence relates to a series of facts other than the particular fact sought to be proved. The party offering circumstantial evidence argues that this series of facts, by reason and experience, is so closely associated with the fact to be proved that the fact to be proved may be inferred simply from the existence of the circumstantial evidence…

Books, movies, and television often perpetuate the belief that circumstantial evidence may not be used to convict a criminal of a crime. But this view is incorrect…In fact, the U.S. Supreme Court has stated that "circumstantial evidence is intrinsically no different from testimonial [direct] evidence"(Holland v. United States, 348 U.S. 121, 75 S. Ct. 127, 99 L. Ed. 150 [1954]). Thus, the distinction between direct and circumstantial evidence has little practical effect in the presentation or admissibility of evidence in trials.
In this case, the circumstantial evidence is overwhelming.

(Side note: Will fuzzy legal information be taught to students at the Harmony School of Political Science and Communication, one of the new over-the-top, palatial schools (with 16-dorm rooms), being built by Solidarity Contracting, one of the Gulen charter school-associated contractors mentioned in the New York Times? Also, the Gulen movement has a history of recruiting members who are using their dormitories, for example, read HERE.)


The people operating Harmony Public Schools are fully aware that people who don’t have adequate information are simply gullible.

Whether Fethullah Gulen’s educational philosophy is the best in the world, or not, is not the issue here, as there has been no wide public disclosure of his philosophy to the American public, nor informed debate or discussion. The primary issue is that this group has been hiding and denying its indisputable affiliation to a controversial Turkish spiritual leader and his teachings. 

Make no mistake. One reason Gulenists are opening their schools around the world is so they can put their spiritual leader's educational philosophy into practice. Parents making their school choices, and all taxpayers, have the right to have this type of information disclosed by the people who are operating these charter schools.

And what is the National Science Teachers Association's position on Fethullah Gulen's educational philosophy and approach?
The National Science Teachers Association (NSTA), founded in 1944 and headquartered in Arlington, Virginia, is the largest organization in the world committed to promoting excellence and innovation in science teaching and learning for all. NSTA's current membership of 60,000 includes science teachers, science supervisors, administrators, scientists, business and industry representatives, and others involved in and committed to science education.
As far as Gulen's educational philosophy goes, a great deal has been written about it, mostly by, and for, movement insiders. Here are four examples:

1. “Fethullah Gülen’s Philosophy of Education in Practice” by Ruth Woodhall (no date stated, likely 2009). Woodall is a self-proclaimed member of the movement. Excerpts:
But for Gülen, education is not utilitarian; it is integral to his philosophy and religious world view. This world view is naturally shared by many in Turkey (Kalyoncu 2008) The Gülen movement originated as a faith-based with a strong cultural identity, but its educational and cultural projects are spreading into regions where world views have neither Turkic nor Islamic roots…

Gülen’s educational philosophy derives from his faith, and for him scientific and religious knowledge are essential and complementary parts of the same whole. Gülen movement participants support this synthesis of rational and religious knowledge. Consequently, Gülen-inspired schools value science and mathematics. Most of these schools have excellent computer technology and science laboratories.

When writing about the qualities of a good school Gülen blends metaphors of science and spirituality and reminds us of the hereafter…

…Nevertheless, observers sometimes remark on a lack of women in higher and more visible administrative posts in the movement (Stephenson 2007:150–1). Some women in the movement give the ban on the head-covering as one reason for not aspiring to visible roles, such as principal, which would involve representing the school in public…

This importance given to the development of the individual in the movement leads to teachers and administrators dedicating extra hours to free after-school and weekend lessons for individuals or small groups…

Teachers’ altruism is not confined to sacrificing their time for students. They also make considerable financial sacrifices. Many teachers also sponsor students for part or all of their tuition…
*Schools outside of the U.S. are private, meaning tuition and scholarship based.

------------------------
2. “The Urgency of Educational Reform in the United States of America: Lessons Learned from Fethullah Gülen” by Sheryl L. Santos. Santos, like Ebaugh, is a Gulen movement sympathizer who regularly presents at Gulen conferences. This paper was presented in November 2006 at the “Second International Conference on Islam in the Contemporary World: The Fethullah Gülen Movement in Thought and Practice.” Excerpt:
Desiring to contribute to educational reform in the United States, I believe that there are lessons to be learned from the works of Fethullah Gülen that can, and should specifically, be applied to schools in America.  Obviously, many of the Güleninspired schools and academies are private institutions that can expel students who do not meet the expected standards. Two of these private schools are Brooklyn Amity School ( www.amityschool.org ) and Pioneer School in New York.  Nevertheless, I believe that all public schools, including public charter schools serving a diversity of students, can benefit from the prototype and the philosophical underpinnings of Güleninspired schools.
------------------------
Fethullah Gülen, a younger contemporary of Nursi, was inspired by the Risale-i Nur, and so also promoted the harmony between science and religion. He sees scientific education and Islamic education as compatible and complementary. Although he was educated in traditional institutions, he has urged his sympathizers to open modern schools rather than traditional madrasas and mosques. For him, as with Nursi, an ideal education combines modern science with Islamic knowledge. Scientific knowledge without religion could lead to atheism, while religious knowledge without science could lead to bigotry and fanaticism. When combined, they urge a student to research further, and deepen both his belief and knowledge ( Kuru, 2003:120; Yilmaz, 2005: 203-204).
He argues that science and technology cannot explain the meaning and the purpose of life, and they may be harmful for humankind if unjust and irresponsible people manipulate them. Science can neither provide true happiness nor replace the role of religion. Moreover, he emphasizes that the development of physics in the twentieth century shook positivist science (Kuru, 2003: 120)
But unlike Nursi, Gülen promoted this harmony through schools all over the world. This did not imply the Islamization of knowledge as we know it today. There was no attempt to infuse Islamic elements into the secular curriculum. All he wanted was for committed Muslim teachers to excel in the sciences. Through education they could “raise a generation both deeply rooted in Islam and able to participate in the modern scientific world. He aspires to create an educated elite within the Islamic umma in general and within the Turkish nature in particular” (Agai, 2003: 50)…
-----------------------
In summarizing Gülen’s views, we can say that the primary reason for the Qur’an’s interest in the science of nature and other sciences is that God wants to invite man to know Him. If the Qur’an repeatedly calls upon humans to study creation, it is because God wants them to study it for the sake of knowing the Creator. Gülen strongly believes this whole approach of the Qur’an to science needs to be properly understood, because in this spiritual approach lies the real basis for a harmonious and fruitful relationship between religion and science…

Gulen’s views are significant for the contemporary world in a number of respects. First, in insisting that science not be separated from religion, Gülen takes a firm intellectual position against ideological secularism understood in its strictest sense. The idea of the secularization of knowledge pursued to its logical conclusion would be incompatible with Islamic conceptions and theories of knowledge that are rooted in the teachings of the Qur’an. In particular, that idea would go against Gülen’s belief that “science should not be studied independently of the Qur’an.” The ongoing intellectual discourse on “Islamization of knowledge” in many parts of the Muslim world, Turkey included, can only be fully appreciated if one understands Islam’s insistence on harmonious conceptual relations between the science of God and the sciences of the natural and human worlds. The Islamization of knowledge may be seen as a serious attempt by contemporary Muslims to restore the philosophical conceptual link between theology and the sciences that has been severed and the traditional unity of knowledge that was shattered by the modern secularization of knowledge…

To any reasonable mind, there can be no doubt that the Harmony Public Schools and the Gulen movement are affiliated.

PS: The movement's involvement in charter schools is only one part of its activities here. To learn about where else they are involved, see the website, "A Guide to the Gulen Movement's Activities in the U.S."

Monday, June 6, 2011

Plagiarism in the charter school world

Merriam-Webster’s definition of PLAGIARIZE 
  • to steal and pass off (the ideas or words of another) as one's own
  • use (another's production) without crediting the source
  • to commit literary theft
  • present as new and original an idea or product derived from an existing source
Multiple connections between schools can be found by scanning web pages and documents of charter schools for likely phrasing, and then inserting the phrases into Google’s Search bar. It was this technique which uncovered how a group of supposedly-unconnected charter schools (Gulen movement-operated) repeatedly make use of text written by the other schools in their underground network, as well as that of other charter schools and private schools.*

The exercise is time consuming, but nearly always fruitful. Here are just a few other outstanding examples of copying and plagiarism in the charter school world. There are dozens and dozens more, and it is anyone’s guess as to how widespread this activity is. Do the charter schools permit their students to do the same?

MIX-AND-MATCH-MIX-AND-MATCH-MIX-AND-MATCH-MIX-AND-MATCH

1. The discovery that the Gulen movement-operated Horizon Science Academy schools (operated by the 25-school, Ohio-based Concept Schools) had copied KIPP’s famous Five Pillars was first made by C.A.S.I.L.I.P.S. However, this is not the only case where the showcase elements of KIPP's educational philosophy have been used without attribution. St. HOPE Public Schools, the three-school CMO founded by Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson (Michelle Rhee's fiancé) also has Five Pillars which are near-identical to KIPP’s. Click on the images at the very bottom to see for yourself. 

Q: In this world where business model-like competition is the whole point, don't these people copyright their intellectual material?

2. The Horizon Science Academy – Cleveland High School has been highly acclaimed, even winning a U.S. Department of Education Blue Ribbon School of Excellence Award in 2009. In addition to containing the KIPP-originated Five Essentials which were noted above, the school’s Annual Report 2008-2009 contains more phrasing which has been copied from other schools, and/or from which other charter schools have copied. For instance,

==>  A phrase in Our Guiding Principals (“belief that each child has an inherent curiosity and love of learning; and that each child has a unique intelligence, level of capability, and learning style”) is used by
==>  A phrase in Our Mission (“construct a program, which engages and motivates students to  invest  their  talents, energy, and enthusiasm  in completing  their  schoolwork  in an exemplary manner”) is also used for at least seven other Gulen charter schools
==>  A phrase in Choice in Education (“availability of  choice  is  an  important element in educational accountability and promotes higher standards throughout the system”) is used by
3. The phrase “prepare students for optimal best academic success in their future education, enable students to have a broad spectrum of options for their future endeavors, and prepare them to be effective, responsible and productive citizens” is used by
 4. The phrase "success of students is dependent upon the school’s ability to create a culture that fosters meaningful, sustained relationships between teachers, students, and parents and holds all stakeholders responsible for outcomes" is used by schools operated by the Ohio-based Concept Schools, Inc. PLUS a Gulen movement-operated school in South Africa.
  • Horizon Science Academy (multiple schools in OH)
  • Gateway Math and Science Academy (St. Louis, MO)
  • Milwaukee Math and Science Academy (WI)
  • Michigan Math and Science Academy (Hazel Park, MI)
  • Indiana Math and Science Academy - West (Indianapolis, IN)
  • Quest Charter Academy (Peoria, IL)
  • Moonlight International School (South Africa) 
5. The phrase, or near-identical variations of, “emphasis of the entire instructional program is aimed at meeting the individual needs of each student in order to allow children to develop to their fullest potential” is used by

6. A large number of schools which are Gulen movement-affiliated use a phrase which is identical or near-identical to “carry the torch of knowledge, freedom, and prosperity that has been passed from one generation to another in this great country”
 
PLAGIARISTS-CAN'T-BE-TRUSTED-CAN'T-BE-TRUSTED-CAN'T-BE-TRUSTED
Neither can schools which emphatically deny affiliations which are easily demonstrated.


Accessed 6/6/2002

Accessed 6/6/2002

Horizon Science Academy – Cleveland High School Annual Report 2008-2009
 

* For more, see the following pages