Since Concept Schools is willing to lie to Americans about its very fundamental connection to the Gulen Movement’s (GM) larger school network, then what else is it lying about and why should Americans trust anything it claims?
Despite the GM’s best efforts to stay under the radar, each day a few more Americans are becoming aware of its presence here. As followers of Fethullah Gulen, a Turkish imam who has been living on a secluded compound in rural Pennsylvania since the late 1990s, GM members have been busy building up their enormous network of schools around the world, among which are more than 140 publicly-funded charter schools operating in 26 of the United States.
However, most American taxpayers still have no idea that they are funding this secretive and highly controversial group’s US set of schools. The GM has been able to take advantage of what Diane Ravitch calls a "Reign of Error," This is the current education reform effort that is driving to privatize the US public school system (she discusses Gulen charter schools on page 166). As the American Foreign Policy Council’s report (“Fethullah Gulen Movement”) explains:
"The charter school experiment has resulted in the United States being the only country in the world where the Gülen Movement has been able to establish schools fully funded by the host country’s taxpayers."
Operating 30 charter schools in several Midwestern states, Illinois-based Concept Schools is the second largest CMO operated by the GM. Texas-based Harmony Public Schools is the largest. It operates 40 charter schools in Texas and sells services to a number of Gulen charter schools in neighboring states.
When Concept Schools opened two more charter schools in Chicago this year, it brought the number of Gulen charter schools operating in Chicago up to three. Horizon Science Academy – Belmont and Horizon Science Academy – McKinley Park joined Chicago Math and Science Academy which opened in 2004.
Concept Schools adamantly denies any association between other charter schools initiated by so-called “Turkish Americans.” These statements currently appear on Concept’s website.
But Concept’s schools DO have ties and affiliation to other charter school networks, as well as to a larger school network operating around the world. A mountain of evidence has been accumulated that demonstrates those ties and affiliations. To look at some of it, start here.
C.A.S.I.L.I.P.S. (Citizens Against Special Interest Lobbying in Public Schools) already exposed how Concept and other Gulen Movement-associated schools have used the same letter to welcome their families to the new school year. Sometimes school leaders alter it just a bit.
Below are additional examples of those letters that continue to be used by various charter and private schools that are part of the Gulen Movement’s school network (click to enlarge). Links to documents are in the first comment of this post.*
Charter schools affiliated with Concept Schools
- Illinois: Horizon Science Academy – McKinley Park (OPENED 2013)
- Indiana: Indiana Math and Science Academy (3 schools)
- Ohio: Horizon Science Academy – Columbus Middle School
- Missouri: Gateway Science Academy of St. Louis
Charter schools affiliated with Harmony Public Schools**
- Arkansas: LISA Academy – North
- New Mexico: Albuquerque School of Excellence
- Oklahoma: Dove Science Academy
- Texas: Harmony School of Science – Austin (message for 2006-2007 signed by Robert Johnson, EARLIEST KNOWN USE OF LETTER)
Charter schools affiliated with Charter Educational Services & Resources, Inc. (AKA Charter Resources)***
- Florida: River City Science Academy
- Florida: Orlando Science Schools
- South Carolina: Greenville Renewable Energy Education (GREEN) Charter School (OPENED 2013; principal Adem Dokmeci previously worked at River City Science Academy)
Charter schools affiliated with Apple Educational Services
- Massachusetts: Hampden Charter School of Science
- New Jersey: Bergen Arts and Science Charter School – Middle High
- New York: Rochester Academy Charter School
- North Carolina: Triad Math and Science Academy
- Pennsylvania: Young Scholars of Central Pennsylvania Charter School
Charter schools affiliated with the Accord Institute for Education Research
- California: Bay Area Technology School
- California: Magnolia Science Academy chain
- Utah: Beehive Science and Technology School
Private Gulen schools in the US
- Illinois: Science Academy of Chicago (signed by Serdar Kartal who is now principal of HSA – Belmont)
- New Jersey: Pioneer Academy of Science
Private Gulen schools outside the US
- Canada: Nile Academy
- Ethiopia: Nejashi Ethio - Turkish International Schools
- Hong Kong: Rosebud Primary School
- Korea: Rainbow International School
- Tajikistan: Dushanbe International School
* Three non-Gulen movement-associated schools have also used the welcome letter.
- Georgia: Hapeville Charter School, signed by Jannard Rainey, Principal
- Texas: Ambassadors Preparatory Academy, signed by Patricia Williams, Administrator.
- Texas: Cayuga High School, signed by Greg Branch, Principal.
See these recent news reports about charter schools getting into trouble because of plagiarism:
- “Four Texas charter school proposals contain copied passages.” Dallas Morning News (TX), 2/0/2013
- “Charlotte charter school can’t open because of plagiarism allegation.” Charlotte Observer (NC), 3/7/2013
** Previously called the Cosmos Foundation
*** Previously called the Grace Institute for Educational Research & Resources, a.k.a. Grace Schools