Charter Schools have become increasingly popular in the United States. What are they really teaching? When girls are made to wear religious clothing at Charter Schools, is this legal?
According to the website U.S. Charter Schools there are 4691 charter schools currently operating in the U.S. with a total of 1,419,996 students enrolled. Since charter schools started in 1991, 40 states, as well as the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico have signed into law charter school legislation.
The Center for Education Reform 2008 annual survey of charter schools explains,
Fifty-nine percent of survey respondents said they have significant waiting lists, averaging 198 students in length.
Despite receiving fewer resources, charter schools offer longer school days, longer school years, and innovative curricula not available in conventional public schools.
Even though they are public schools and should receive the same amount of federal, state and local funds, charter schools receive nearly 40 percent less funding than other public schools.
They accomplish more with less. The schools are so popular they have waiting lists just to get in. Sounds like a place I would like to send my children.
Although charter schools receive less federal and state funding, they do receive public funding nonetheless.
The Center for Education Reform website breaks down the numbers,
Charter schools are public schools and should receive the same type and amount of funding as conventional district schools. But they do not. Charter schools across the United States are funded at 61 percent of their district counterparts, averaging $6,585 per pupil compared to $10,771 per pupil at conventional district public schools.
Using the numbers supplied, simple math tells me that $9,344,993,676.00 of our tax dollars are going to charter schools annually. With a current U.S. debt of over 14 trillion it may not seem like a lot, but 9.3 billion is still an enormous amount of money.
So what is the difference between a charter school and that of a public school? The U.S. Charter School website explains it this way,
Charter schools are public schools of choice, meaning teachers and students choose them. They operate with freedom from many regulations that apply to traditional public schools. They generally offer teachers and students more authority to make decisions than most traditional public schools. Instead of being accountable for compliance with rules and regulations, they are accountable for academic results and for upholding their charter.
Rules, laws and regulations of charter schools vary from state to state, but all must follow the federal laws and guidelines set under the U.S. Department of Education if they receive federal funding as explained by the Department of Education website,
Charter schools are established according to individual State charter school laws. The enactment of State charter school laws is solely a State prerogative, and the definition of a “charter school” under State law is a matter of State policy. However, in order to receive Charter School Public (CSP) funds, a charter school must meet the definition in Section 5210(1) of Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA).
Section ‘D’ of the Department of Education “No Child Left Behind- Charter School Program-
Non-Regulatory Guidance” states in part,
D-1. May a charter school be religious in nature?
No. As public schools, charter schools must be non-religious in their programs, admissions policies, governance, employment practices and all other operations, and the charter school’s curriculum must be completely secular. As with other public schools, charter schools may not provide religious instruction, but they may teach about religion from a secular perspective.
It further explains,
D-2. May charter schools use public funds to support religious programs or activities?
No. All activities of a charter school must be non-religious, as is the case for all public schools. Public funds may not be used for religious purposes or to encourage religious activity. In addition, even if funded by non-public sources, religious activity may not be conducted, promoted, or encouraged during charter school activities by charter school employees or by other persons working with charter schools.
Okay, so why is this important? Allow me to introduce to you the Gulen Charter Schools.
Currently, Gulen has over 100 Charter public schools operating in 20 states; this is according to Charter School Watchdog website,
The network of publicly-funded Gulen charter schools in the United States, now estimated as numbering well over a hundred, serves the Gulen Movement's economic, political and ideological goals in several ways.
So who is Gulen? The Middle East Forum published an article on this in 2009. It said in part,
Born in Erzurum, Turkey, in 1942, Fethullah Gülen is an imam who considers himself a prophet.
Gülen was a student and follower of Sheikh Sa'id-i Kurdi (1878-1960), also known as Sa'id-i Nursi, the founder of the Islamist Nur (light) movement.
The core of Gülen's network is his educational institutions. Nurettin Veren, Gülen's right-hand man for thirty-five years, estimated that some 75 percent of Turkey's two million preparatory school students are enrolled in Gülen institutions. His school network is impressive. He controls thousands of top-tier secondary schools, colleges, and student dormitories throughout Turkey, as well as private universities, the largest being Fatih University in Istanbul. Outside Turkey, his movement runs hundreds of secondary schools and dozens of universities in 110 countries worldwide. Gülen's aim is not altruistic: His followers target youth in the eighth through twelfth grades, mentor and indoctrinate them in the ???kevi, educate them in the Fethullah schools, and prepare them for future careers in legal, political, and educational professions in order to create the ruling classes of the future Islamist, Turkish state. Taking their orders from Fethullah Gülen, wealthy followers continue to open schools and ???kevi in what Sabah columnist Emre Aköz called "the education jihad."
But more than the indoctrination and “the education jihad" is this interesting statement by Veren,
"These schools are like shop windows. Recruitment and Islamization activities are carried out through night classes ... Children whom we educated in Turkey are now in the highest positions. There are governors, judges, military officers. There are ministers in the government. They consult Gülen before doing anything."
So what is happening here in the U.S. Schools? In researching Gulen and his network of schools, I found more material than I could possibly read in a week’s time.
A Google search of “Gulen Movement” returns over 66,000 hits, searching “Gulen Institute” returns over 85,000. As usual, I like to deal in facts, so here are some facts.
The Harmony Parent Truth website re-posted an article in February exposing a federal investigation into the Gulen Movement's involvement in charter schools. This had been published in Il Sole 24 Ore (considered to be The Wall Street Journal of Italian newspapers): Un imam alla conquista degli Usa. The article states in part,
NEW YORK - A Muslim religious movement wants to conquer America. In fact, in a sense it has already conquered and no one has yet noticed. Nothing to do with al-Qaeda, terrorism or Islamic fundamentalism. We speak of a sect that is rather mysterious - so much so that it has been called the Muslim Opus Dei - founded in Turkey in the 1970s by an imam named Fethullah Gülen. And noted rather for its moderation.
Since each of these schools receives from 1.5 to 3 million dollars each year in public funds, it is a matter of hundreds of millions of dollars a year.
An analysis of work permits for teachers reveals that between just 2007 and 2009, the "Gulen" schools requested and were granted 1,851 visas in three years, more than some major American corporations such as Motorola and Google.
The article goes on to explain that federal authorities have documents and emails that prove a link to another group known as Hizmet. Through Hizmet, Gulen splits the U.S. territory into five regions, assigning each of these to a single responsible individual, and that each teacher "imported" from Turkey would be required to return a percentage of their salary to the movement.
So here we have a “kickback” plain and simple. We get you a visa and bring you to the U.S., you pay us with a percentage of your salary.
The article focuses on the region of Ohio and explains it further,
The region including Ohio was to be entrusted to a Turkish imam named Veli Aslan, better known as "brother Veli.” An email sent in June 2008 with regard to teachers who were late in making the paybacks reads: "Brother Veli wants to have all the “salary returns." And he says to withhold future salaries from those who have not made them."
More incriminating still is an email dated June 13, 2007 and sent to the principal of a school in Ohio and copied to the CEO of Concept Schools, a board member of Breeze, and the Executive Director of the Niagara Foundation, a foundation personally headed by Fethullah Gulen. The email recommends "increasing the number of teachers from Turkey ... to acquire more money."
The end of this article points out the most important part, the expense of the tax payer,
Federal investigators believe that proves the involvement of all the various branches of Hizmet - schools, service organizations, and the most important Gulenist foundation in the U.S. - in what they call "the Tuzuk conspiracy", namely the illegal financing of the movement at the expense of taxpayers.
Aside from the visas and possible illegal kickbacks there is oh so much more. How are these schools adhering to the laws of the U.S., they are after all based off Islamic principles.
I found many a law suit filed against Gulen, his schools and or his movement for a multitude of reasons. Most, as you can imagine are settled out of court and therefore nothing further can be investigated since the cases are sealed.
I did find one case that I found particularly interesting. Brenda Couch sued the Harmony Science Academy (a Gulen Charter school) and the schools Principal for “Civil Rights Violations” in December of 2007.
The actual law suit was the alleged violations of 42 U.S.C. Section 1981, and the Civil Rights Act of 1991, seeking damages to remedy violations of her civil rights guaranteed by the Civil Rights Act of 1866, Titles VI and VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Equal Pay Act of 1963, the Texas Labor Code and the New Mexico Human Rights Act, as amended. Plaintiff Couch also seeks damages for breach of contract, breach of the covenant of good faith and fair dealing, and for promissory estoppel pursuant to New Mexico and Texas common law.
Okay, let’s translate for those of us who are not attorneys. According to the law suit, the ALLEGATIONS OF FACT are as follows,
Plaintiff Couch is a Hispanic female of Mexican origin and of the Christian faith.
Defendant Charter School hired Plaintiff Couch as a Spanish and Health teacher in July 2006 for a one-year contractual term. During the contract term in 2006 and 2007, Plaintiff Couch was one of approximately 13 Christian, female employees of non-Turkish origin at Defendant Charter School. The remaining approximately 15 employees were all or mostly Muslim, male teachers of Turkish origin.
Defendant Principal is a Muslim male of Turkish origin.
Plaintiff Couch is a Texas certified Spanish and Health teacher.
During Plaintiff’s contract term none of the male teachers was certified by the State of Texas. Plaintiff Couch was a better qualified, more experienced and more effective teacher than all of the male, Muslim and Turkish teachers.
Early during her contract term, Plaintiff noticed, and commented to coworkers, that Defendant Principal and other school administrators appeared to treat the male, Muslim and Turkish teachers more favorably than the female, Christian, non-Turkish teachers.
Defendants required the female, Christian, non-Turkish teachers to teach more classes and/or to carry-out more daily extra duties, such as the After School Program, than the male, Muslim, Turkish teachers.
So, Brenda Couch is saying that the female and Christian staff were not treated equally? Could this be due to the fact that the Principal was Islamic?
One of her other allegations brings out the lack of proper education,
Plaintiff Couch questioned the quality of the Turkish teachers and commented to coworkers and parents about the inability of the Turkish teachers to communicate effectively with their English-speaking students.
It would seem, if this is true, that our tax dollars are helping to bring teachers here from Turkey that not only are not certified, but that have communication problems in English. That is what I want teaching my kids, someone that can’t speak the language.
One other allegation that is rather important,
In May 2007, Plaintiff Couch learned from a coworker that all the male, Muslim and Turkish teachers were paid $40, 000 per year, substantially more than she and the other female, Christian and non-Turkish teachers were paid. Defendant Charter School paid Plaintiff Couch only $26, 000 per year.
So Couch, a certified teacher was making only 26K a year along with all the other females and Christians while the uncertified male Muslim teachers who have communication problems were making 40K a year. Hmmm. I wonder if that is because they have to pay a kickback.
Needless to say, Couch did not have her contract renewed, but as she alleges in her lawsuit,
Defendant Principal renewed the contracts of male, Muslim, Turkish teachers who had been accused of involvement in serious misconduct, including one case of sexual harassment of a co-worker and another case involving a police report of alleged misconduct with a child. Defendants received complaints from students and parents regarding poor performance of the male Turkish language teachers but renewed their employment contracts anyway.
Wow, so there may have been sexual harassment and misconduct with a child within this Charter school? Again, sounds rather Islamic to me.
Needless to say, the “allegations of fact” go on to explain the specifics of sexual harassment by male Muslim teachers against the female Christian staff, including names and charges that were filed to the EEOC (Equal Employment Opportunity Commission).
An investigative article by Stephen Schwartz of the American Thinker in March of last year put it this way,
A secretive foreign network of Islamic radicals now operates dozens of charter schools -- which receive government money but are not required to adopt a state-approved curriculum -- on U.S. soil.
The Tucson Weekly published a report in 2009 titled “Hidden Agenda” noting that,
the Sonoran Science Academy in the southern Arizona town had been named "charter school of the year" by the Arizona Charter School Association. But writer Tim Vanderpool reported that according to one dismayed parent, who declined identification while pointing out the Gülen movement's history of intimidating critics, "the Sonoran Academy seems constantly to be bringing Turkish educators into the United States, and subjecting students to substitute teachers while the teachers await work visas." Vanderpool submits that "several Sonoran Academy parents believe the school has a hidden agenda to promote Gülen's brand of Turkish nationalism, advance sympathy for that country's political goals such as winning acceptance into the European Union, and discourage official acknowledgment of Turkey's genocide against the Armenians during World War I."
ACT! For America, the National grass roots organization founded by Brigitte Gabriel has written several articles on Gulen and his movement. In one article they quote a February 2009 Jane's Islamic Affairs Analyst (JIAA) investigative piece. JIAA is part of the Jane’s Intelligence group. The article titled “Gulen’s Movement: Turkey’s Third Power” explains how this group use “Taqiyya” otherwise known as lying to further Islam. The ACT! Article explains,
As a further example of the use of taqiyya, the Jane’s article gives examples of how Fethullah Gulen Community (FGC’s) Turkish language media outlet Zaman runs stories with information and headlines that are missing from the English language media outlet, ‘Today’s Zaman’. This practice of two different messages, one to the indigenous Islamic population and one to the West, is common in the Islamic world, and has led many in the West, including political leaders and academics, to be misled as to the true intentions of Islamists.
In an FSM article just this past week “Turkey And The Restoration Of The Caliphate” Janet Levy explains,
In the United States, Gulen operates the largest charter school network in America and enjoys the cooperation and protection of the U.S. government. His schools stress intercultural dialogue and tolerance. They include a curriculum that teaches the Golden Age of Turkey or the period of the Ottoman Empire, Turkish language, dance, culture, cooking and Islam, all financed by American taxpayers.
I must make an extremely important point here, there is, as I stated earlier, quite a bit of information out there on Gulen and his Institutions if you are willing to look for it. However, there is also a lot that is pure speculation or blatant lies.
Everything I have placed into this article written and researched by others or myself, I have triple checked and is all fact.
What’s more is that the Gulen movement is here and is being promoted by our own Government.
Former President Clinton stated at the 3rd Annual Friendship Dinner by Turkish Cultural Center, New York City, on September 25, 2008,
“the communication between the Turkish-American community and the people of Turkey is so important. You are contributing to lasting peace and security at home and abroad; the promotion of the ideas of tolerance and interfaith dialogue inspired by Fethullah Gülen in his transnational social movement. You do it through your everyday lives and you are truly strengthening the fabric of our common humanity, as well as promoting the ongoing cultural and educational ties that bind our world together.”
More recently, the first veiled woman in the White House, Dalia Mogahed, President Barack Obama’s Muslim advisor, stated in June 2009 to ‘Today’s Zaman’,
“I think the Gülen movement offers people a model of what is possible if a dedicated group of people work together for the good of the society. I also think that it is an inspiration for other people and Muslims for what they can accomplish.”
“It has moved beyond Turkey in its very benevolent projects and it serves people from all around the world of all backgrounds, but it is still made up mostly of Turks. That is what I feel is in need of expanding.”
Whether you have a child in this school or not, you probably have one or more in the state in which you live. Maybe you will look into this organization and contact your local and state representative’s?
If everything you have read doesn’t prompt you, maybe Fethullah Gulen's owns words will.
In a 2009 article in the Middle East Quarterly by Rachel Sharon-Krespin titled "Fethullah Gulen's Grand Ambition" quotes sermons delivered by Gulen on Turkish television in 1999 which provide insights into his methods,
"You must move in the arteries of the system without anyone noticing your existence until you reach all the power centers ... until the conditions are ripe, they [the followers] must continue like this. If they do something prematurely, the world will crush our heads, and Muslims will suffer everywhere, like in the tragedies in Algeria, like in 1982 [in] Syria ... like in the yearly disasters and tragedies in Egypt. The time is not yet right. You must wait for the time when you are complete and conditions are ripe, until we can shoulder the entire world and carry it ... You must wait until such time as you have gotten all the state power, until you have brought to your side all the power of the constitutional institutions in Turkey ... Until that time, any step taken would be too early-like breaking an egg without waiting the full forty days for it to hatch. It would be like killing the chick inside. The work to be done is [in] confronting the world. Now, I have expressed my feelings and thoughts to you all-in confidence ... trusting your loyalty and secrecy. I know that when you leave here-[just] as you discard your empty juice boxes, you must discard the thoughts and the feelings that I expressed here."
Sorry to break your “trust and loyalty”, I thought people should know.