Thursday, December 12, 2013

Connecting The Dots In Charter Secrecy

Just a little preview of things to come.

Turns out that last night the FBI raided a charter school in East Baton Rouge. It's nothing new for the FBI to raid a charter school and carry out all the records, but I just want to make a point about it in a minute. Here's the report.

Who knows what they're looking for? Test score manipulation? Visa records? Financials? Could be anything.

What's interesting to me is that this charter is pretty open about its relationship to Harmony Schools, a far-flung and in-the-news Gulen operation.

So, what's this got to do with Chicago? Well, it's all the same network, for one thing. The baseline behavior of these basically identical schools is for the management to deny any kind of knowledge of or relationship with the other schools/management organizations.  So, when a Harmony school is raided in Louisiana, that's connected to the same people running schools here.

Check out the 2013-14 welcome letter from the principal ofHorizon (Concept) Science and Math Academy in Chicago.

It's warm, it's welcoming, it's wonderful. It's also basically identical to this 2006 principal's welcome letter from the Harmony Elementary in Austin, Texas.

For people who have no relationship to each other, they seem to like the exact same words and phrasings.

This letter has gotten around, actually. Basically, look at any two Gulen nodes where people have never heard of each other, where they have no relationship to each other, and you'll find they're using this letter or a slightly altered version thereof and have been doing so since 2006.

This is just one little example.

Look, I know. I know that we have to understand the secrecy in the context of modern Turkish history. I've done the reading. And actually, I do get it. I just think that secrecy and misinformation are basically incompatible with the governance of public education here in this country. At least, historically those have been incompatible phenomena with the public trust that education inevitably is.  In this new world we're entering, maybe secrecy's going to be the norm. Won't that be exciting?

Sunlight on the charters! It's my new motto. Might be a good title for a novel, too.

Much more later.

1 comment:

  1. The other blaring issue besides the trips is the link to Turquoise council where Kemal Oskuz, a staunch Gulencis and Turquoise Council big wig donated more to the Republican National Committee (RNC) of Louisana than any other donations. This was said to have been to ward off any state anti-charter laws that are pending including one that would limit foreign teachers. Turquoise Council is also linked to Azerbaijan Lobbying which is a key pipeline for oil.