Saturday, May 24, 2014

Working The Refs In Charterworld

Before I continue with tonight's installment of Guleny goodness, let me refer to something over at Schooling and the Ownership Society that completely escaped my attention:

And records show the state charter commission’s Springfield lobbyist is Liz Brown-Reeves  —  a former Madigan aide who accompanied lawmakers on their trip to Turkey in 2012. The Commission also received big funding from Walton and other private, pro-charter foundations.
Mike is talking about the lobbyist for the very same state charter commission that is possibly nearing extinction, relinquishing its chartering authority back to the Illinois State Board of Education. It's not clear to me that the Concept school people will be losing too much ground there; they've got friends in high places. In a recent post, I reported on an exchange I had with ISBE Chair Gery Chico's office:
Incidentally, I asked ISBE Chairman Chico if he's been on any of the Turkey junkets sponsored by the local Gulenist-outreach foundation, Niagara; it seemed likely to me that he had been, given that his wife had received one of their big awards. This was the response from his aide, and I kid you not: 
"Gery has not taken any of these trips since he's been the chair."
These guys have been working the refs for longer than anyone local has been paying attention, so maybe someone with journalist credentials should follow-up on that nicely parsed response for clarification.

Here's another interesting tidbit from the Gulen archipelago. Evidently the EEOC just ruled on a case at one of the Gulen-linked school in Texas, which was apparently engaged in a sort of blatant gender discrimination. Here's the gist of the thing:

The local Gulen-linked school here in Rogers Park had a related kind of situation years ago, so this shouldn't surprise anyone. Nor should it surprise anyone that the people running the schools are archly anti-labor, nor that this attitude is rarely mentioned by our "progressive" alderman.  As for the gender discrimination, well, that's a conservative trait all over the world; it's not just a Gulenist thing.  Although, to be fair, there are several Pearls of Wisdom in which the imam teaches his followers about women.

This poor teacher in Texas might have simply been a victim of the women's rights movement. Here's a Pearl from p. 64.

I could go on with the various and sundry Pearls but there's something much more interesting in the actual Justice Department case against Harmony (the Gulen-linked charter school).  It's this:

If this is true, then the salaries earned by H-1B visa teachers/staff working at these schools everywhere should be posted and available, and someone should FOIA them. Who will do that?

Turns out that five minutes of Googling provides a little clarity; here's the relevant passage from the federal code related to the visa program. The things you learn when you start poking around!

So that list should be there in the office if any of the people at the Concept schools want to see it, and from what I'm hearing, those people exist. But word to the wise: the documents probably aren't there. You'll have to make some waves to get them.


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