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GULEN SCHOOL ALERT ~ A HEARING IS SCHEDULED TODAY FOR CHARTER SCHOOL SB2

Date posted: March 21, 2013

Texas Harmony Science Centers Hurst, Texas

Texas Harmony Science Centers Hurst, Texas

The Charter school bill (SB 2) should be reviewed. The Cosmos Foundation run by  a Turkish man named Fethullah Gulen is running 38 charter schools in Texas which sell themselves as Math and Science centers but in fact teach turkish ways and culture and are numbing Americans to the islamic threat we face inside our country.

 

 

 

A Public Hearing in the Education Committee on SB 2 (Senator Dan Patrick) concerning Charter Schools is pending and will probably be held Today. It would create an appointed “Authorizing Authority” taking that responsibility from the elected State Board of Education. The committee members are:

 

Chair: Sen. Dan Patrick   512) 463-0107
Vice Chair: Sen. Eddie Lucio, Jr.  (512) 463-0127
Members: Sen. Donna Campbell  512) 463-0125
  Sen. Robert Duncan  (512) 463-0128
  Sen. Kel Seliger  (512) 463-0131
  Sen. Larry Taylor  (512) 463-0111
  Sen. Leticia Van de Putte  (512) 463-0126
  Sen. Royce West  (512) 463-0123

Ask Education Committee members to add amendments to the bill to:

#1 require charter school owners to be American citizens.

#2 require charter school checkbooks to be online for taxpayer review. This would reveal how much money goes to Turkish educators and elsewhere. 

Photo By New YorK Times Click Photo to linked article.

 

Because we are taking on the public schools parents are looking for other avenues to educate their children. Many who can’t afford private schools (even though private schools use CommonCore and CSCOPE) run to charter schools. Who by the way target the lower income hispanic and black community.  

By promoting Charter School legislation some elected officials see a way to get votes and stay in their positions of power. Which gives them the opportunity to move to higher office. In addition it opens the door to raise huge campaign donations from charter school lobbies such as the Cosmos Foundation/Harmony/Gulen Science Centers who are giving free all expense paid trips to legislators in Texas and across the country and whose consultant was former executive director of the Republican Party and trusted advisor to President George W. Bush, Karen Hughes Hughes.  

 

Just to be clear, I am not against all Charter Schools. Although I firmly believe we must hold elected officials accountable for the legislation they put forward which may pose a National Security threat to our nation. 

If you are reading this an asking what are the Harmony Charter Schools? Below is a great video by Frank Gaffney founder of the (Center for Security Policy) as he works within his own community to stop the Gulen movment in Loudoun Virginia. Harmony is the name for the Gulen/Cosmos Foundation schools in Texas. In other states they go by different names. “

 

List of Gulen Charter Schools in the United States

 

An example of what results is Texas Senate Bill 2 currently working its way through the Texas Legislature.  Some of the heroes on exposing CSCOPE are now pushing a bill that completely opens the door for the Gulen Charter Schools to come into Texas in mass numbers.

Below is a breakdown of Senate Bill 2. 

 

Senate bill 2 is a comprehensive overhaul of the laws that govern charter schools.  Changes are made on the authorizing, governing, and establishing of charter schools in Texas.

Looking at the bill, there were a lot of areas of concern, given the recent experience on CScope in Texas.

 

  • The current laws cap the number of charter schools in Texas at 215.  The cap is entirely removed.  

 

  • A new governing board of 7 appointees will be the only oversight of these schools.  The State Board of Education will have no authority to grant or revoke charter school privileges in this state.  This puts us back in the position of non-elected officials in charge of the education.

 

  • If there are any vacant or underutilized facilities in a school district, the ISD “shall” lease that taxpayer funded facility to any approved charter school that wants it.  Note the word in the bill is shall (a mandate) rather than the word “may” (which is a choice).

 

  • First time charter schools will be granted a license to operate for a term of 5 years.  It will automatically renew at that point for 20 years.  Most of the Harmony/ Gulen charter schools (currently under question) will fall in the 20 year category.

 

  • The TEA will be required to post all vacant or underutilized facilities for all to see.  For organized charter efforts underway, it will be easy to snap up these facilities all over the state.

 

  • No new charter will have to pay rent or purchase the facility.  They pay $1.

 

  • The license of a charter school can be revoked by the newly formed commission only under the following circumstance:

      a.  The school performs badly in 3 out of 5 years
b.  The school is not fiscally satisfactory on multiple reviews

 

Questions to ask…..

1. Why are non- elected officials being put in charge without public accountability?
2.  Why a 20 year renewal?
3.  Shouldn’t we worry about enormous expansion of schools of any type without input?
4.  What if the curriculum is found to be offensive?
5.  Why is our state funding for-profit enterprises?   

 God, Guns and the Constitution.org 

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Connecting the Dots… Common Core Curriculum ~ CSCOPE and the Gulen/Charter Public Schools

Date posted: March 2, 2013

Below is a series of short videos that will explain what the Common Core Curriculum is, who owns it and the threat it is to the United States. Notice Common Core is referenced in Michelle Malkin’s lastest  article which I highly recommend that you take the time to read. 

Rotten to the Core, Part III: Lessons from Texas and the Growing Grassroots Revolt

 

You have to also understand the connection between Common Core and the Texas CSCOPE online technology curriculum that is getting national attention. In the video linked above Jane Robins with the American Principles Project explains who Linda Darling Hammond is. 

 

One of the key developers of Common Core is Linda Darling Hammond. 

The key developer and author of CSCOPE is Linda Darling Hammond. 

 

Below will explain why the Common Core/CSCOPE opens the door for the Gulen Charter School and brings forward a major National Security Threat. 

 

 

Photo By New YorK Times Click Photo to linked article.

Photo By New YorK Times Click Photo to linked article.

Because we are taking on the public schools parents are looking for other avenues to educate their children. Many who can’t afford private schools (even though private schools use CommonCore and CSCOPE) run to charter schools. Who by the way target the lower income hispanic and black community.  

By promoting Charter School legislation some elected officials see a way to get votes and stay in their positions of power. Which gives them the opportunity to move to higher office. In addition it opens the door to raise huge campaign donations from charter school lobbies such as the Cosmos Foundation/Harmony/Gulen Science Centers who are giving free all expense paid trips to legislators in Texas and across the country and whose consultant was former executive director of the Republican Party and trusted advisor to President George W. Bush, Karen Hughes Hughes.  

 

 Just to be clear, I am not against all Charter Schools. Although I firmly believe we must hold elected officials accountable for the legislation they put forward which may pose a true National Security threat to our nation. 

If you are reading this an asking what are the Harmony Charter Schools? Below is a great video by Frank Gaffney founder of the (Center for Security Policy) as he works within his own community to stop the Gulen movment in Loudoun Virginia. Harmony is the name for the Gulen/Cosmos Foundation schools in Texas. In other states they go by different names. “

 

List of Gulen Charter Schools in the United States

 

An example of what results is Texas Senate Bill 2 currently working its way through the Texas Legislature.  Some of the heroes on exposing CSCOPE are now pushing a bill that completely opens the door for the Gulen Charter Schools to come into Texas in mass numbers.

Below is a breakdown of Senate Bill 2. 

 

Senate bill 2 is a comprehensive overhaul of the laws that govern charter schools.  Changes are made on the authorizing, governing, and establishing of charter schools in Texas.

Looking at the bill, there were a lot of areas of concern, given the recent experience on CScope in Texas.

 

  • The current laws cap the number of charter schools in Texas at 215.  The cap is entirely removed.  

 

  • A new governing board of 7 appointees will be the only oversight of these schools.  The State Board of Education will have no authority to grant or revoke charter school privileges in this state.  This puts us back in the position of non-elected officials in charge of the education.

 

  • If there are any vacant or underutilized facilities in a school district, the ISD “shall” lease that taxpayer funded facility to any approved charter school that wants it.  Note the word in the bill is shall (a mandate) rather than the word “may” (which is a choice).

 

  • First time charter schools will be granted a license to operate for a term of 5 years.  It will automatically renew at that point for 20 years.  Most of the Harmony/ Gulen charter schools (currently under question) will fall in the 20 year category.

 

  • The TEA will be required to post all vacant or underutilized facilities for all to see.  For organized charter efforts underway, it will be easy to snap up these facilities all over the state.

 

  • No new charter will have to pay rent or purchase the facility.  They pay $1.

 

  • The license of a charter school can be revoked by the newly formed commission only under the following circumstance:

      a.  The school performs badly in 3 out of 5 years
      b.  The school is not fiscally satisfactory on multiple reviews

 

Questions to ask…..

1. Why are non- elected officials being put in charge without public accountability?
2.  Why a 20 year renewal?
3.  Shouldn’t we worry about enormous expansion of schools of any type without input?
4.  What if the curriculum is found to be offensive?
5.  Why is our state funding for-profit enterprises?   

 God, Guns and the Constitution.org 

GodGunsand the Constitution

 

Women On the Wall will be taking on this issue and sharing information and updates on our weekly radio show on Monday mornings at 10 am CST. You will not want to miss this show. We will have up to date information on CSCOPE  and guests who are the experts on education and other issues that are effecting our children and grandchildren.

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Knowledge is Power and together we can make the difference!!

Alice Linahan

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Are Texas Turkish Charter Schools Really Public Schools

Date posted: October 25, 2011

Below is a very important article by By MerryLynn Gerstenschlager. TEF VP and Education Liaison

Had anyone told me that I would end up spending the bulk of my time during the most recent Texas Legislative Session and Special Session lobbying on Turkish charter schools, technically known as Harmony charter schools, I would have laughed at them.

However, this turned out to be no laughing matter and by the end of the Special Session, the legislature had called for an investigation of all charter schools by the House General Investigating and Ethics Committee.

The forthcoming investigation was precipitated by Texas Eagle Forum’s and Peyton Wolcott’s (Publisher – Public Ed Commentary) unsuccessful efforts to amend legislation that will now allow certain charter schools to use the $25 billion dollar Permanent School Fund (PSF) to guarantee new construction bonds. Public schools already enjoy this privilege. The PSF is also known as the Children’s Textbook Fund.

Peyton Wolcott’s research provided outstanding information throughout session. Upon learning that there are 36 Harmony charter campuses in Texas and that their operators are mostly Turkish men who have been educated and previously employed in Turkey, we dubbed the Harmony charter schools “Turkish charter schools.” We began to scrutinize them in the context of this legislation. Harmony is overseen by the Cosmos Foundation, a non-profit organization that has received a quarter of a billion dollars in Texas taxpayer dollars in the past three years. Note that there are 156 Harmony-related charter schools in the U.S.

Harmony refers to their schools as “charter” as well as “public” schools. On February 1, 2011, “Harmony Public Schools” organized the “Bond Financing for Charter Schools” luncheon at the Austin Omni Hotel. Among the speakers was former Counselor to President George W. Bush, Karen Hughes, who welcomed guests “on behalf of Harmony Public Schools” to talk “about innovative ways to finance school facilities.” Harmony had hired Hughes through Burson-Marsteller, the prestigious marketing firm, to kick off Harmony’s efforts to pass this legislation.

Harmony was scheduled to open a new School of Political Science in Austin in August of 2011. Because Harmony schools emphasize Turkish culture and also take Texas elected officials on free trips to Turkey, we contemplated how American government and the U.S. Constitution might be taught in this school. And with so many Texas teachers looking for work, we wondered why Cosmos has brought 1,300 teachers here from Turkey on H1-B visas?

We were concerned that five members of the Senate Education Committee had accepted a collective total of $15,000, and that seven members of the House Public Education Committee had accepted a collective total of $11,500 in campaign funds from the Texas Charter School Association (TCSA). The TCSA had hired 11 lobbyists to push for this legislation. Among these lobbyists were former State Representative Diane Delisi and former State Senator Kyle Janek. One of the PSF charter school guarantee bills had to pass out of these committees to take on a life in the House and Senate.

Source Cosmos Foundation Inc.

The focus on Turkish influence in Texas schools was emphasized when the Senate passed Senate Resolution 85 honoring the Turkish imam Fethullah Gulen. Gulen was given asylum in Pennsylvania in 1997 when he was driven out of Turkey by his own government for trying to reinstate a caliphate in this secular nation. Since then, Gulen lives here in self-imposed exile, even though he has been exonerated in Turkey.

In order to protect the $25 billion Children’s Textbook Fund, Texas Eagle Forum and Peyton Wolcott began to lobby that the following fiduciary duty-of-care amendments be placed in the legislation:

1. Proof of U.S. citizenship for all charter school operator board members and top five highest paid administrators (public ISD trustees must be U.S. citizens). 2. Names, titles, and biographies posted online for all charter operator board members and top five highest paid administrators. 3. Check registers posted online (over 70% of local ISD dollars are online).

We advocated for these safeguards because the bills lacked a requirement for accountability and transparency. We had learned that at least two members of the Cosmos Foundation’s current leadership had not paid their franchise taxes, determining them “Not in Good Standing” with the State Comptroller’s Office. As Peyton Wolcott asked: If leadership does not show fiscal responsibility in their personal business, what guarantee did we have that they will show fiscal responsibility while handing public monies?

Another push for the legislation came from Representative Jose Menendez (D-San Antonio) who authorized a flyer from the Harmony schools to be placed in all House members’ mailboxes. The Harmony flyer asked House members to vote against our three fiduciary duty-ofcare amendments.

The bills to tap into the PSF died during the Regular Session, but were resurrected during the Special Session in June. During that time the New York Times published an article about how the Texas Turkish charter schools spend public monies and highlighted how their construction contracts have been awarded to Turkishowned contractors, even though they had been underbid by other companies. The Times also connected Harmony schools to the followers of Fethullah Gulen.

By the next to the last day of the Special Session, the charter school PSF school bond guarantee legislation had been amended into a critical budget bill that had to pass to meet constitutional requirements. Ultimately, the budget bill passed, but without our three fiduciary dutyof- care amendments.

Yes, the bill passed, but apparently, some legislators were catching on to the idea that the Turkish charter schools should come under more scrutiny than they had in the past. Some House members concerned about rural schools and charter schools would not give the critical budget bill their approval until it had been established that charter schools will be investigated during the Interim by the General Investigating and Ethics Committee, chaired by Rep. Chuck Hopson (R-Jacksonville).

Once the investigation begins, I hope that Chairman Hopson will also look into the contrast portrayed in the accompanying photo of two schools in Ft Worth, Texas. The first photo was taken from the campus of Westcreek Elementary School, looking directly across the street to the campus of the Harmony Science Academy. Note how there is no fence around the Westcreek Elementary campus, but an iron fence surrounds the Harmony Science Academy campus.

In the second picture, note Harmony’s signs that say “NO TRESPASSING, NO LOITERING, [and] NO SOLICITING.” Since Harmony charter schools are paid for by taxpayer dollars and are called “Harmony Public Schools,” why do they have a “No Trespassing” sign at the entrance to their schools? And why do they not want to require that their board members seeking the PSF school construction bond guarantee be American citizens just like local school board trustees? Are they genuinely “public” schools?

This brings up another point…the Harmony schools are Texas Education Agency schools, run with taxpayer dollars, that are not controlled by local parents in the form of elected school board trustees. Put another way, these are schools of the state education agency, rather than schools that are accountable to local taxpayers and parents. The accountability is to the state, rather than to local parents. Local control is non-existent, as contrasted to the Westcreek Elementary School across the street that is in the Fort Worth ISD where there is an elected, local school board that is accountable to parents and taxpayers.

I look forward to the upcoming investigation of charter schools. While they have every legal right to experiment with alternative ways of educating students, there can never be a compromise on accountability and transparency in education.

What You Can Do Learn much, much more about the Harmony schools at www.peytonwolcott.com .

 

 

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