Harmony Science Academy a Gulen Charter School

Harmony Science Academy in Texas, Oklahoma and New Mexico are under the Cosmos Foundation. The Cosmos Foundation ran by Turkish Nationals who are known members of the Gulen Movement have abused many state and federal laws. Cosmos is the largest abuser of H1-B Visas for foreign teachers than the largest school district in America. Scratch your head and wonder why the Gulen Movement is getting away with reverse discrimination? Texas money crosses over state lines to support the other Gulen Managed charter schools, this is WRONG!! DISCLAIMER: If you find some videos are disabled this is the work of the Gulen censorship which has filed bogus copyright infringement rights to UTUBE

Friday, December 9, 2011

Harmony Science Academy, A Gulen Charter School exposed by Act for America of Houston

spare the remarks about them being racist, bigots, or islamophobe.
it is the gulen movement that is prejudice towards others.

Harmony (Gulen) School on W. Airport in Sugarland, TX


Gulen Schools mentioned in AnonyMISS message to worlds Journalists

Looks like the world journalists are taking this jailing and abuse of journalists very very seriously.

Received many journalists messages and they have mirrored and acted on this.







Gulen Charter School discussed: Lesson Learned :: Texas Monthly

Lesson Learned :: Texas Monthly

Gulen Charter School Harmony Science Academy left out of ANOTHER Alliance.......

KIPP and YES schools of Texas have joined together to form a new foundation (Sky Foundation) leaving Harmony out in the cold.
Education leaders in Spring Branch are proud to announce a new, three-way collaboration between Spring Branch Independent School District, and two public charter school organizations, KIPP Houston and YES Prep Public Schools.  Where is Harmony?  Oh that is right they have their OWN foundation – Cosmos Foundation
On Tuesday, Dec. 6, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation congratulated the newly formed SKY Partnership (SBISD, KIPP, and YES Prep) and welcomed them as the newest members of the District-Charter Collaboration Compact cities.  Where is Harmony?
Spring Branch joins Chicago, which also announced its Compact today, and 12 additional public school systems – Baltimore, Denver, Hartford, Conn., Los Angeles, Minneapolis, Nashville, Tenn., New Orleans, New York City, Rochester, N.Y., Sacramento, Calif., Central Falls, R.I., and Boston – that have signed compacts in the past year.
SBISD enrolls about 33,000 students who live in Houston’s west side neighborhoods. The District-Charter Collaboration Compact is part of an ongoing commitment and dialogue between traditional public schools and charter schools to work together to share their best practices and provide all children in their communities with a public school education that prepares them with the skills and knowledge to succeed in college and the workforce.
The SKY Partnership’s effort to build a national model for cooperation within a traditional public school district will now be eligible for up to $100,000 in grant funding from the foundation, as well as the opportunity to compete for significant additional funding for ongoing collaboration and improved student achievement.
“Spring Branch is setting an example for school districts and charter school leaders across the country to work collaboratively, learn from each another and build upon successful practices,” said Vicki L. Phillips, director of Education, College Ready, at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. “Ultimately, they all have the same goal—to ensure every student succeeds – so it just makes sense for them to be on the same team. We applaud Spring Branch for publicly committing to work together and do whatever it takes to radically increase the number students prepared for college and career.”  What happened to all the money Gates Foundation gave to Cosmos?
Leaders in all three groups signed the SKY Partnership Compact, which is a general “roadmap” for continued collaboration and planning that capitalizes on the strengths of each organization to enhance educational choice and options for SBISD secondary students. Leaders of the three groups are: Duncan F. Klussmann, Ed.D., SBISD Superintendent of Schools; Mike Feinberg, KIPP Houston Co-founder and Superintendent; and Jason Bernal, YES Prep Public Schools President.
Among the goals of the partnership is to launch the first year of a KIPP and YES Prep school-within-a-school program for the 2012-2013 school year at Landrum and Northbrook middle schools, respectively, in SBISD.
The school district has two, self-created public charter schools, both of which the Texas Education Agency (TEA) rates as Exemplary, the state’s highest rating. They are Cornerstone Academy, a middle school serving about 380 students, and Westchester Academy for International Studies, a 6th-12th grade charter school that focuses on global studies and international relations.
Westchester Academy, with about 1,000 enrolled students, offers the highly prestigious and world recognized International Baccalaureate Diploma program. In November, the U.S. Department of Education named the secondary school as a national Blue Ribbon School Award recipient, the highest federal honor that an American school can earn.
These two district public charter schools are enormously popular. More than 200 Spring Branch families currently have students on waiting lists in the hopes of attending either school, one of the reasons that Superintendent Klussmann has worked to provide new options under the SKY Partnership plan.
Another driving force is SBISD’s new five year plan, The Spring Branch Plan, 2012-2017, under which district leaders have proposed an ambitious goal for all high school graduates to earn some form of higher education in the field or area of their choosing.
“We believe in this partnership and its ability to benefit all students. Under SBISD’s five-year goal of doubling the number of its graduates who earn a technical degree, a two-year associate’s degree or a four-year bachelor’s degree from a college or university, we must have strong partnerships. Together, these three high-performing organizations have the proven ability of providing highly valued school choice options,” SBISD Superintendent of Schools Duncan F. Klussmann, Ed.D., said.
“We believe that we have much to learn from KIPP and YES Prep, and they have much to learn from us, as we all move forward together,” he also said.  But don’t you have anything to learn from Harmony?
“I believe this unique partnership between a successful traditional public school system and high-performing charter school systems will serve as a model for what is possible not just in Houston, Texas, but across the nation when educators collaborate and focus on the sacred promises that we have made to the children and community,” KIPP Houston Co-founder and Superintendent Mike Feinberg said.
“It is an incredible honor to partner with two organizations who believe that demographics need not define destiny and that one day all children will have access to a college education and the success of a college diploma,” Feinberg also said.
“YES Prep has always been open to innovative practices in efforts to increase the number of low income students who graduate from high school college-ready and prepared to persist through college. YES Prep, Spring Branch, and KIPP will each bring to the partnership their best practices. The partnership will maximize these strengths and leverage them to serve students at the highest level, and I firmly believe that the partnership will serve as a national model to meet the needs of underserved students across the nation,” said Jason Bernal, President of YES Prep.
Bernal added, “I am personally excited to be able to be part of this groundbreaking work and am committed to making sure that the partnership succeeds for the sake of the YES Prep, Spring Branch, and KIPP students that are all our children.”
Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Guided by the belief that every life has equal value, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation works to help all people lead healthy, productive lives. In developing countries, it focuses on improving people’s health and giving the chance to lift themselves out of hunger and extreme poverty. In the United States, it seeks to ensure that all people – especially those with the fewest resources – have access to the opportunities they need to succeed in school and life. Based in Seattle, Washington, the foundation is led by CEO Jeff Raikes and Co-chair William H. Gates Sr., under the direction of Bill and Melinda Gates and Warren Buffett. To read more about the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation’s education strategy: www.gatesfoundation.org/education  BUT WHERE IS HARMONY?
KIPP (Knowledge Is Power Program). KIPP Houston’s mission is to develop in underserved students the academic skills, intellectual habits and qualities of character necessary to succeed at all levels – prekindergarten through 12th grade, college and the competitive world beyond. Guiding the work of KIPP is a commitment established by its Co-Founder Mike Feinberg to teach students to “Work Hard and Be Nice.” To read more about KIPP Houston, please visit: http://kipphouston.org/ 
Spring Branch Independent School District (SBISD). Since the 1950s, SBISD has been nationally recognized as a top performing public school district in Texas and the nation. This highly diverse school district serves 33,000 students, including 57 percent who are impoverished or reside in low-income families. On the 2010 SAT, students in SBISD outpaced the state and nation in Reading scores. For the past decade, SBISD has offered families several schooling options, including district public charter schools Cornerstone Academy, a middle school, and Westchester Academy for International Studies (WAIS), a combined middle and high school. This fall, WAIS was named a national Blue Ribbon School. The Texas Education Agency (TEA) has rated Cornerstone as Exemplary, the state’s highest campus rating, since it opened. To read more about SBISD, please visit: www.springbranchisd.com
YES Prep. YES Prep’s mission is to dramatically increase the number of Houston low-income students who graduate from four-year colleges prepared to compete in the global marketplace and to give back to their communities. Under the direction of President Jason Bernal, YES Prep takes a comprehensive view of student development with an aim to prepare students for college graduation, while at the same time instilling core values of community service and good citizenship. To read more about YES Prep, please visit: http://yesprep.org/

Gulen Harmony Schools Accused of Being Linked to Muslim Movement

Congratulations to Harmony Science Academy for being in the news (again)
This will not stop until they have been 100% honest with Americans and with themselves.

By Jacqueline Crea - Multimedia Journalist
Thursday, December 8, 2011 - 10:09am
EL PASO- The Harmony Schools in Texas have been accused of indoctrinating Muslim religious beliefs in their curriculum.
The Harmony Schools are charter schools in Texas that focus on Math and Science. There are two in the El Paso area which have been attracting attention for their success rates with the students.
The Cosmos Foundation is the parent organization to the Harmony Schools. It is a charter school operator founded a decade by a group of professors and businessmen from Turkey. Cosmos has moved quickly to become the largest charter school operator in Texas, with 33 schools receiving more than $100 million a year in taxpayer funds.There are about 120 schools across the country that teach over 20,000 students.
 In the last few years, the schools have been garnering negative attention for their supposed link to the Gulen Movement, a Muslim following. Many of the staff and some of the founders of the schools are from Turkey and happen to be followers of Fethullah Gulen, a Turkish preacher of a moderate brand of Islam.
The Superintendent of the schools and one of the Co-founders, Soner Tarim, is a Turkish-American and came to the United States in the early 90's to study at Texas A&M. He says the schools do not reach religion at the schools. " Because I'm the head of the school people should not look at me and label the school...all of our teachers and parents know that we do not teach religion obviously, this is a public school."
Allene Helmick, a parent at Harmony Science Academy in El Paso, has been sending her son there for three years. She says she's completely satisfied with the school, but did do her research beforehand amidst the negative media attention."I am Christian and I would never send my child to a Muslim indoctrinated school because of course it's opposite of my belief," she said.
A recent graduate from Harmony Science Academy said the school prepared him for success. "The school prepared me well enough that I was able to go out there and apply for anything that I wanted because of the experience I got here," said Israel Castro. He is now a freshman at UTEP paid for by a full academic scholarship.
Not everyone in the school system is happy with Harmony. Donna Garner, a former teacher in Texas, has been studying these schools for years. She says the schools are a front for an Islamic movement. "They have brought in all these teachers from Turkey, how are they going to teach students about being a good solid American patriot, to learn about the U.S. Constitution, to honor our forefathers, to study the declaration of independence."
Tarim refutes this and says that some of the teachers are international, but 85% are hired locally.
Garner also recalled a situation at a Harmony School performance in Texas, when students stomped on an American Flag. Whether this is true or not, Harmony Schools insist that they do not teach any Anti-American beliefs.
Tarim say "We believe that math and science prepare our students for college for life so that they can be successful."

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Gulen Charter School -Lawsuit J.R. Johnson vs. Cosmos Foundation dba Harmony Science Academy

Lawsuit: J.R. Johnson vs. Cosmos Foundation and Solidarity Contracting

Page created Dec 3, 2011

On August 30, 2011, Mr. J.R. Johnson of Hico, Texas (a small town about 100 miles southwest of Dallas) filed a legal complaint with the District Court of Williamson County, Texas.  The complaint arises from a subcontract job that Mr. Johnson, doing business as Centex Construction, performed for Solidarity Contracting.  The job was performed on the building facilities of the Harmony School of Political Science in Austin, Texas, a publicly-funded Gulen charter school that opened in the fall of 2011.  These facilities are owned by the Cosmos Foundation, a Gulenist organization that is the charter holder of the chain of Harmony Public Schools.

In this complaint, Mr. Johnson contends that he is due $432,995.00, which he says is the unpaid remainder of the total amount he was owed for work performed in May and June 2011, relating to the stucco and facade of the building.  The work was completed on July 12, 2011, according to Mr. Johnson, who says he has been trying to collect payment since then.  Mr. Johnson's suit states that the amount in question is specified by the written contract and the change orders in connection with the job.

Mr. Johnson has indicated that the delay in payment is causing him considerable hardship and is having an adverse effect on his ability to take on new contracts.

The original complaint document can be downloaded here:

File Size:
351 kb
File Type:

_Background on Solidarity Contracting

Solidarity Contracting is a Texas company owned by Levent Ulusal.  This company was featured in an article in the Spring 2011 edition of the trade journal Construction Leaders Today.  The cover of that edition shows a photo of the Harmony School of Art and Technology in Houston, Texas, another Harmony Public School site for which Solidarity Contracting performed general contracting.  The article suggests that Ulusal had scant experience in the construction industry before he found himself in charge of general contracting for Texas public school buildings: "Ulusal earned his bachelor’s degree in civil engineering in his homeland of Turkey and came to the United States in 2000 to earn an MBA in corporate finance. He worked in investment banking and accounting for eight years, but has always been interested in construction. In 2009, Ulusal joined Solidarity and later bought the entire company."  

Several other statements in the article are noteworthy.  The line "About 60 percent of Solidarity’s business is repeat or word-of-mouth, including a newly completed building for North American College in Houston," likely refers to the fact that much of Solidarity's business comes from within the Gulen Movement network; North American College is also a Gulenist institution.  Another line of interest: "Solidarity does not employ many laborers; instead, the company subcontracts on most jobs."
Ties to Gulen Movement

Levent Ulusal of Solidarity Contracting has several Gulenist connections.  He is listed as a director of The Institute of International Commerce and Partnership (IICP) along with Yunus Dogan, Celil Yaka, Unal Cevak, and Fatih Yigit (source: website of Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts). 

Mr. Ulusal is described on the website of the Texas Turkish American Chamber of Commerce (TTACC) as Vice President.  The TTACC is listed on the website of the Turkic American Alliance (TAA) as one of its member organizations.  The TAA, formerly named the ATAF, was explicitly described in this New Jersey news article as the umbrella organization of the Gulen Movement in the United States.

Mr. Ulusal's connections to the Raindrop Turkish House (a.k.a. Raindrop Turkevi) and TUSKON, two other Gulenist organizations, are shown by the following quote from their website: "Members of the Raindrop Turkish House and Texas Turkish American Chamber of Commerce (TTACC) hosted Eli Cox, the chairman of the marketing department at the McCombs School of Business at University of Texas at Austin (UT) to discuss a possible collaboration between Raindrop Turkish House, TTACC, and UT's School of Business for business networking trip to Turkey.  ...  Levent Ulusal, the vice president of Texas Turkish-American Chamber of Commerce, made a presentation about the Texas Turkish-American Chamber of Commerce and Tuskon (short for Confederation of Businessmen and Industrialists of Turkey), which is currently the largest civic organization in Turkey with 15000 members." 

Connections of Mr. Ulusal's co-directors at the IICP further illustrate that he is part of a tightly-knit circle of businessmen with ties to the Gulen Movement and the Cosmos Foundation.

Fatih Yigit was listed as Secretary on at least one of the Cosmos Foundation's IRS Form 990s.

Celil Yaka, according to his Linked In Profile (accessed Dec 2011), is the President of the Texas Turkish American Chamber of Commerce, a Gulenist organization.  He is also Financial Manager at Helix Design & Production, LLC, which has produced websites for the Cosmos Foundation, Harmony Public Schools, and a number of other Gulenist organizations in Texas. 

Unal Cevak is associated with DNR Catering Services, a company that provides meals to Harmony Public Schools.  A June 6, 2006 article in the Houston Chronicle mentions Unal Cevak as the co-owner of DNR European Fast Food, and, interestingly, also mentions Inci Akpinar of Atlas Texas Construction and Trading as a patron (Ms. Akpinar was accused by charter school official Folwell Dunbar of offering him a bribe in connection with Abramson Science and Technology Charter School in Louisiana, as reported by the Times-Picayune.)

Atlas Texas Construction & Trading, Inc. has obtained millions of dollars in construction contract work from the Cosmos Foundation.  Yunus Dogan is the CEO of Atlas.  He is also on the advisory board of ISWEEEP, a Houston-based science "competition" run by the Cosmos Foundation.  Additionally, he is a director of Atlas Texas Food and Beverages LLC, along with Unal Cevak.  Atlas has provided meals to Harmony Public Schools, as mentioned in Stephanie Saul's June 6, 2011 New York Times article Charter Schools Tied to Turkey Grow in Texas.

Mr Johnson has attempted to obtain relief by appealing to the office of State Senator Eddie Lucio, Jr.  He has provided this website with a copy of the response he received, so that the public can be informed.  As an aside, it so happens that Eddie Lucio was a co-sponsor of Texas State Resolution 85, commending Fethullah Gulen.


From: Louie Sanchez <Louie.Sanchez@senate.state.tx.us>
Subject: FW: Harmony School - Austin
To: "Jr Johnson" <*****************>
Date: Monday, November 28, 2011, 1:36 PM

Took him 22 days to respond, but it’s a response… see below.

From: Soner Tarim
Sent: Thursday, November 24, 2011 7:13 PM
To: Louie Sanchez
Subject: RE: Harmony School - Austin

Dear Louie,

We have been following this issue through our lawyers who are placing great legal pressure to make the payment.

We are hoping this will result positively.  However it will take a while since lawyers are in the middle.  I will keep you inform as I learn more.

Thank you


Dr. Soner Tarim, CEO
Superintendent of Schools
Phone   : 713-343-3333 Ext. 205
Web      : www.harmonytx.org


From: Louie Sanchez [mailto:Louie.Sanchez@senate.state.tx.us]
Sent: Wednesday, November 02, 2011 9:36 PM
To: starim@harmonytx.org
Subject: Harmony School - Austin

Dr. Tarim:

I’d like to follow up with the matter you and I discussed last week regarding the lien on the Harmony School in Austin.  What is the current status?  Please advise.


LOUIE SANCHEZ | Chief of Staff
Texas Senate District 27
Chairman, Senate Committee on International Relations & Trade


Further updates regarding this case will be added as developments occur.


Enter "Cosmos" into the Grantee box select Search.

Instrument 2011054030 lists about 1 dozen laborer names and they are all Hispanic names. 

If these are illegal workers, then Harmony / Cosmos can try and beat them out of their pay.

there are 2 releases of mechanic liens filed (meaning they have been paid or payments are being made)

there is a lis pendens filed on the property , .a lis pendens blocks the property from a sale or other transactions UNTIL the debt is paid, which then a "release" would be filed.  "lis pendens - means a "lien" is pending on the property.

Is it right that a political science school is starting out with these unethical behaviors?  Is this the message we send to children, build a school and dup the laborers, suppliers and contractors out of their money?

Pacesetter Personnel Services                                                  $67,473.17
Kara Building Specilities                                                               4,756.75
Morrel Masonry Supply, Inc                                                   $137,856.67
J.R. Johnson dba Centex Const.                                             $432,995.00
American Drywal                                                                   $135,190.00
Champion Site Prep L.P. (John Gustanis)                                 $87,495.80
Arrow Glass & Mirror                                                           $129,806.36

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Gulen Charter School Harmony Science Academy and Sexual Misconduct Trial

Indecency with a child trial set to start for former teacher and actor
Posted: Nov 14, 2011 5:19 PM PST

By Noel Brennan
WACO - A former teacher and actor at a Waco theatre is set to go to trial for indecency with a child by contact.
Clifton Grasham-Reeves, 31, also faces five counts of sexual assault involving a 16 year-old girl. He is a former teacher at Waco's Harmony Science Academy and worked for Child Protective Services at one time as well.
Grasham-Reeves allegedly met the teenage girl last year while directing a play at the Waco Civic Theatre. Prosecutors allege Reeves knew the girl was underage, but he had sexual relations with her anyway.
On the night of February 5, 2010, Grasham-Reeves sent text messages to the girl and told her that his wife was out of town. He asked the girl to sneak out of her house so he could pick her up.
Grasham-Reeves then took the girl back to his Bellmead home where he is accused of sexually assaulting her. Court documents reveal that Grasham-Reeves and the girl met on several other occasions.
Attorneys spent much of Monday afternoon trying to pick a jury to start hearing arguments on Tuesday.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Gulen Charter Schools, Cosmos Foundation dba Harmony Public Schools attempts to "accept" construction bids

 Foreclosures and Public NoticesCosmos Foundation Inc., dba Harmony Public Schools will receive sealed proposals at the Central Office at 9321 W Sam Houston Pkwy S, 2nd floor, Houston, TX 77099 until Thursday, December 8, 2011 at 4:00 p.m. for construction of a new school building project in Dallas, TX. The construction documents, called "Harmony School of Business - Dallas, will be available as of Tuesday, Nov 8, 2011 and may be obtained from A&E- The Graphics Complex located in 4235 Richmond Avenue Houston TX 77027 Phone: 713 621 0022.The work comprises building construction, site development, including general construction, structural, mechanical, plumbing, and electrical work. For further information regarding the project, contact Project Manager Mustafa Yaykiran at (713) 343-3333 Ext.260 or myaykiran@harmonytx.org. The Owner reserves the right to reject any or all bids, to waive any informality in a bid, and to make awards in the best interest of the Owner. All proposals must be delivered by U.S. Postal mail, courier, or hand delivery to the Cosmos Foundation Central Office Secretary at the above address on or before the date and time set to receive proposals.Location: | Publication date: 11/11/11

Monday, November 7, 2011

Peggy Littleton on Gulen schools

Gulen Charter Schools Denied in Tennessee....dba Cosmos Foundation

Herenton is the former Mayor of Memphis who the Gulenist's Cosmos
Foundation (based out of Texas dba Harmony Science Academy) has
paid to represent them for opening new charters.

How much did Soner et al have to pay Herenton to be REJECTED?
Helpful hint to the Gulen Movement, if you are going to pay American
puppets to present your schools make sure they have a good reputation.

Tennessee people beware, The Gulen Movement is trying in Knoxville under ANOTHER
group (Iris Foundation)  Knoxville Charter Academy

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Texas Charter School Superintendants have meeting with public, Where is Soner?

photo of Superintendant (unlicensed) Soner Tarim with yet another photo opportunity with children.

Why was their a meeting on transparency regarding Texas Charter Schools and Soner (Harmony Science Academy)
was not invited?  Sorry Soner for you not getting invited to the meeting.  Nothing like being isolated by the TEA


Four area superintendents field questions about their schools

HOUSTON, TX - Charter school myths and realities are dispelled or underscored as four area superintendents

join a forum for charter school dialogue on Nov. 2 from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Harris County Department of
Education, 6300 Irvington Blvd.

“Charter Schools—from Competitor to Partner” equips attendees with facts about area charter schools.

The forum also provides answers about the differences between charter schools and traditional public schools.

Panelists include Duncan Klussmann, superintendent of Spring Branch Independent School District; Mike Feinberg,

 co-founder of KIPP (Knowledge Is Power Program) and superintendent of KIPP Houston; Jason Bernal, president of
YES Prep Public Schools; and Victoria Dunn, superintendent of the Girls and Boys Preparatory Academy charter. 
WHERE IS SONER?“Our guest superintendents give information about their schools, explain what makes their schools great in terms of
best practices and share the challenges of leading their schools,” said John Sawyer, Harris County Department of
Education county school superintendent.  BUT WAIT, WHERE IS SONER?The forum stresses the fact that charter schools are actually public schools. Best practices of charters schools are
outlined and leaders tell how those might be replicated in traditional public schools. Superintendents share how
they can partner with traditional public schools and not necessarily compete.  WHERE IS SONER?“Parents want what’s best for their children, and from choices come commitment and opportunity,” said KIPP
 co-founder Mike Feinberg. Feinberg is superintendent of KIPP Houston which he co-founded in 1994.
“We are honored to be one of those choices for families and continue to seek unique ways to collaborate

 with traditional public schools to support more opportunities for Houston’s children,” Feinberg said.

Questions about charter schools will be fielded from the audience after introductions from each superintendent.

BUT WAIT ........WHERE IS SONER?Cost for the forum is $10 and includes a box lunch. For information about registration,
 call (713) 696-0790 or e-mail schatmon@hcde-texas.org. To register through the Internet,
 access www.hcde-texas.org.

Gulen Charter Schools in the USA: America's Carlyle Group purchases Turkish Schools ...

Gulen Charter Schools in the USA: America's Carlyle Group purchases Turkish Schools ...: Who is worse? America's Caryle Group or the Gulen Movement? Eventually the Carlyle Group will own all of the schools in Turkey. Please ...

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Harmony Science Academy Students forced to scrub toilets

Ah the question remains:
Where is the Turkish Janitorial services that are contracted to clean the Harmony Science Academys?

by Jeremy Desel / KHOU 11 News
Posted on October 5, 2011 at 11:58 PMHOUSTON -- Parents of some students at the Harmony Science Academy Charter School in Northwest Harris County say their children were forced to clean restrooms as punishment.
Monica Lane said her daughter, Meagan, a fourth grade student at the school, was punished to Saturday school for getting five tardies. However, Lane said Meagan did not get not extra time in the classroom, but got time in the restroom.
"Yeah it was gross," said Meagan Dunn.
She was not alone, her mother said.
"Kids, as young as second grade, were scrubbing the toilets on Saturday," Lane said. "The baseboards and walls, and the door handles and the floors."
Meagan said the cleaning duties were done using just a disinfectant wipe and no gloves.
Administrators at the Harmony Science Academy issued a statement on the matter saying:
"Never under any circumstances is any student required or expected to clean the restrooms at any of our facilities."
The school said it encourages students to do chores to help them to care for their community. The school admitted that students did clean restrooms, but said it was just an inappropriate joke from a teacher taken literally by some students.
"How would you feel as a parent if your child was made to scrub the toilet without any kind of gloves, without any parent knowledge," Lane asked.
Beside the obvious cleanliness issues, Meagan’s parents wondered about the lost educational opportunity.
“That could have been a time for tutoring or going over some of the class work or something like that," said Lane.
HOUSTON -- Parents of some students at the Harmony Science Academy Charter School in Northwest Harris County say their children were forced to clean restrooms as punishment.
Monica Lane said her daughter, Meagan, a fourth grade student at the school, was punished to Saturday school for getting five tardies. However, Lane said Meagan did not get not extra time in the classroom, but got time in the restroom.
"Yeah it was gross," said Meagan Dunn.
She was not alone, her mother said. 
"Kids, as young as second grade, were scrubbing the toilets on Saturday," Lane said. "The baseboards and walls, and the door handles and the floors." 
Meagan said the cleaning duties were done using just a disinfectant wipe and no gloves.
Administrators at the Harmony Science Academy issued a statement on the matter saying: 
"Never under any circumstances is any student required or expected to clean the restrooms at any of our facilities."
The school said it encourages students to do chores to help them to care for their community. The school admitted that students did clean restrooms, but said it was just an inappropriate joke from a teacher taken literally by some students.
"How would you feel as a parent if your child was made to scrub the toilet without any kind of gloves, without any parent knowledge," Lane asked.
Beside the obvious cleanliness issues, Meagan's parents wondered about the lost educational opportunity.

Updated Thursday, Oct 6 at 9:47 AM

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Are Texas Turkish Charter Schools Really Public Schools?

great article with contribution from Peyton Wolcott

“Are Texas Turkish Charter Schools Really Public Schools?” 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.
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-of-care 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 Turkish owned 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 duty-of-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 DoLearn much, much more about the Harmony schools at http://www.peytonwolcott.com/.

Attribution for this article:

Texas Eagle Forum, October/November 2011 – Vol. 24, No. 7
President, Pat Carlson
For a subscription to the TORCH, please send $20 to: Texas Eagle Forum, P. O. Box 795354, Dallas, TX 75379
E-mail: torch@texaseagle.org
Web:  http://www.texaseagle.org/

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Gulen Charter Schools message from Anonymous-Expect Us!

American Football legion Deion Sanders approved for 2 charter schools PRIME U Academy, Texas

Deion Sanders Truth Academy try outs- Dallas
American Football Champ approved for 2 charter schools

Our boys from Turkey have some real competition in Dallas !! You can't get more American than football
"No jewelry, no earrings, no profanity," he says of house rules for his camp. "They have to go to Bible study. It's about respect."
Established players including Champ Bailey, Chad Johnson and Donte' Stallworth are among NFL veterans who have worked with Sanders during the off seasons; he expects several will lend a hand with the draft hopefuls.
Despite the politics in play, former Dallas Cowboy superstar and athlete, Deion Sanders, was able to overcome his celebrity status to make a victory tweet that his  charter school application for "Prime Prime Prep Academy,"  in DFW was approved Friday, September 16. The name of his academy is a play on the name everyone who knew Deion will recognize, "Prime Time"  Sanders.
Sanders was jubilant, announcing on Twitter and  friends such as SnoopDogg quickly added their  shout-outs :
Misgivings, regarding the celebrity of the star,  and his endeavor to establish a charter school with  two campuses in the Forth Worth area for between 650 and 1,000 students at each - came from both Republicans and Democrats with Mavis Knight, D-Dallas,  acknowledging that she had to "wrestle with myself to keep from penalizing opportunities for students because of the celebrity involved" but adding that she was  hopeful that "there are probably more resources" coming to the students because of it, reported the Texas Tribune.
A little farther from home,  Republican Thomas Ratliff,  who represents Mount Pleasant, made  the caustic remark that  he didn't want to see  the charter application process evolve into  a "celebrity-of-the-month club."
In the end, Sanders' dream of  a charter school which would tie education and sports together for K-12, prevailed.  Read how Sanders described his inspiration and hopes for the charter school to the Dallas Morning News.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Gulen's Harmony School of Political Science to teach American children Turkish Politics

Turkish politics and democracy is a worldwide joke.  Now the Gulen Schools will be teaching Political Science and Communication.  The world knows about Gulen's brand of Freedom of Speech and the arrest of 60 Turkish Journalists.

Austin, Texas

Note the obvious Turkish design of the American School

Monday, September 5, 2011

FBI probe of Gulen may include other Cosmos Foundation schools

FBI probe of Gülen may include Abramson, Kenilworth


From LouisanaVoice – politics at it’s worst

BATON ROUGE (CNS)—There is a common thread that links the Louisiana Recovery School District (RSD), former RSD Superintendent Paul Vallas, RSD-North Superintendent LaVonne Sheffield, Ph.D., and the Fethullah Gülen network of 155 charter schools scattered throughout 28 states, including at least two in Louisiana.
That common thread is the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
Sheffield, who headed the RSD-North from June 2009 to July 2010, was brought to Baton Rouge by Vallas at a salary of $200,000. She previously worked under Vallas as Chief Accountability Officer for the School District of Philadelphia (SDP) from June of 2004 to July 2008.
She was an unsuccessful candidate for the position of superintendent of East Baton Rouge Parish schools in January of 2009 and was hired as superintendent of the Rockford, Illinois, Public School District later in 2009. She resigned in April of this year halfway through her contract.
While working for Vallas in Philadelphia, an audit by the Office of Inspector General (OIG) for the U.S. Department of Education (DOE) determined that nearly $138.4 million in grant funds were either unallowable or inadequately documented. The audit also determined that SDP should return almost $17.7 million in unallowable costs to DOE.
Before that, Sheffield was employed as Chief Academic Officer for the Detroit Public School System from February 2002 to July 2003. While there, she ran up thousands of dollars of charges to her district-issued charge card while on her wedding trip to Las Vegas, records show.
She also worked from December 1993 to May 2000 as Chief of Staff to Cleveland Mayor Michael White and also served as Director of the Department of Port Control and as manager of the $1.4 billion Cleveland Hopkins International Airport expansion project. While there, both she and White were implicated but never charged in an FBI investigation into widespread bribery in the city administration, including the port and airport project.
Both she and Vallas have departed the Louisiana RSD, but the presence of the FBI lingers.
Reports indicate the agency is conducting another investigation, this one into recent revelations about the Abramson Science and Technology Charter School in New Orleans and the Kenilworth Science and Technology Charter School in Baton Rouge.
Both schools were operated by Pelican Education Foundation in New Orleans until Abramson’s charter was revoked last month. Pelican is affiliated with Atlas Texas Construction and Trading of Houston. Atlas also operates 38 charter schools in several Texas cities through Cosmos Foundation under the auspices of Harmony Public Schools.
Atlas and Cosmos are all linked to Fethullah Gülen and his network of schools that operate under such innocuous names as Magnolia, Sweetwater, Pioneer, Horizon, Noble, Dove, Bluebonnet, Beehive, Truebright, and, of course, Pelican and Harmony.
The federal investigation, according to the Philadelphia Inquirer, does not involve links to terrorism, but centers on charges that the organization uses taxpayer money to bring teachers to this country from Turkey and other countries who are members of the religious group and then requires the teachers to kick back up to 60 percent of their salaries to Gülen’s Hizmet movement.
The Gülen-run schools receive taxpayer funding and also receive private financial support, much of it from the Walton Family, owners of Wal-Mart. The Walton Family Foundation, for example, provided $230,000 in funding for Abramson as recently as 2007.
Gülen, who was forced to flee his native Turkey in 1998 after being charged with attempting to overthrow the secular Turkish government, now resides in a mountain fortress in the Pocono Mountains of Pennsylvania.
He was granted a permanent residency visa as an “alien of extraordinary ability” and as “a leader of award-winning schools for underserved children around the world,” according to his attorneys, even though he does not hold a high school diploma. Now, however, in an effort to ward off investigations, he claims that neither he nor his movement have an affiliation with the charter schools.
The investigations of Gülen and his organization, which federal officials have refused to confirm or deny, are being coordinated by prosecutors in Pennsylvania’s Middle district in Scranton, and involve hundreds of Gülen charter school members nationwide.
Ostensibly, that would include the two Pelican-run schools in New Orleans and Baton Rouge.