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
Saturday, April 30, 2011
Harmony Science Academy- Gulen sponsored Trip to Turkey discussed at Texas Budget Source
The signs of financial crisis flashed everywhere for Austin Independent School District leaders.
A drop in property values hit its revenue stream between 2009 and 2010 and they expected lower state aid in 2012-13.
The district has now declared financial exigency and cut $94 million from its budget.
The Austin-American Statesman recently chastised Superintendent Meria Carstarphen in an editorial for botching a move to consider early retirement incentives in Austin ISD. She responded that those incentives will be too costly to the district. Yet, Board President Mark Williams admitted the missteps and the incentives should have been brought up in January.
Perhaps Austin ISD leaders should give more scrutiny to teachers they let go.
Austin ISD’s 2011 “Teacher of the Year” spoke at the recent “Save Our Schools” rally at the State Capitol. She said she and other “excellent teachers” have received notices they could lose their jobs.
No one doubts this is a stressful time in Austin ISD. But it’s becoming obvious that on big issues, important details elude the leadership.
Consider the “free” trip halfway around the world that Carstarphen and 10 other district curriculum directors and teachers took between December 14 and December 23, 2010.
Austin ISD had a responsibility to do their due diligence – even for a “free” trip, but they did not do it.
Austin ISD has a new relationship with Raindrop Turkish House (RTH), which will assist district staff in creating a curriculum on Turkey. This should assist teachers in preparing students for certain questions on state assessment tests.
It seemed obvious that completing their due diligence was the least taxpayers deserved.
However, Austin ISD was enthusiastic about the trip to Turkey. That enthusiasm extended from the superintendent to the board. Carstarphen and Board President Mark Williams did not respond to repeated requests for an interview.
At one time 12 administrators and teachers were scheduled for the trip. However, 11 people made the trip before Christmas. The Austin Aztex soccer team gave Austin ISD $14,400 to cover the cost for airfares, meals, parking, visas, and other incidentals for Austin ISD leaders and staff to make the trip to Turkey and back. RTH paid for the stay and activities in Turkey, with included meetings at schools that had some madrassas, Islamic religious schools.
Now, RTH in Houston and Austin will assist Austin ISD in drafting a curriculum design, resources and instruction.
The RTH is connected to Fethullah Gulen, a Turkish imam who exiled himself to Saylorsburg, Pa. in 1999 under armed guard. Saylorsburg, Pa. is in Northeastern Pennsylvania near the Pocono Mountains. Gulen exiled himself because he faced charges of trying to overthrow the Turkish government. It is believed Gulen, who is a billionaire with a vast network of organizations and schools, including charter schools throughout the world and in the U.S., wants to restore the Ottoman Empire to Turkey.
Gulen has more than 80 charter schools nationwide, and in Texas more than 30 affiliated with the Cosmos Foundation, which also is a Gulen organization.
This trip’s clearest connection to Gulen is a photograph taken of a few people from the Texas delegation while they were in Turkey. A picture and article of the Texas visitors appeared during their trip in Today’s Zaman, the English language version of the Gulen newspaper. Today’s Zaman’s U.S. correspondent has acknowledged the publication is Gulenist.
Many of Gulen’s organizations, including RTH and the Cosmos Foundation, have noble goals: open dialogue with people of different faiths and its charter schools.
However, foreign policy experts who have watched events in Turkey say there are reasons for concern.
One person is Michael Rubin, who worked as a Pentagon staff adviser on Iran and Iraq from 2002-04 in the administration of former President George W. Bush. Rubin is a resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute.
Rubin described Gulen as “controversial,” “secretive,” and a man who “operates a number of front groups.”
Additionally, multiple cables from the U.S. State Department express concerns about Gulen because he is less than transparent about his goals. The State Department is no bastion of conservatism.
In an e-mail response, Austin ISD dismissed the need to check out RTH by not even answering a couple of questions. Again, the superintendent did not respond to repeated requests for an interview.
The trip to Turkey likely will benefit those who went – and it will benefit the preparation of Austin students for future state tests.
However, the trip in December – in light of the financial crisis confronting Austin ISD – displays the epitome of tone deafness. Why would you travel halfway around the world with a financial crisis of this magnitude?
Additionally, the lack of due diligence on Gulen reveals that on the big issues the big details get overlooked. Perhaps some important financial questions were overlooked because the district’s leader was out of the country for 10 days just before Christmas.
Austin ISD will get their new Turkey curriculum, but at what price?
There were enough red flags about Gulen. All they had to do was look and ask some probing questions.