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, August 6, 2011
Gulen Charter Schools - Louisana Schools, closed to Pelican Educational Foundation (Cosmos Foundation)
NEWS IN LOUISANA, TEACHERS TESTIFY AGAINST ABRAMSON
ACTUAL REPORT TO THE STATE BOARD OF EDUCATION
Pelican Educational Foundation aka Cosmos Foundation DENIED a restraining order barring the SBOE from ousting them from Abramson Science and Technology.
BESE votes to rescind charter for Abramson Science and Technology School
Published: Thursday, August 04, 2011, 8:00 AM
By Andrew Vanacore, The Times-Picayune NOLA.com
The state board of education voted Wednesday to revoke its contract with Abramson Science and Technology Charter School in eastern New Orleans, a step that will mean new management for the school and a potential legal battle with the nonprofit group that has run the campus until now.
The Pelican Educational Foundation, which founded the charter school in 2007, lost its right to operate the school by a 6-1 vote at the state Board of Elementary and Secondary Education, or BESE, after a marathon six-hour meeting.
That doesn't mean the school won't open for the new academic year as scheduled next week. The state-run Recovery School District plans to take over management of the school and hold on to as many of the staff members as possible.
Attorneys for Pelican have already said they plan to challenge BESE's decision in court, arguing they were not given a fair chance to make their case.
But BESE decided to vote with the recommendation of acting State Superintendent Ollie Tyler, who told the board that early findings of a state investigation launched last month showed "a threat to the safety, health and welfare of students at Abramson."
Tyler ordered the investigation July 14 after questions surfaced about the school's handling of an alleged sexual encounter between two kindergarten students in a school bathroom this spring. A few days later, the state raised another case, this one a rape allegation involving another student.
The case added to concerns raised by a group of teachers who contacted the state department of education more than a year ago over allegations of cheating on science fair competitions, a lack of resources for special needs students and other issues, all of which the school has vehemently denied. On top of that, one of the state officials looking into the initial claims last year wrote to colleagues about an attempt by someone associated with the school to offer him a bribe, an incident the school also says never happened.
In her recommendation to the board Wednesday, Tyler cited evidence that Abramson administrators had failed to properly follow up on several alleged sexual incidents between students on the school's campus, while Pelican and its attorneys argued that school officials "did everything appropriately and by the book."
Dozens of parents and other supporters of the school piled into the board's meeting Wednesday, sporting red Abramson shirts and giving loud applause for speakers who took the microphone to defend the school during a public comment period.
Tensions over oversight
The meeting also brought out some of the political dimensions of the case. Since shortly after Hurricane Katrina, when the RSD took over a majority of New Orleans schools, the city has been heading toward a system made up almost entirely of charters, which enjoy greater independence from the state than traditional schools. The district, including Abramson, has seen steady gains, improving test scores, attendance and dropout rates at a faster pace than the rest of the state.
But some of the more vocal critics of the schools makeover have used the Abramson case to point out what they say are broader deficiencies in the way BESE and the department of education handles oversight.
"This is an issue of accountability and consistency and due process," said Cynthia Willard Lewis, a Democratic state senator who represents eastern New Orleans. "There has been a tremendous failure that is shared by the RSD for its lack of policy protocol and monitoring."
Linda Johnson, a BESE member from Plaquemine and part of a minority wing on the board that has been more skeptical of the RSD's reform efforts, offered a motion Wednesday asking the state for a more detailed outline of who is responsible for keeping an eye on charters. That motion passed.
A joint memo from the department of education and the RSD released earlier this week outlined a reorganization that's already under way. RSD Superintendent John White, who took over in May, explained that the new setup will put more oversight responsibility on RSD personnel, who are closer to the ground than staffers based in Baton Rouge.
White and the RSD are now in a position of having to open Abramson on relatively short notice. District officials have said they plan to bring in a new set of principals for the K-12 school.
'Smooth school opening'
In a letter that went out Wednesday evening, White invited parents and guardians to orientation meetings scheduled for Monday and Tuesday of next week in Abramson's cafeteria.
"We are committed to ensuring a smooth school opening for your child," White said in the letter, assuring parents that the school's curriculum won't change, bus service will continue and staff will be hired back.
At Wednesday's meeting, a number of parents spoke to defend Pelican's management of the school. "Abramson was a terrible school" before Katrina and the reform movement that followed, argued Robert Robertson. "The school is safe, and the students are getting a quality education."
However, one parent, the mother of one of the students involved in an alleged sexual incident raised by the state, urged the board to revoke Pelican's contract.
The parent, whose name is not being published by The Times-Picayune to avoid identifying her child publicly, said she was not informed the first time her 5-year-old was caught in what appeared to the child's teacher to be a sexual encounter with another student.
"I am here today because I want to share my experience with you," she said, stifling sobs, "so the Pelican Educational Foundation is prevented from operating any school."
Pelican's attorneys have argued the school investigated the incident and found no evidence it involved any improper sexual advance, though they acknowledged that a second incident occurred among the same students that was in fact sexually inappropriate.
BESE President Penny Dastugue, who voted to revoke Pelican's charter, ultimately agreed with the state department of education in seeing a pattern at the school of mishandling such cases.
"There were multiple instances of what I thought were failures to investigate and provide proper supervision," Dastugue said. "There was in my mind ample evidence that there were very severe safety, health and welfare issues."
The only dissenting vote came from Louella Givens, who represents New Orleans. Givens said comments from the parents Wednesday's meeting convinced her that the school should be given a chance to shape up.
Pelican will be asking a judge in state district court in East Baton Rouge to see it that way also. Not only is the group arguing that Abramson is a better school that has been portrayed, it is asking a judge to reverse BESE's decision as an "illegal" act.
Ben Slater, a lawyer with Lemle & Kelleher, said after the meeting that Pelican hasn't decided whether to go back to court and ask a judge to move up a hearing that's already been scheduled for next Thursday, a day after the school year is set to begin.