Sonoran Science Academy - Tucson


NOTE: The Sonoran Science Academy has been identified as a Gulen charter school.


FOREIGNERS FILL RANKS OF LOCAL CHARTER- SCHOOL CHAIN; April 25, 2010; Arizona Daily Star 
Tucson's Sonoran Science Academy and its sister schools import an unusually large proportion of their staff from foreign countries, especially Turkey, in a practice that parallels the customs of an important Turkish religious-political movement.

The five Sonoran Science Academy charter schools and their parent company, Daisy Education Corp., received U.S. Labor Department certification to fill 39 teaching and administrative jobs with foreigners last year, federal data show. From 2002 through 2009, the schools have received certifications for 120 H-1B visas.

That's more certifications than any comparable school in Arizona received in that eight-year period - and more than the six biggest school districts in Southern Arizona combined…

Some experts point to a different possible explanation: that Sonoran Science Academy is part of a loose global network of Turkish-run schools - 100 or more in the United States - inspired by Fethullah Gülen, who lives in exile in Pennsylvania. Worldwide, "Gülen schools" tend to hire teachers from Turkey and the broader "Turkic" world, including Central Asia, and their schools emphasize math, science and Turkish culture, scholars said.

"The schools are the basic avenue to build the Turkish community in America," said Hakan Yavuz, a political science professor at the University of Utah who co-authored the 2003 book "Turkish Islam and the Secular State: The Gülen Movement."

[Principal Ozkur] Yildiz would not break down the schools' staffs by nationality or visa status, but a review of the books of résumés on file at three Tucson Sonoran-Science campuses painted a rough picture. Among 79 current and past staff members whose résumés were on file, about 32 percent were educated in Turkey, while 60 percent were educated in the United States. 

The Sonoran Science Academy schools emphasize Turkish culture in a way that surprises some parents.

Turkish is one of two languages taught at the school, along with Spanish, and a semester of each is required for sixth graders, parents said. Even the preschoolers at the Daisy Early Learning Academy are taught Turkish language and customs.

Students are encouraged to compete in the Turkish-language olympics in California against students from other Turkish-run charter schools. And a trip to Europe is offered every year, which may include France, or Germany or another European nation, but always includes Turkey…

It was all a bit much for Cynthia Corrales, who graduated from Sonoran Science Academy last year.

"I understand we have people from other cultures and countries, but I mean, a whole school run by Turkish people? It was really weird," Corrales said…

Three Turkish professionals living in Tucson founded Sonoran Science Academy in 2001. One, Nasuhi Yurt, was studying optical sciences at the University of Arizona at the time.

"It occurred to us we could help in the community while I was there," he said. "We heard about this charter school idea, a couple friends got together."

The result was Sonoran Science Academy.

It may seem a singular story, but Turkish scholars, scientists and technology professionals were doing the same thing around the United States in the last decade. Harmony Science Academy was born in Texas, Magnolia Science Academy in California, Coral Academy of Science in Nevada and Beehive Science & Technology Academy in Utah, among many others.

The Turkish-run schools in the West, including Sonoran Science Academy, contract with the Accord Institute, a nonprofit in Tustin, Calif., also run by Turks, for curriculum and other services. Turkish teachers and administrators circulate frequently among the schools…

Scholars Jill Carroll and Hakan Yavuz believe the schools are all inspired by Turkish Islamic leader Fethullah Gülen and follow the model he established three decades ago.

Yavuz, the University of Utah professor, said the schools may provide excellent science-and-math education, but there is another motive to their founding.

"They think they need to create a Turkish base, a social network. They get green cards, they become citizens. They have marriages, kids," said Yavuz, who is from Turkey. "You're seeing a long-term vision of creating a more powerful Turkish community in America."…

While Yildiz denied Sonoran Science Academy is affiliated with the movement, one of Sonoran Science Academy's founders, Nasuhi Yurt, left Tucson in 2005 for Ebru TV, a Gülen movement network based in New Jersey.

Ali Unver, president of Paragon Education Corp. in Chandler - a Sonoran Science sister school - told a Las Vegas Review-Journal columnist "about the noted Turkish preacher and scholar M. Fethullah Gülen," during a dinner there in November.

When a Sonoran Science student competed in a Turkish competition in California, he recited a poem by Gülen called "Hic," a piece recommended by his teacher. A video of his performance, and those of other Sonoran Science students, can be viewed on the "Gülen Movement channel" on YouTube, and were recounted in Gülen's newspapers in Turkey.

And Gülen himself, a powerful political force in Turkey, claimed responsibility for U.S. schools in a 2007 lawsuit against the Homeland Security Department as part of his effort to gain permanent residence…
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

No one can knock the numbers. In recent years, students at Tucson's Sonoran Science Academy have secured stellar scores in math, science and other categories. The academy has earned glowing mentions in national magazines such as U.S. News and World Report, and in 2009, was deemed Charter School of the Year by the Arizona Charter School Association.

But some parents of children who attend the academy on West Sunset Road believe it harbors goals reaching far beyond academia. They suspect the Sonoran Academy of being part of a confederation of learning institutions secretly linked to, and advancing, the cause of Turkish scholar and Islamic preacher Fethullah Gülen.

While most of those parents have resisted coming forward, fearing reprisal from an organization they say is known to target critics, one parent did agree to speak to the Weekly if we pledged to keep her identity hidden. The parent says she represents others at the academy who've become suspicious about the striking similarities of its educational programs to those of other schools around the United States which are operated by Turkish-born staff members...

Fatih Karatas is principal of the academy's middle school. He calls such claims ridiculous.

"We don't have any kind of connections or any kind of relations with that movement or group. A public school can not be affiliated in any way with other institutions or groups because of the regulations, because of the charters."

He also says his school has a diverse staff, native to countries ranging from Turkey to Mexico, which he considers a benefit. "But we're not promoting a certain ideology. ... These are defamatory allegations that are not based on any proof or evidence."

Still, the Sonoran Academy isn't the first Turkish-American-run charter school in United States to be accused of links to Gülen. Parents at the Beehive Science and Technology Academy in Holladay, Utah, have also raised concerns that their school is linked to this movement. And according The Salt Lake Tribune, one Beehive teacher was fired when his lesson plan about World War II and the Holocaust prompted a discussion in which the school's principal purportedly questioned that genocide...

Evidence of the affiliation between the Gulen Movement and the Sonoran Science Academy is found HERE.

41 comments:

The Perimeter Primate said...

http://www.fethullahgulen.org/component/search/Leyla%2BKayumova.html?ordering=&searchphrase=all

The Perimeter Primate said...

"Muslim radical lives in the Poconos -- but it's not what you think," April 18, 2010, Pocono Record (Stroudsburg, PA)

http://www.poconorecord.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20100418/NEWS/4180350/0/rss01


"Fethullah Gülen remains a radical figure for many Muslims," April 27,2010, Pocono Record (Stroudsburg, PA)

http://www.poconorecord.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20100427/NEWS/4270328/-1/rss01

The Perimeter Primate said...

http://www.fethullah-gulen.org/op-ed/gulen-schools.html

In this piece, the word charter school is never used but the description definitely fits the schools in this network. Excerpts:

- Then I looked at the teaching methods or the curriculum at these schools in order to come up with a set of principles that constitute the design of Gulen Inspired Schools.

-...he (Gulen)is not directly involved with any of these schools except one or two he visited in Turkey

- Gulen disapproves naming the institutions established for education, charity or dialogue as Gulen Institutions or Gulen Movement in its entirety.

- The common language used in all schools is English, that is, almost all subject areas are taught in English. The educators do not only teach basic math, science and technology, but go the extra mile, and help students to attend international math-science fairs and competitions. Most students at Gulen Inspired Schools are decorated with medals from International Science and Technology Olympiads [visit the websites of the schools and look at the home pages, where such participation is posted].

- these schools do integrate the modern sciences and technology with the traditional wisdom. Educators at these schools utilize both the modern concepts and traditional methods together in order to educate the whole-child. The curriculum is designed around the state-of-the-art technology and sciences whereas the extracurricular activities expose the children to global ethical and moral values.

- motivation of the entrepreneurs establishing these schools can best be articulated by the concept of sincerity, as they are not pursuing any missionary goals or any hidden agenda, but only actualizing the basic principles of charity and reaching out to others.

- Most of the Gulen Inspired Schools are run by non-profit organizations supported by donations from decent, honest, hard working businessmen. [for example, read the articles about Beehive school in Utah to learn about the private contributions that it received]

- Most teachers travel to far distant countries and cities, some to places that they have never even heard of. Some work in very poor conditions on minimal wage. Some do have the appropriate facilities but not all. But they all do volunteer in after hours and help with extracurricular activities, and none give up due to any of the obstacles that come with this territory. Some have switched careers to education from engineering or social sciences, so they continue on learning new methods and ways to improve their teaching. [the primary career theme in the bios of board members is engineering]

The Perimeter Primate said...

http://www.guleninstitute.org/index.php/Opinions/Gulen-inspired-schools-and-SMOs-by-Muhammed-Cetin.html

GÜLEN-INSPIRED SCHOOLS AND SMOS by Muhammed Cetin (December 9, 2009)

Excerpts:
- The adversarial coverage has brought the schools, their financial accountability and leadership to the fore, displaying them in a negative light.

- Probably because of its transnational growth since the 1990s, the financing of the Gülen movement is occasionally queried in newspaper and journal articles. There has been little detailed study of the finance issue, but all academic research on this issue so far has made clear that each institution and project network in the movement is legitimate and transparent in book-keeping and accounting and that all financial management is done at the local level and subject to local regulatory inspection.

The Perimeter Primate said...

Paper delivered by Sheryl Santos on Saturday, November 4, 2006 at the Second International Conference on Islam in the Contemporary World: The Fethulla Gulen movement in Thought and Practice (http://www.fethullahgulenconference.org/oklahoma/program.php) . Santos was the dean of the College of Education at Texas Tech at the time (2003-2009). From the tone and content of the paper, she appears to be a Gülen follower. Note the reference to charter schools and how the educational philosophy meshes with that of the Turk-run schools.

Excerpts (http://www.fethullahgulen.org/conference-papers/the-fethullah-gulen-movement-iii/3476-the-urgency-of-educational-reform-in-the-united-states-of-america-lessons-learned-from-fethullah-gulen.html)

- So, it is very difficult to imagine that a nation such as the United States, with a decentralized education system in which each state operates its schools independently, will ever achieve consensus about what and how children are to learn. However, based upon the writings and teachings of the imminent Turkish Islamic scholar and philosopher, M. Fethullah Gülen, I feel compelled to make the case for a higher order of thinking to pervade all educational institutions in United States.

- It is believed that there are about 700 Gülen inspired schools throughout the world.

- Nevertheless, I believe that all public schools, including public charter schools serving a diversity of students, can benefit from the prototype and the philosophical underpinnings of Gülen inspired schools.

- Another important feature of Gülen educational philosophy is that science and technology do not have to be divorced from one's spirituality or faith. Hence, there is a heavy emphasis on technology and science in these schools around the world. Gülen inspired schools participate in science fairs and competitions throughout the world, oftentimes with great success. A case in point is the Willow International School (aka Turkish College) in Mozambique. [the name "Willow" is also used or the EMO in California. Note the board members: http://we-team.org/about/about.html]

- Gülen's ideas about the role of science and its connection to the Divine laws of the Creator are completely consonant with the totality of his views about education.

- I am not certain how, or if, one's attitudes about science is limiting the choice of academic majors in the U.S., but it is observable that many professors of engineering and the hard sciences in American universities were international students prior to employment. Also, there is a severe shortage of science and math teachers in the United States as well, and tests reveal that students are not excelling in the public schools in these subject matter disciplines.

The Perimeter Primate said...

http://www.guleninstitute.org/index.php/About-Us.html

The Gülen Institute at the University of Houston

The Perimeter Primate said...

This reporter has further investigated the connections.

http://azstarnet.com/news/science/environment/article_dec199db-be3f-5519-be3d-f6ad970db1f8.html

Excerpt:

Gülen started his first schools in Turkey in the early 1980s and established a focus on science and technology. He left out religion because Turkey's secular government would not permit it in schools. After the fall of the Soviet Union, Gülen's followers established hundreds of schools in the newly independent Central Asian countries, attempting to rekindle a Turkish cultural kinship there.

The schools spread to Europe, Africa and, since about 2000, to the United States, seizing charter-school opportunities arising around the country.

Yavuz, the University of Utah professor, said the schools may provide excellent science-and-math education, but there is another motive to their founding.

"They think they need to create a Turkish base, a social network. They get green cards, they become citizens. They have marriages, kids," said Yavuz, who is from Turkey. "You're seeing a long-term vision of creating a more powerful Turkish community in America."

Carroll sees the motives as benign. It's an open-minded movement focused on reconciling Islam and other faiths, as well as melding Islamic belief and scientific pursuits.

"I don't think the goal of the Gülen movement is to spread Turkishism around the world," she said. "But as an immigrant community here, they are interested in strengthening themselves by being acknowledged in the community."

While Yildiz denied Sonoran Science Academy is affiliated with the movement, one of Sonoran Science Academy's founders, Nasuhi Yurt, left Tucson in 2005 for Ebru TV, a Gülen movement network based in New Jersey.

Ali Unver, president of Paragon Education Corp. in Chandler - a Sonoran Science sister school - told a Las Vegas Review-Journal columnist "about the noted Turkish preacher and scholar M. Fethullah Gülen," during a dinner there in November.

When a Sonoran Science student competed in a Turkish competition in California, he recited a poem by Gülen called "Hic," a piece recommended by his teacher. A video of his performance, and those of other Sonoran Science students, can be viewed on the "Gülen Movement channel" on YouTube, and were recounted in Gülen's newspapers in Turkey.

And Gülen himself, a powerful political force in Turkey, claimed responsibility for U.S. schools in a 2007 lawsuit against the Homeland Security Department as part of his effort to gain permanent residence.

His argument in that lawsuit was that he was a person of exceptional ability in the field of education. Among Gülen's accomplishments, his attorneys argued, were that he "has overseen the establishment of a conglomeration of schools throughout the world, in Europe, Central Asia, and the United States."

The Perimeter Primate said...

Read the set of questions + responses that the above reporter asked the superintendent of the Tucson school (Ozkur Yildiz who himself once worked at the Bay Area Technology School in Oakland).


Excerpt:

Q.7: What explains the fact that many of your Turkish employees come from other schools run by
Turks or go to other schools run by Turks? For example, Ercan Aydogdu was principal of SSA and now is principal of the Bay Area Technology School in Oakland. Another example: Murat Biyik was a math teacher at SSA, became a vice principal and math teacher at Beehive Academy in Utah, was principal of a Magnolia Science Academy in Hollywood, went on to work at the Accord Institute and now is back at Beehive. "


http://azstarnet.com/news/blogs/senor-reporter/pdf_6ecf8ae4-5157-11df-8aed-001cc4c03286.html

The Perimeter Primate said...

Here’s the Gülen Movement channel on YouTube

http://www.youtube.com/user/GulenMovement

And watch this video to see Oakland's Bay Area Technology Charter School kids as they compete against other kids who are also attending charter schools in the network at the Turkish Language Olympics organized by the Pacifica Institute based in California. The clip is from March 2009. These types of events are held for the network’s charter schools across the country. Just google “Turkish Olympiad.”

http://www.youtube.com/user/GulenMovement#p/a/u/0/4QMV_BZwcYc

Charter schools: your unmonitored public tax dollars at work.

The Perimeter Primate said...

http://www.kurdishaspect.com/doc0722609AM.html

Excerpt:

Gulen’s followers offer scholarships targeting minorities, especially African – American college students who want to study in Turkey. His supporters use the race card to target African Americans because of the historicity of slavery, and they claim that Islam does not welcome slavery and that there is no racism under the tenets of Islam. Using that rationale to recruit Blacks, Latinos, Native Americans, and other minorities in the USA, Gülen also notices that the African- American community is on the rise in its place in the American society. However, back in early 90s during his first trip to USA, Gülen claimed that America would be destroyed by the African – Americans. Now, however, racial dynamics have changed, particularly solidified by the election of President Obama.

and

Gülen has opened more than 90 charter schools in almost every state in the USA. One wonders why? What kind of history do they teach? What is their purpose?

The Perimeter Primate said...

Tucson Weekly Police Dispatch, July 24, 2003

http://www.tucsonweekly.com/tucson/police-dispatch/Content?oid=1072752

Closets are for Clothes
West Ina Road and North La Cholla Boulevard, July 3, 10:40 a.m.

Students at a local school complained to a teacher that one of her colleagues repeatedly shut them in a closet, according to report from the Pima County Sheriff's Department.

One day, a student reportedly made a comment to a female teacher about being detained in a male teacher's classroom closet at the Sonoran Science Academy, 2131 W. Ina Road. At first, the woman thought the boy--a known prankster--was joking, the record said.

Later, the boy commented about being stationed in the closet a little more than 90 minutes by the same man, the female teacher alleged. This time, she said, she asked the boy if he was sincere.
At this point, about six other students reportedly claimed they had either been placed in the closet by the male teacher or had seen him put someone in it.

The female teacher informed authorities that both she and the male teacher's closets have desks in them. The students reportedly told her that they were shut in there with instructions not to sit down, turn on the light or open the door--which, she said, doesn't have a lock.

The woman told authorities a child developed asthma from, she believed, either being locked in the closet or being threatened with it. She reportedly expressed concern for all the children at the school.

The female teacher was given a case number and the phone number to the Criminal Investigations Division.

Anonymous said...

Taking the 1st amendment in my own hands - harmonyparent.com. Paranoiacs won't be there alone anymore. FEAR ME!

I soon will be publishing a post on Bill Gates. Read that. http://www.harmonyparent.com

Wasn'tExpectingThis said...

I've been following this blog for some time, and felt really overwhelmed with the complexity of it all. But this last comment threatening "fear me" in capital letters no less has me thinking there must be something a whole lot deeper to this than just a disagreement about whether charter schools are good or not.I've seen many arguments about charters, teachers unions and all those issues and the rhetoric got heated but nobody ever actually threatened anyone else personally. I'm even wondering if law enforcement is going to have to get involved. Something just really does not feel right here.

ohohmrbill said...

yep, that is what they do. I have been physically threatened by a teacher who works at SSA on a comment board also. Why would any one send there kid to a school like this ??

Anonymous said...

yep, that is what they do. I have been physically threatened by a teacher who works at SSA on a comment board also. Why would any one send there kid to a school like this ??

ohohmrbill said...

Yep that is what they do. I have had a teacher from Sonoran Science Academy threaten me also on a xomment blog as well. Why would anyone send there kids to a school like this one with teachers like that?

Anonymous said...

This is such crap. My daughter has gone to SSA 4 years and there has never been a bit influence by the Turkish teachers. It is a great school, with dedicated anglo and Turkish teachers. The academic standards are higher than the public schools in this area.
I think many who are questioning the school are racist themselves. I know for a fact some of the complainers are parents of students who could not keep up their grades or had discipline problems. That is just sour grapes by disgruntled parents on a mission if you ask me.

The Perimeter Primate said...

Anonymous "parent": I'm glad you like the school.

Would you do me a favor and address the fact that this school is not just any charter school, but a Gulen charter school? That is, it is one of the schools which has been started by members of the movement which follows the teachings of, and takes instruction from, Fethullah Gulen?

If you are unfamiliar with this transnational religious movement, please read the things in the left-hand bar.

Gulen has urged his members in the U.S. and other countries to set up set up:
1. Turkish cultural centers
2. Interfaith dialog centers
3. Schools

In the U.S., a few of the schools which have been set up are private, but the vast majority are charter schools.

Ali Yurtsever, a very high-ranking Gulenist, describes the global pattern of activity on page 2 here:
http://arisechicago.org/press_releases/60/original/GulenYurtseverIntervfiew.pdf

Doesn't this concern you at all? If it is so innocuous, they why must it be kept a secret?

Student of SSA. said...

I have been attending SSA for six years now and never has this Gulen guy or his teachings manifested in anything we do. Yes some of our teachers are from Turkey or are Islamic but opinions are kept strictly to themselves.

My school is beyond excellent. Its teachers are the best, the environment is comfortable and safe and we learn alot from the different cultures that reside here.

Why don't you come here for a year or two and actually see for yourself how impressive this school actually is?

Besides this, why question a system that is obviously working? The standardized tests and all our awards prove that. We are far better off than any of the other schools in this region.

So what if our teachers belong to some group? What they believe in is no more your business than what you believe is thiers.

From all of your posts, all I get is that this is some sort of wacked out conspiracy theory of yours. Education and understanding of different cultures and beliefs should never be wrong.

The Perimeter Primate said...

To supposed "Student of SSA" who posted the above comment at 11:59 PM which would have been one o'clock in the morning, Arizona time: Why would you be up that that time of day on a school night hunting down my obscure education issue blog so you can leave a comment like that?

Oh that's right, because you aren't a real student. Either that, or not a very good one.

Here's an alternative point of view posted by GreatSchools from another anonymous person.

"My child was a student for a number of years, but will not be returning. I chose this school for the academics and my child was happy until last year. I am now incredibly disappointed in the lack of organization, preparation and, certainly, the mishandling of multiple, escalating and serious incidents of bullying perpetrated against my child. The administration's failure to act created a hostile learning environment for my child. The school failed to follow their own discipline matrix and failed to protect my child. The last incident involved the local authorities and at that point I discovered that this school has no anti-bullying program, albeit current law does not require they participate in this. I have previously made a number of recommendations to parents to enroll their child in this school, however now I would caution any parent considering this school in particular to re-think their priorities."
—Submitted by a parent

PS: A lot of the GreatSchools reviews are likely to be written by Gulenist school personnel and shouldn't be trusted. When you read enough of them, you'll come to recognize that many have a particular pitch that carries from school to school to with a cheerleady over-the-top tone that's unmistakable.

Student of SSA said...

It is interesting how the comment signed "Parent" recieved a much more respectful tone in the reply. I'll admit that the conspiracy comment might have been out of line but not much more than the racist accusation.

I am very much a real student. I work after school so a two-o-clock bedtime is not uncommon in any highschool, at least one with real homework. Your site popped up on google while I was researching world-wide education. I did not hunt you down.

I don't usually reply to remarks such as yours but you are trying to denounce one of the few schools that actually works. You said yourself that the words of people online shouldn't be trusted. So why choose the one argument out of many to defend your position?

The students of SSA are close and the sort of bullying your parent describes is beyond what they have exhibited. Even if something had happened it would never have gotten as far as to endanger or seriously threaten anyone. The other students WILL have stopped it. We look out for one another here, no matter the grade difference. The only local authorities we've had at our school were firefighters that showed up because the fog machine in the drama department set off the fire alarm. If a bunch of water vapor creates a hostile learning environment then I shudder to think about what will happen when we meet the adult world.

Another SSA Student said...

Plus last week hardly had any homework because we had a preCivil Rights week. I know all of the Turkish teachers at SSA, and they wouldn't dare bring up Gulen. You might actually try going to SSA and talking with Mr. Karatas about something besides Gulen. I've been going to SSA for 3 years, and the closest that we every got to Gulen were either the Cultural Night or some of the clubs, but those just teach you about Turkish dances, the language, and the food. SSA is a great school, and I think you'd be surprised that it's not all that bad.

The Perimeter Primate said...

Great, "kids." Now how about doing some homework about the Gulen Movement so you know what you've been pulled into, and then share that info with your parents. After that, be sure to ask Mr. Karatas, your imported Gulenist teachers, and the Daisy Education board members all about it, and don't let them get away with denials or saying there's "no organic connection."

Your reading assignments are:

http://www.brighteningglance.org/on-turkey.html

http://rodrik.typepad.com/dani_rodriks_weblog/2010/09/the-craziness-in-turkey-reaches-new-heights.html

http://www.boilingfrogspost.com/2011/01/06/turkish-intel-chief-exposes-cia-operations-via-islamic-group-in-central-asia/

http://www.isn.ethz.ch/isn/Current-Affairs/Security-Watch/Detail/?id=54183&lng=en

http://www.eurasianet.org/node/62090

http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/n.php?msg=commentsaved&n=how-turkey-is-changing-2010-11-08

The Perimeter Primate said...

And these are for extra credit:

http://watchingamerica.com/News/77701/the-%E2%80%9Cglobal-imam%E2%80%9D-through-american-eyes/

http://watchingamerica.com/News/77701/the-%E2%80%9Cglobal-imam%E2%80%9D-through-american-eyes/

http://tool.donation-net.net/Images/Email/1097/Gulen_movement.pdf

Student of SSA said...

Wow. Congratulations. You are bashing a guy for what he believes in. All of those pages you posted (two of the extra-credit ones are exactly the same by the way) do nothing other than make me wonder why in the world I'm still arguing with you. So he has religious schools. What differences are there between them and other religious schools? So he's a little old fashioned when it comes to women wearing the headscarves, guess what that's what he probably grew up around.

The major point against you so far is the element of free will. If his teachings are as obviously bad as you say they are leaving is always an option. However I don't see anyone converting anytime soon.

Your argument is losing credibility quickly in regards to SSA. The fact that you don't even believe me when I say I'm a student is hilarious. Why do you doubt that anyway?

So again, congratulations. You found a charismatic man who's ideas many people like and act upon. One of your links even says he never commands people to do anything, he just suggests. So, unless he's a Jedi all of a sudden, how people will interpret his teachings will vary.

There is always at least one example that fits an argument. That is how arguments are created.

Now, in your OWN words, tell me why you've targeted my school as that example. Don't give me articles, those are other peoples opinions. I've defended my school from my own position and experiences there. Make it so on your side.

The Perimeter Primate said...

Aren't we having fun, "Student of SSA"? I guess you're a child after all. A mature person wouldn't bother to mention a copy & paste error.

I'll play your game this one last time, then I'm on to more important things. I will say that I find it odd that you bring up something about headscarves. I didn't say one thing about headscarves; they're the least of my concerns. I'm more curious about the stealth expansion of these charter schools, and the connection between Fethullah Gulen and the CIA.

Here's a simple question. Since your Gulenist charter school leaders are so proud of Fethullah Gulen and his educational philosophy, why don't they advertise "WE ARE A CHARTER SCHOOL THAT FOLLOWS THE EDUCATIONAL APPROACH OF FETHULLAH GULEN" on their websites and in their charter school petitions? Walforf schools, derived from Rudolph Steiner's teachings, will readily admit their connections because they are proud of them. Why aren't the Gulenist charter school educators doing the same?

As the American public becomes more informed about the Gulenist's tricks and lies, they are not going to like that their public education tax dollars have been co-opted in such a sneaky way. American taxpayers wouldn't like it if the Moonies were doing it. They wouldn't like it if the Falun Gong was doing it. They wouldn't like it if the Scientologists were doing it. They wouldn't like it if any religious movement or cult was co-opting tax dollars in a sneaky way.

What's your story, anyway? You seem like an unusual child. Most teens are out with friends, playing video games, or doing homework instead of making pro-Gulen charter school arguments in the same way that's been done in other comment board discussions. Have you been chosen by a special Gulenist mentor yet? Have you been on one of the trips to Turkey where you've stayed in the dorms of a Gulen school? I understand that a gradual form of close bonding is how young people are brought into the Gulenist fold.

So long. It's been swell.

Anonymous said...

This is really a load of crap :/
I attend the school, and there's nothing there that would make it seem like they're in any way linked with that association. If the goal is to have us use that kind of thinking, they're really not doing that. My curriculum is exactly the same here as it is at other high schools.

Anonymous said...

this is the internet you guise its serious buisness

Anonymous said...

Hey Charlie Sheen here I'd just like to say you make great argumentative points and i agree with you 100% people could say your theories are a little "crazy" and "unstable" but not to be a nut it makes sense.

Anonymous said...

Hurrrrrr scandal hurrrr durrrr

Anonymous said...

The only good raghead is one who is flat on the ground and has a body temp thats lower then room temperature. These schools, as well as the Saudi sponsored madrasses in this country should all be subjected to a total scorched earth policy. Then al these ragheads should be rounded up and deported back to the armpit part of the world they came from. All I needed to know about Islam, I learned on 9-11.elogenev

The Perimeter Primate said...

Readers of Gulen charter school articles find that they generally draw quite an odd assortment of, sometimes extreme, responses.

Anonymous said...

No commas needed there!
Time to go back to school Mr. Primate. :)

AZ CERTIFIED TEACHER said...

Well, here are my two cents.
*Me: 40, white, no affiliated religion, female, mother of four white boys who go to a regular (i.e. non-charter) public school. I have an AA degree in Liberal Arts, a BS in Elementary Ed, and a Master of Elementary Ed, and I am only 6 classes from earning my principalship. I have taught for 12 years for a few different districts: regular and charter.
I TEACH AT SSA! In our pod of elementary classes, there are 11 of us. While I certainly don't know the exact 'culture' of each teacher, I can say ALL 11 ARE FEMALES and 8 of those are CAUCASIAN, 3 are HISPANIC. NEVER has anyone 'infiltrated' MY lesson plans with any culture bias or viewpoints. The classroom teacher writes her own lesson plans, based on the AZ Standards.
HOWEVER, here is my very unpopular opinion on this whole mess. I am telling you all, simply and truly, none of this affiliated nonsense trickles down into the classrooms: NONE. But, what if a school is 'parented' by Gulen? Who cares? Why can't kids from Turkey be educated too? I have 30 students: 19 are from Africa, 1 is Hispanic, 2 are African-American Black, and 8 are Caucasian White. And every school where I have ever attended or taught has offered some kind of travel trip. Why can't they go to Turkey? Seriously, please come visit my class anytime you want.

AZ CERTIFIED TEACHER said...

One more thing before I refuse to acknowledge the ridiculousness of this entire blog. While I encourage and support everyone's opinion and right to believe how they want (surely, I would suggest that SSA may not be the best place for you if you feel this way)... here's a bit of food for thought. SSA DAVIS is the sister of all SSA schools... and it's on the Davis military base here in AZ. SOOOOO, why would the AZ government allow such a radical- horrible-blame the whole world's issues on Islam- charter school to be on its base? Certainly, from this white female who doesn't even go to church, the worst of all the ills society offers is prejudice. So what- you're right. There are awful Islamic people who should be contained and controlled as much as possible, right along the sides of the awful Christians, Jewish, rogue cops, dirty politicians, child molesting ice cream men... there is good and bad in all cultures. Get over yourself. Seriously.

The Perimeter Primate said...

http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2012/03/21/what-scares-turkey-s-women.html

"What Scares Turkey’s Women? A Pennsylvania-based imam’s anti-feminist message is spreading in the U.S. and in his home country." By Margaret Spiegelman, The Daily Beast, 3/21/2012

...I had never heard of the Cemaat when I answered an ad in the fall of 2010 to teach English to grade-schoolers at Çağ Fatih College, a chic private academy run by Gülenist educators in suburban Istanbul. Before taking the job, I wrote to a Turkish professor in Dallas, asking what she knew about Gülen-inspired educators, who run 33 charter schools in the state of Texas alone, out of approximately 100 across the United States. "Moderate, education-oriented Turkish Methodists is my view of them," she wrote. When I asked my future employers about the status of women at the school, they referred me to a male member of the faculty. “There are lots of women teachers!” he assured me. I pressed further, and he mentioned only that I would have to cover my knees and arms at school. There were other rules, I would learn. I just hadn't asked the right questions...

Every day, during and after school, teachers at Fatih College are modeling —largely without question—a society where women's behavior is closely monitored, and where they have no voice in leadership. Many Turks were just as surprised as I was to find this happening in a middle-class, Istanbul suburb. When I described the school to a Turkish friend, an Istanbul University professor in his 40s, he told me, “This is not Islam. This is new. This is Cemaat.” If there's no place for women leaders at top-performing schools in Istanbul, where will they be squeezed out next? Do women have a place in Fethullah Gülen’s vision for a fast-changing Turkey?...

Another Student at SSA said...

At least half of the staff at SSA are non-Muslims. Our Dean of Students in non-Muslim... Face it, Perimeter Primate, SSA is not Gulen Charter School. I've been there for 4 years now, and I've experienced the Elementary, Middle, AND Highschool. I take the Turkish language class, and nothing pertaining to Gulen or his teachings have EVER been mentioned. YES, SSA was started by Muslims; YES, SSA is impacted by Muslims, but honestly, WHO CARES?!?!? We are a SCIENCE school, not a CULTURAL school. There has only been one case where culture became an issue, but that had to do with the illegal immigrants, not Gulen. You support change, as your Blogger page says. Well, guess what? You need to change your additude to the better schools in America. If we were a Gulen school, then why have we had POLITICIANS support us, such as Senator McCain? Surely, by your philosophy, they should definitely know what's good for America!
So, first this started out as racial prejudism, but now sexism? You, Perimeter, are a handful!

Another Student of SSA said...

I agree with TEACHER. Turkey has many Biblically historical sites there (if you believe in the Bible), so that takes care of the school trips. Primate, how about you stop looking at the facts and use COMMON SENSE every once and a while. As a Christian, I believe that this school is not a Gulen school. Many other of my fellow Christians believe the same. I know a teacher there who is a HISTORY TEACHER and is Christian.

The Perimeter Primate said...

An anonymous person just left a comment that contains personal information & gossip about one individual. I will not post it, but here is the comment sans that gossip:

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Boy, if this doesn't take the cake... not exactly the most credible sources in Tucson...

Most of the "Gulen Movement" pursuits by students were actually by choice. The student who actually performed the piece (who he and I were classmates for a few years) had developed friendships in his Turkish club as well as his trips to Turkey. It was mainly his choice to go to Turkey.

Many of the history curriculum is decided not by a Turkish principal, but only a white Department Head. This Department Head, who I know well, also is extremely careful in what he teaches to the class. This is because the charter schools also answer to a district board, who also answer to the Department of Education.

The Tucson Weekly is almost treated to the equivalency of tabloids and false advertisement. The authors clearly have a bias and oversimplify issues that have more variables than hairs on their heads. A more unbiased source would be more useful.

Sharon, please give a more thorough, unbiased analysis before jumping on schools that have actually reduced costs, provided choices, and helped improve scores among students. I notice that there aren't any articles on the TUSD's Mexican-American Studies curriculum. Is it just because those courses were given in a public school?

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And to respond, the purpose of this blog is to compile news reports about charter schools, NOT about curriculum controversies that are occurring at the school district level. Others are free to start their own blogs about those issues.

BrookeSunshineClan said...

We live in Tucson. Our state scores 48 overall in education, our public schools in Tucson are subpar. TUSD is mismanaged, top heavy and does not meet the needs of most students. I have several children in several different charter schools in the area- each based on the needs of each child. All of my children are flourishing. 2 of them attend SSA. they love it. They love their teachers, they love their classes, they love their friends. My daughter is a christian irish girl. She's going to compete at the Turkish olympiad this year. She loves her turkish language class, her turkish dance group and her russian born, 5 language speaking teacher of chinese descent. Our public schools no longer have the students learn pride or loyalty to their country.Aat SSA my kids say the pledge every morning and learn values along with excellent secular curriculum. At our school location the vise principal runs the show 95% of the time, She's great at her job and the kids love HER. Yes, a woman in charge! There goes some of your accusation of it being a Gulen school. We have male and female teachers of varied origins. If there is a hidden agenda it's so hidden no one knows about it. I know it's hard for someone so hugely opposed to charter schools to believe that there is a need for them. They fill a gap that has been left in the traditional education system thanks to the "no child left behind" act. When they are run correctly- charter schools are amazing. Not all of the charter schools in the country are run properly. Not all the public schools are either. Im glad you are working to keep tabs on those that need to have the whistle blown on them for improper practices, but try to do that without letting your dislike and disdain for charter schools as a whole slant your perspective on the matter.

The Perimeter Primate said...

‘No more Turkish Olympics for the individual in Pennsylvania,’ PM says
Hurriyet Daily News, March 21, 2014
http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/no-more-turkish-olympics-for-the-individual-in-pennsylvania-pm-says.aspx?pageID=238&nID=63949&NewsCatID=338

Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has said his old-ally and new-nemesis, U.S.-based Islamic scholar Fethullah Gülen, will not be allowed to organize his annual Turkish Olympics in Turkey again.

“They won’t be able to organize the Turkish Olympics anymore. That’s over now. Renting a hall from us … The subject is closed,” Erdoğan said during a rally in the eastern province of Erzurum March 21,
addressing the movement of Gülen, whom he referred to as “the individual in Pennsylvania.”

The Turkish Olympics is a major event for the movement, which takes place in huge stadiums and arenas every year and is participated in by foreign students attending Gülen’s schools from all over the world...

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No 'Turkish Olympics' to be held in state halls: PM
TurkishPress.com, March 21, 2014
http://www.turkishpress.com/news/396239/

ERZURUM - Turkish PM Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on Friday that he will not let the upcoming ‘Turkish Olympics’, a tournament on Turkish language and literature organized internationally by the Gulen movement, to be held in state halls and stadiums.

The claim came amid criticism of U.S.-based scholar Fethullah Gulen which colored Erdogan’s AK Party election rally in Gulen’s hometown of Erzurum, eastern Turkey.

The Turkish leader condemned judges and prosecutors linked to the Gulen movement for alleged involvement in wiretapping secret phones belonging top state officials, including the country’s prime minister and president.

Erdogan stated that he felt sorry for common people linked to Gulen who are “exploited by the decision-makers of the Gulen movement”. Erdogan added that the government had nothing to do with the movement’s grassroots but they would “settle scores” with top figures at decision-making positions within the network...