Sunday, August 21, 2011

Why shouldn't we call these school Gulen charter schools?

And, why do we call this site Gulen charter schools forum?

Schools around the world that are associated with the Gulen Movement are mainly tuition-based private schools. These schools are operated by private firms owned by Turkish businessmen, sometimes partnered with local firms. They claim a hundred percent ownership.

Charter schools are not private schools. They are public schools because they are funded by the states they are located in. Federal law requires charter schools to be owned and established by a non-profit organization. The board of directors of a non-profit organization may choose to hire a charter management organization to run their school or choose to operate the school by themselves. Majority of the boards around the country do not have this expertise. This is why usually charter schools advertise themselves as “tuition-free privately-run public schools.” Law also gives charter schools more freedom in forming their own sets of rules allowing them to stay innovative and quickly respond to unexpected conditions. 

We cannot call charter schools operated by Turkish individuals or organizations Gulen charter schools because they are public charter schools operated and overseen under federal and state laws of non-profit organizations. No person can claim any ownership of any of the schools in question. All of the so-called Gulen charter schools are audited annually by state auditors in their respective states.

There are a group of anti-charter, anti-Turkish websites on the Internet whose operators are disgruntled teachers, teacher unions, or anti-Gulen Movement groups from Turkey. Their job is to form a web of blogs to reach out parents to diverge them from sending their kids to these schools through misinformation, false accusations and lies. News articles on this issue refer to these blogs instead of parents who send their loved ones to these schools. Who would you trust? A few disgruntled ex-teachers or thousands of parents who keep their kids at these schools?

We call our website Gulen charter schools forum to be on the same page with these xenophobic websites when a parent, a researcher or a teacher searches Gulen charter schools on the web so that the truth can also be seen along with their lies.

Truth prevails. Stay with us.

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Please let me know what you think about Mr. Gulen and the schools labelled as Gulen charters.