March 22 — 10:42 pm, 2011

Charter School Invade and Retreat; Another Helps a Turkish Personality While A Teacher Talks Trash

Parents have a lot to think about this week as it relates to charters.

Georgia Charter-School Operator Nixes Martin Luther King; Sticks w/Birney

The company – Mosiac Turnaround Partners – were awareded two schools to turn charter by the SRC, MLK high school and Birney Elementary. On the day of the announcement the company abruptly dropped its plans to work with MLK and instead said it would only work on the elementary level.

In a Philadelphia Tribune article, it was explained that while the district decided to include parents, the process was not without problems.

“It was like war. The whole process was very secretive,” said Aisha Forest, a parent of a child at Birney. “The community had no knowledge of what was going on. We can’t embrace change that we know nothing about.”

District officials formed School Advisory Councils made up of parents, community members and students. The councils interviewed representatives of potential charter school operaters. visited schools managed by them and reviewed school performance data and proposals then drew up a list of preferences. The district then choose an outside operator from their list.

Young Turks Invade North Philly

Truebright Science Academy , a charter school
in North Philadelphia, …
<http://groups.yahoo.com/group/nyceducationnews/message/34052>

is either shaping young engineers, scientists and mathetician, or running a HB1 Visa scam enriching teachers who then send kickbacks to the charter school founder, Fethullah Gulen.

Gulen is an alleged ‘major’ Islamic political figure in Turkey, living in the Poconos. He recently fought and won a hearing to get a green card declaring he was an influential educational figure in the United States.

As evidence, his lawyer pointed to the charter schools, now more than 120 in 25 states, that his followers – Turkish scientists, engineers, and businessmen – have opened, including Truebright Science Academy in North Philadelphia and another charter in State College, Pa.

 The schools are funded with millions of taxpayer dollars with Truebright receiving $3 million plus from the Philadelphia School District for its 348 pupils.

With that all cash supposedly spent on students, parents should be happy, but the prescence of Turkish teachers with limited English proficiency have made some scratch their heads.

That made no sense in Pennsylvania State University’s hometown, said Hocker. "They graduate here every year."

 A local news outlet reported that Ruth Hocker, former president of the parents’

group at the Young Scholars of Central Pennsylvania Charter School in State College, questioned why popular, certified American teachers were replaced by uncertified Turkish men who often spoke limited English and were paid higher salaries. Most were placed in math and science classes.

Other school parents allege that the charter school’s uncertified teachers on H1B visas were shuffled from one charter school to another when their "emergency" teaching credentials expired – – some added the schools had a pattern of sudden turnovers of Turkish business managers, administrators, and board members.

Shana Kemp, a School District spokeswoman, said that the district had just learned Riza Ulker, Truebright’s permanent CEO, was on extended sick leave and that it would look into that. She said district officials knew nothing about a federal investigation of these charter schools… as reported in the Philadelphia Tribune on 3/17/2011.

 

Hope & Prayer for a South Philly Neighborhhood

Hope Moffett  is the embattled Audienried teacher who after voicing concerns about her school going charter, and giving students tokens to go to a protest to also speak out against that action, found herself in "teacher jail."

Teacher jail is a room in the basement of 400 North Broad street wihere teachers with disciplinary action against them sit with full pay, wadin through hearings as they fight to keep their jobs.

The PFT went to bat for Hope and her rights to vocalize her opionion without fear of reprisal. The union then sued the school district on Hope’s behalf and won an injuction.

The low-income parents whose kids are in Audenried and who themselves attended the school seem to support the teachers in their bid to get the District to re-consider giving the school over to the Universal Charter school system.

Why? I am not particularly pro-charter and feel annoyed at how some have painted them the magic bullet for urban school kids. But for this economically depressed neighborhood with hordes of kids hanging out in the day in barren doorways of unpainted, falling down buildings – I personally think it might be time to think of something, anything to get cognitive skills to sharpen and the hope of educating graduating classes year after year of reasonably educated kids. By that I mean envisioning an Audenreid that is on average with their peers citywide. An Audenreid giving its community a majority – not minority – of its young beautiful students who have the prescence to get a job, keep it and be productive members of society.

 

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