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Topic: Do You Want a Gulen Turkish Charter to Compete with Your Public Schools?
Replies: 3   Last Post: Mar 14, 2017 4:47 PM

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Jerry P. Becker

Posts: 16,002
Registered: 12/3/04
Do You Want a Gulen Turkish Charter to Compete with Your Public Schools?
Posted: Mar 10, 2017 9:35 PM
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From Diane Ravitch's blog - A site to discuss better education for
all, Thursday, February 23, 2017. SEE
https://dianeravitch.net/2017/02/23/westfieldspringfieldagawamholyoke-massachusetts-do-you-want-a-gulen-turkish-charter-to-compete-with-your-public-schools/
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Westfield/Springfield/Agawam/Holyoke, Massachusetts: Do You Want a
Gulen Turkish Charter to Compete with Your Public Schools?

By Diane Ravitch

A public school activist in Massachusetts sent this letter from
Robert Amsterdam, an attorney retained by the Government of Turkey to
investigate the large charter chain run by Fetullah Gulen. Gulen is
an Islamic cleric who lives in seclusion in the Pocono Mountains of
Pennsylvania. He has some vague connection with some 170 or so
charter schools that are paid for with public funds but staffed and
run mainly by Turkish nationals. Now, says Amsterdam, the Gulen chain
plans to open another charter school in Westfield and other nearby
districts in Massachusetts. This charter will drain resources and
students from the democratically controlled public schools of
Westfield. The private board of the Gulen charter will not be elected
by voters, but selected by its Turkish owners.

Amsterdam writes:

"On February 27, the 12-member Massachusetts Board of Elementary and
Secondary Education will be voting on whether or not to allow the
Chicopee-based Hampden Charter School of Science to open a sister
school in Westfield. In the application tabled by HCSS West, the new
facility would aim to be a regional grade 6-12 school drawing 588
students from Agawam, Holyoke, Westfield, and West Springfield school
districts.

"Parents and taxpayers should urgently Press the board to reject this
request. This school has known ties to the Turkish-run Pioneer
Charter Schools of Science in Everett and Saugas, which are part of a
nationwide network of some 170 schools operated by Fetullah Gulen."

Amsterdam goes on to point out the financial abuses associated with
Gulen schools, in Massachusetts and elsewhere.

Two-thirds of voters in the affected districts voted against charter
expansion last November.

Expanding charters is part of the Trump strategy for privatizing
public schools.

Massachusetts has the best state school system in the nation. Protect
it from privatization. Make it better.

Stop the Trump-DeVos agenda now, in Massachusetts!

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--
Jerry P. Becker
Department of Curriculum & Instruction
College of Education and Human Services
Southern Illinois University Carbondale
625 Wham Drive / MC 4610
Carbondale, Illinois 62901



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