Gulen's American Empire

Gulen's American Empire
Gulen Empire map from Turkish Newspaper. DISCLAIMER: If you find some videos are disabled this is the work of the Gulen censorship who have filed fake copyright infringement reports to UTUBE

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Concept Schools dba Horizon Charter Schools is guilty of stealing American Jobs h1-b Visa FRAUD

 
 
 

Cincinnati Inquirer reporter James Pilcher’s recent investigative story highlights the state of Concept Schools, and in particular, their uncanny ability to recruit and hire more H1-B visa teachers than any other educational company in the United States.  According to Pilcher, over the past 8 years, Concept Schools has brought in 474 “highly qualified” Turkish born teachers to teach American kids core subjects like math, science, “computer,” and of course – Turkish --  despite the fact that there are over “40,000” qualified and certified American teachers ready and willing to fill those jobs. Similarly, the majority of high level administrative positions at Concept Schools are held by Turkish males.

How exactly are these crooks allowed to continue on with this ruse? They continue to exploit American educators -- importing lesser qualified and skilled Turkish “educators,” to teach our children – while using our tax dollars? So while the American teachers are standing in the unemployment line, the Turks continue to ravage our tax coffers – laughing all the way to the Gulen bank of America.

Concept School President, Salim Ucan states that he “feels more comfortable,” hiring his fellow Turks. That’s great – but since the educational system in Turkey rates as one of the lowest in the world, how about keeping his "comfortable" Turkish “teachers” in Turkey instead of shipping them over here to teach American students. And by the way, isn't that comment by Ucan a direct affirmation of Concept's discriminatory practices?

In keeping with his ongoing credo -- Ucan also pronounces that all of the allegations are nothing more than fictional complaints by "former disgruntled employees." Disgruntled -- guess so --  as any employee would be if their employer was extorting 40% of their salary...

And this is not an issue exclusive to Concept Schools. Gulen’s network of schools spans 27 states and has 140 United States’ tax payer funded schools. According to Pilcher’s report, the US government has issued work visas to 2300 Turks in the years 2012-13.

Why?


Below is Pilcher’s story:

http://www.cincinnati.com/story/news/2014/10/05/charter-school-turns-turkish-teachers/16791669/


Horizon Science Academy in Bond Hill has the usual classrooms, books and lessons to teach kids seeking an alternative to regular public and private schools.

The charter school also employs seven foreign teachers, mostly from Turkey, brought to the U.S. on H-1B visas for jobs it says Ohio teachers are unqualified to fill.

Concept Schools, founded by followers of a Turkish Islamic cleric secluded in the Poconos, already is under federal and state scrutiny for possible irregularities in teacher licensing, testing and technology contracts.

An Enquirer investigation has found that Chicago-based Concept Schools, which runs Horizon and 17 other charter schools in Ohio, annually imports dozens of foreign teachers in numbers that far surpass any other school system in the state.

At least 474 foreign teachers, again mostly from Turkey, have arrived at Concept's Ohio schools between 2005 and 2013. The schools are collecting about $45 million in state funds annually to educate 6,600 children in kindergarten through high school.

Critics say H-1B visas were designed to help companies temporarily employ highly skilled foreign workers in biotechnology, chemistry, engineering and other specialized fields – not K-12 teachers.
The Ohio Department of Education is weighing complaints from former Concept staffers that unlicensed, foreign teachers were used.

Ohio teachers, meanwhile, say plenty of qualified teachers are available for jobs being filled by the foreigners, especially since about 40,000 are still without teaching jobs because of the recession.
Concept officials defend the practice. They say it's the only way to find qualified math and science instructors, adding that the international teachers add to the cultural experience of students.

"These teachers are hired legally and are here legally," company vice president Salim Ucan said. "It's not like we're sneaking them across the borders. These are highly qualified people who have gone through the legal process to come here and make a difference in the lives of kids."

Academically, Concept students perform no better or worse than children at the nearly 300 other charter schools in Ohio.

Ten of the Ohio Concept schools – more than half – received Ds on the state's most recent performance index, a measure of how many students passed key achievement tests.
Horizon Science Academy was one of the schools getting a D.

Other districts use H-1B visas, but not so many as Concept
H-1B visas have been around for nearly 50 years, created as part of a major immigration overhaul in 1965.
Essentially, they're work permits allowing foreigners to live in the U.S. for three years so long as they're employed by companies in positions pre-approved by the U.S. Labor Department, State Department and Immigration and Customs Service.

Contrary to popular belief, most employers don't have to prove that there is a shortage of qualified U.S. workers to apply for an H-1B visa.Each visa can be extended three years for a total of six. After that, a worker must obtain permanent residency status through a green card application, gain U.S. citizenship or return home.

The U.S. issues about 85,000 H-1B visas per year. Nearly 2,300 were issued for Turkish immigrants in 2012-13, an Enquirer analysis of U.S. State Department data shows.

In Ohio, at least 80 other public districts or private schools used H-1B visas between 2005 and 2013, including Cincinnati Public Schools and systems in Columbus, Akron and Cleveland. Those districts each use about one or two immigrant teachers a year, primarily to teach language skills. CPS hired one teacher using an H-1B visa in 2007.
Concept, on the other hand, this year employs 69 teachers on H-1B visas in Ohio – about 12 percent of its teaching staff. Almost all came from Turkey, and the few who didn't originated from surrounding countries.

"Concept may or may not be bending any rules, but the rules were written poorly in the first place," said Ron Hira, an immigration policy critic and professor at the Rochester Institute of Technology in New York. He shared with The Enquirer federal H-1B data he obtained from the Immigration Department through an open records request.

"It seems clear from the data that these schools are favoring H-1B workers from a single source country, Turkey," Hira said. "American workers, as well as foreign workers from other countries, did not have a legitimate shot at getting these jobs."

Concept's Ucan acknowledged that Concept targets Turkish workers, but only because "we're from Turkey, and that is where we have comfort."

"The founders of this organization are Turkish and are established Turkish-Americans," said Ucan, who said he originally came to the U.S. on an H-1B visa and is now nearly finished applying for U.S. citizenship.
"Because of that relationship, it is much easier to recruit from Turkey. It would be much more difficult to go to China or other countries because we do not have the relationships here."

The use of H-1B visas for teachers has proven problematic elsewhere.
A criminal investigation is underway in several suburban Dallas school districts for immigration abuses involving H-1B teachers.

Maryland's Prince George's County banned the practice after its school system was fined $1.7 million and ordered by the Labor Department in 2011 to repay $4.2 million in back wages improperly withheld from H-1B teachers.
"Not every employer or the program itself is problematic, but there have definitely been abuses," said Denise Gilman, co-director of the Immigration Clinic and law professor at the University of Texas.

Many students have trouble in conventional schools.Cincinnati's Horizon Science Academy sits in a converted small college building near a major industrial center in Bond Hill. The school is clearly sectioned off to separate upper and lower grades, older and younger students. About 88 percent of this year's 448 students students are black, and 5 percent are Hispanic.

More than 91 percent qualify for free or reduced lunch, so the school provides free breakfast and lunch to all students.
Like all charter schools, Horizon is run by a private company using state funds diverted from the local public school system. Many charter students have trouble learning in conventional public or private schools. Others seek an alternative to public schools, which may have their own performance or discipline issues.

Some parents at Horizon say they sought out the school for its emphasis on math, science and technology.
The school opened as an elementary school for the 2004-05 academic year, just four years after the Ohio General Assembly approved the use of charter schools. It soon expanded to include a middle school and then a high school.
The school interior appears bright and clean. A well-equipped computer lab features several desktop PCs, 30 laptops and 30 iPads. Separate art classes are decorated with the kids' latest work, with well-supplied baskets surrounding the rooms.Almost all the classrooms are equipped with electronic smartboards, a touchscreen version of a chalkboard.

Administrators and parents say strict discipline is enforced – highlighted when a line of kindergartners and first-graders held their fingers over their mouths in the "shhh" pose all the way back to the classroom after a visit to the restroom. On a separate visit a day later, police forcibly removed one student while another parent came by to pick up another troublesome child.

Coy Johnson of Bond Hill said the school sent his 5-year-old grandson home after a fight in class, a disciplinary action he supported. "And when you have small classes like they do here, it makes everyone feel involved," Johnson said.
School officials say Horizon's low test scores reflect the "transient nature" of the student population.
"We don't turn any kids away, even the ones that aren't really wanted elsewhere," said Michael Bidwell, the school's instructional coordinator. "Some of these kids have been at multiple schools, sometimes within the same school year. But we're not going to give up on you."

Difficult students can prove a challenge to incoming Turkish immigrants such as Yasin Kusan. The first-year high school math teacher is originally from western Turkey, but moved to the U.S. this summer from a different teaching gig in Papua, New Guinea, with his wife and 9-month-old baby.

"The type of students are tough in terms of discipline," Kusan, 30, said through a moderate accent. "I didn't know what to expect. I was disappointed by the economic level of the students, but I am trying my best not to let it hinder me ... especially considering the life standards of where I came from."

Like most of the Concept immigrant teachers, Kusan and fellow Turkish colleague Bilal Urkmez are younger and male. Most of the Turkish teachers are assigned to high schools or technology classes; Americans primarily staff the elementary grades, Ucan said. Both men paid their own travel expenses to the U.S., while Concept paid the nearly $1,000 in fees for the visas.

"It has always been my dream to teach," said Urkmez, 29, who is in his second year as a high school math teacher at Horizon Cincinnati. "My models were my teacher and my father, who was also a teacher." Questions over licensing, reassigning H-1B immigrants.

The glowing reports are not universal.

In May and June, the FBI raided 19 Concept charter schools, offices and other businesses in at least four states, including the Cincinnati Horizon and three other schools in Ohio. The raids came as part of a multistate investigation into possible financial fraud involving a federal Internet technology-funding program.

Ohio education officials, meanwhile, are weighing whether to launch a full-scale investigation into whether Concept Schools is using unlicensed foreign teachers. At a state hearing in Columbus in July, several former Concept teachers complained that some Turkish teachers were working without the required licenses.

"We're concerned about any situation where a teacher has not received the proper licensing. That is not appropriate," Education Department spokesman John Charlton said. "But it is incumbent on the school ... to give a quality education. And if we find anything improper or have questions, we will put pressure on the appropriate organization."
One former Concept teacher and a former administrator from a separate Concept school previously have said publicly that unlicensed teachers were common at their schools.

Mustafa Emanet said he was hired in 2006 as an IT administrator at Concept's Horizon Academy in Cleveland but soon was transferred to teach, without a license, at another Cleveland Concept school (Horizon-Denison). That's a potential violation of not only state education standards, but also of U.S. immigration policy. H-1B workers are normally assigned to one location, and cannot be moved or transferred without prior federal approval.

"It was pretty awful. I couldn't even understand when the kids wanted a Kleenex or tell them to stop chewing gum," Emanet said in an interview with The Enquirer, referring to the language barrier. He taught computer science to middle-schoolers before leaving Concept in 2009. "There was a big gap there. But it wasn't like I could leave."

Amy Britton-Laidman told a similar tale from a different perspective. A Cleveland native, she was hired as a secretary at Noble Academy in Cleveland in 2006, and she quickly became the school's enrollment coordinator as well. Britton-Laidman told The Enquirer that several teachers from Turkey entered the classroom barely able to speak English, and she was told not to ask questions about it.

Later in 2011, she said she ran across an email that discussed bringing in someone to replace her, and two months later she was fired. "I still maintain that someone's friend needed a job, so it became my job on the line," Britton-Laidman said. Ucan denied those claims, saying they were made by "disgruntled former employees."

Reclusive cleric inspires school company's founders
Concept Schools was founded by followers of a controversial religious and social movement led by Turkish cleric Fethuallah Gulen, currently secluded in the U.S. Through his sermons on the Internet, Gulen preaches that the way to true enlightenment and the betterment of society is through education for all, although the movement has drawn criticism for its secrecy and lack of financial transparency worldwide.

Hundreds of private schools affiliated with Gulen have been opened in countries including Russia, China and Indonesia, according to an expert in the movement.

The concept of charter schools also provided a unique opportunity in this country.
"Here, you can do it (create schools) through charter schools and use public money and thereby reduce the amount of capital you need," said Joshua Hendricks, a sociology professor at Loyola University and author of the book "Gulen: The Ambiguous Politics of Market Islam In Turkey and the World."
"Now you are dealing with 27 different states with 27 different levels of oversight," Hendricks said.

Several Concept Schools administrators and officials acknowledge a personal affinity to Gulen's teachings, but they say that it does not influence any business dealings or the schools themselves.
Concept vice president Salim Ucan also denies any direct financial ties between Concept and Gulen.
"We are a nonprofit organization running public schools," Ucan said. "Yes, one of the teachings of Gulen is to spread education throughout the world. And that inspired me and others to be teachers. What can be wrong with that?
"But we never let it enter the curriculum or influence what we are teaching."

One former teacher at a Cleveland Concept school, however, has said he was forced to pay tributes under the table to the movement and was even required to visit Gulen at his residence in the Poconos in northeast Pennsylvania. Mustafa Emanet told The Enquirer of being required to pay back some of his salary in cash to school administrators during his stay between 2006-09.

Emanet was hired on an H-1B visa as an IT network administrator. But after he arrived, he said he was presented with a "secret" contract that required a tribute to the Gulen movement.

He said his initial H-1B visa called for him to be paid about $44,000 annually. When he arrived, he was told he would be making less than $30,000 a year.

Later as his pay rose, he said he was required to give up to 40 percent of his salary back to school administrators in cash as a "himmet," or a tribute to Gulen and the overall movement. "It got to the point where I was paying $900 to $1,000 a month," said Emanet, who eventually got his green card and is now a software developer in the Cleveland area.

Ucan dismissed Emanet's claims as being from a "former disgruntled employee" and says there is no such pressure or secret contracts or tributes at any of the company's schools.

Two local Turkish teachers interviewed by The Enquirer said they have felt no such pressure and have made no such required payments. Yasin Kusan, who immigrated to the U.S. in July, said he donates voluntarily to the local Turkish cultural center when he can. Second-year high school math teacher Bilal Urkmez said he sends any extra money home to his family in Turkey.

Hendricks, who spent five years studying Gulen organizations in Turkey and in the U.S., said, "It is understood that once you are gainfully employed, you give back ... and everyone gives according to their means.
"Those inside have an expression that 'the movement reemerges from itself.' So you see the money funneled into startup capital for Turkish businesses, as well as for cultural organizations and such. There is definitely a wealth redistribution within that community."

Another immigration expert said federal authorities may have started asking questions after "60 Minutes," the New York Times and other national media outlets did stories on the movement and its possible ties to Turkish-run charter school operations.

Texas-based Harmony Schools, the largest charter school management company in the U.S., also was created by Turkish immigrants and has been linked to Gulen.

More about Concept Schools

Charter schools are run by private organizations and funded with public money as an alternative to traditional public schools. Chicago-based Concept Schools is one of the most established charter companies in Ohio, having been created by Turkish expatriates in 1999 in Cleveland as Ohio moved to allow the creation of charter schools.
Concept has become the fastest-growing charter school operator in Ohio – growing to 18 schools from only two a decade ago. In the 2012-13 school year, Concept schools enrolled 6,329 Ohio students in kindergarten through high school, drawing about $45 million in state funding a year. Overall, it operates 31 schools in Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Wisconsin, Michigan and Missouri.

Concept also is Ohio's second-largest charter school operator, trailing only Akron-based White Hat Management. White Hat operates 29 schools in Ohio with an enrollment of 6,660 in the 2012-13 school year. That company received $53.2 million in public funding that year.

Unlike Concept, White Hat does not use H-1B visas to fill teaching positions, White Hat chief executive Thomas Barrett said. "Still, we respect the fact that each management organization or independent school has its own philosophies and practices with respect to hiring. That's consistent with the fundamental concept of charter school autonomy," Barrett wrote in an email to The Enquirer.

Ohio is among 27 states nationally that have some version of a charter school program. Kentucky is not one of them.

Friday, September 12, 2014

Gulen Syracuse Academy of Science teaching religious ritual like Whirling Dervish of Sufism





This coupled with the fact the Syracuse Academy of Science has an Islamic Prayer room

puts this American Tax payer supported school in violation of teaching religion at a public

supported school. 

Gulen operated charter schools have Islamic prayer rooms


Picture
It seems that one of the Gulenist schools, Syracuse Academy of Science, keeps a library of Fethullah Gulen’s books in its “prayer room.” Likewise, the prayer rugs are shelved in close proximity to the books -- as evidenced by a video that was sent to this website.

As part of their religious practices, Muslims kneel on prayer rugs while they recite their daily prayers five times a day (at daybreak, noon, mid-afternoon, sunset and evening). So it’s safe to assume that at least twice a day (noon and mid-afternoon), the Muslim teachers and administrators are praying on school property in the designated prayer room -- which is being paid for with public funds.

Note that as the videographer walks through the hall on the way to the “prayer room,” she videotapes the Syracuse Academy of Science sign as evidence that she is in fact filming at the school site.

Call me crazy, but since when are public school funds designated to pay for religious literature and prayer room space? I thought that was illegal…and at the very least, rather suspect and highly unethical. People are entitled to their religious beliefs and practices, but the tax payers are not supposed to subsidize religious activities, that's what private schools are for.

The guys that run that school, along with the other 139 “Gulen-inspired” and American tax-funded schools constantly deny any affiliation with Fethullah Gulen, and yet –  this particular school has a designated prayer room that also shelves Gulen related reading material.

Horizon Science Academy Denison Middle School in Cleveland  also had a prayer room that was adjacent to the Director’s office, where the door was always closed to the non-Muslim and Turkish school population. That room also housed prayer rugs and was only used by the Turkish administrators and teachers, and kept secret from the rest of the staff and students.

Below is the video link to the video of the Syracuase Academy of Science prayer room:

https://vimeo.com/105578274

Wikileaks cables about concern on Gulen revealed by Progress Ohio



Progress Ohio reports that the many thousands of secret government cables released by Wikileaks contained references to the Gulen charter schools, a number of which are being investigated by the FBI for unknown reasons. The Gulen charter chain is the largest in the nation.
State Dept. Notified CIA, National Security Council About Suspicious Charter School Visas
The U.S. State Department raised serious and repeated concerns about Turkish charter schools in America, sending cables to the CIA, Secretary of Defense and the President’s National Security Council. Special attention was paid to the large number of Turkish nationals with questionable credentials seeking visas to teach at schools such as Ohio’s Horizon Science Academies, which are linked to a controversial Islamic faith leader.
A review of over one hundred diplomatic cables made available at WikiLeaks found numerous warnings about underqualified applicants for teaching visas. One cable states that applicants “might be using the reputation of the school as a cover to get to the US.” Another, ominously observed there is “considerable debate” about whether members of their faith movement were “a threat to secular governments.”
Background
Fethullah Gulen is an exiled Muslim cleric living in Pennsylvania. He is currently the subject of an extradition request[1] on charges of espionage and attempting to overthrow the Turkish government.[2] Gulen has millions of well-organized followers in central Asia and his organization is said to have “some of the characteristics of a cult.”[3] Gulen’s followers founded and administer a number of charter schools, including Ohio’s Horizon Science & Noble Academies.
These schools import the majority of their administration staff and many of their teachers on work visas from Turkey and neighboring countries. Secret diplomatic cables show that the “evasiveness” of the applicants and their “uneven at best” qualifications left State Department employees “uneasy.”They voiced these concerns to the top levels of government and even suggested the Department of Homeland Security should investigate the schools.
Memos Back Ohio Teacher Testimonies
Teachers who had worked at Dayton’s Horizon Science Academy made headlines last month when they told the state school board about apparent test tampering, attendance padding, Turish teachers who could barely speak English and even an incident when parents were not told their adolescent children were caught having oral sex at a school function.
Many of the teachers’ observations are supported by the cables. In one memo, the US consulate observed Turkish visa applicants with an “inability to speak English” and a “lack of understanding of basic math concepts (when they were going to teach math or science subjects).”
In another memo, federal officials note that Gulen schools in Turkmenistan can only employ teachers who are “fully qualified in the field.’’ Teachers employed by traditional public schools in Ohio must have a college degree and teach in the area or grade level in which they are licensed. Ohio charter schools, however, are exempt from that requirement
This led ProgressOhio Executive Director Brian Rothenberg to ask, “Why are Ohio charter schools not required to employ only qualified teachers?Taxpayers should be outraged these schools are hiring teachers who aren’t even qualified to teach in their home countries.”
Rothenberg continued, “America’s top intelligence and diplomatic personnel confirmed what a panel of Ohio teachers told the state board of education: Many of the teachers and administrators at these schools are unqualified, and students and taxpayers are suffering because of it. The only entity that doesn’t seem to understand the severity of the problem is the state school board.’’
Excerpts from Secret Cables
Over a quarter million previously secret diplomatic cables were published by WikiLeaks. ProgressOhio review approximately one hundred of them referencing Fethullah Gulen and found the following:
“There is considerable debate whether the Gulen movement represents a threat to secular governments. Skeptics argue the Gulenists seek to transform societies from the inside-out by developing sympathetic elites in a country’s government and business circles. […] Gulenists’ penchant for secrecy raises questions. For example, Gulenists seeking U.S. visas at the Embassy often are evasive about their religious views and their work-related duties in the U.S. (NOTE: Many U.S. visa applicants at the Embassy seek to work at Gulenist-linked schools in the U.S.)”[4]
“…there are concerns that Gulenist charter schools in the U.S. are capitalizing on the local successes to petition for visas for marginally qualified temporary workers.”[5]
“While on the surface a benign humanitarian movement, the ubiquitous evasiveness of Gulenist applicants — coupled with what appears to be adeliberate management of applicant profiles over the past several years — leaves Consular officers uneasy, an uneasiness echoed within Turkey by those familiar with the Gulenists.”[6]
[I]n summer/fall of 2008, the consular section received a number of visa applications for highly-skilled temporary workers (H1B) to go teach in charter schools in the U.S. The applicants all had in common a tie to a Gulenist school, either in Turkey or in Turkmenistan. Their qualifications were uneven at best. Some were bona fide teachers with several years of experience and advanced degrees. Others claimed teaching experience by assisting, volunteering, or substituting at a Gulenist school (language center or high school) in Turkmenistan. These minimally-qualified applicants prompted further investigation, and it turns out that the charter schools in the U.S. are also part of the broader Gulenist movement. The minimally-qualified applicants, petitions were returned to DHS for revocation based on a lack of qualifications, such as theirinability to speak English, possession of degrees not related to the subjects that they intended to teach and further lack of understanding of basic math concepts (when they were going to teach math or science subjects).[7]
On the other hand, we are concerned by the link with charter schools in the U.S. that have petitioned for marginally-qualified H1B candidates … These applicants were simply not convincing…might be using the reputation of the school as a cover to get to the [United States]. Post, after discussions with others in the region that see similar applicants, recommends that these H1B candidates receive a high degree of scrutiny before any visas are approved…. Further, Consular Affairs, Fraud Prevention might, in concert with the Department of Homeland Security, wish to investigate or audit these Turkish-run charter schools in the U.S. for compliance with U.S. immigration law.[8]
http://dianeravitch.net/2014/08/27/progress-ohio-wikileaks-contain-cables-about-gulen-charters/