Friday, December 14, 2012

Loudoun School Board Committee rejects proposed Islamist Gülen charter school bid

From The Center For Security Policy:
WASHINGTON, D.C. Last night, a select committee of the Loudoun County School Board recommended the disapproval of an application for taxpayer funding of a charter school linked to Turkish Islamist Fethullah Gülen. Two of the three members recommended rejection of the application outright; the third called for delay of its consideration "for cause."

This outcome is a huge, if preliminary, victory for citizens who have come together to oppose the public funding of a school associated with the Gülen Movement in the Virginia county west of Washington, D.C. The Loudoun Math and Information Technology Academy (LMITA) application will now go to the full School Board, which is expected to consider it over the next two months.

It is to be hoped that the Board's deliberations will be informed by the following notable developments:
  • Public comments received by the select committee were overwhelmingly negative. Among the concerns expressed by opponents were: serious problems with the model the applicants cite - another Gülen school known as the Chesapeake Science Point Public Charter School in Anne Arundel County; growing evidence of financial and other mismanagement with other Gülen schools in Georgia, Texas and Ohio; and the Islamist character of the Gulen enterprise. Evidence of the latter was provided in the attached letter from Mary Addi, a former teacher in a Gülen school in Cleveland, Ohio. It draws on her own experience and that of Ms. Addi's husband, an expatriate from Turkey who was also a teacher at that school.
  • Four elected officials who have previously endorsed the LMITA application have withdrawn their support for the project. It is expected additional withdrawals will occur as others of those who previously endorsed LMITA - in many cases a year or more ago - learn about the serious grounds for concern about this school and its true sponsors.
  • The case against LMITA was laid out in detail in a powerful briefing presented the night before the select committee vote by Center President Frank J. Gaffney, Jr. and a former public school teacher, Rachel Sargent. A version of the presentation is available online at
The briefing illuminates the pattern employed by Gülen and his cult-like Turkish supremacist Movement to induce school boards to charter and pay his followers to establish vehicles for indoctrinating impressionable American students, usually under the guise of enriched science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) education. At its core, this pattern involves deception with respect to the true character of the proposed school, its association with the Gülenists, and the myriad problems such Gulen academic institutions have presented to school system administrators and taxpayers from Texas to Maryland.
In the wake of the select committee vote, Mr. Gaffney said:
The committee is to be commended for its appreciation that Loudoun County does not need and should not allow the establishment there of a Gülen school at taxpayer expense. Every effort must now be made to ensure that the full School Board arrives at the same, prudent conclusion by understanding and acting upon the true and unacceptable nature of the Gülenist penetration of America's public school systems.