Jun 15, 2012 by

[6.15.12 – In this article, the head of the Memphis School of Excellence, Ali Gumus (from Turkey – here in U. S. on green card for last 10 years) that his school has no ties with Islam imam Fethullah Gulen yet paid the Cosmos Foundation in Texas $44,000. The Cosmos Foundation-Harmony Charter Schools are all tied to Gulen.

Why should we believe Gumus about anything he says? Here is a website that explains that Muslims are permitted to lie to unbelievers, and evidently this is their justification for lying about these Gulen Charter Schools:

After reading the following article about the Memphis School of Excellence and its ties to the Cosmos Foundation, a person wrote and asked me whether the Cosmos Foundation’s IRS status could be questioned with the business operations they have with several out-of-state charter schools or if they should be subject to a business or franchise tax. I believe this would be a good question to be answered by a state/federal audit of
Texas’ Cosmos Foundation. – Donna Garner]


Memphis School of Excellence charter keeps on amid questions

  • By Jane Roberts
  • Memphis Commercial Appeal
  • Posted June 15, 2012 at midnight


Excerpts from this article:



In 30,000 square feet in a former IRS building on Mendenhall, Ali Gumus and Muhammet Turkay run a charter school that likely has more Turkish employees than any school in the city.



The Memphis School of Excellence is connected to the Cosmos Foundation, a charter management organization that County Commissioner Terry Roland charges not only has ties to a U.S. Islamic network but also figures in former mayor Willie Herenton’s plans to open charter schools here.



While Herenton says there are no ties, the political dustup this week forced sudden attention on MSE, which has been turning out kids excited about math since 2010.



“We’re OK. We’re comfortable we have answers to the questions,” said Gumus, a molecular biology and genetics major from Turkey who’s spent the last 10 years teaching in the U.S. on a green card, seven of them in Cosmos-affiliated schools.



…MSE is a science and math-oriented school for students in grades 6-11. Five of its 28-member staff are in the U.S. on temporary work visas.




…Both Gusmus and Turkay say neither they nor the school has any connection to the “so-called Gulen movement,” the worldwide following of Fethullah Gulen, a moderate Islamic cleric who left Turkey in 1999 and now lives in Pennsylvania.



But MSE does pay about 2 percent of tax dollars it receives from state and local sources to Cosmos for access to its student information platform and professional development programs for staff.



For the year that just ended, MSE paid roughly $44,000 to Cosmos.



“Cosmos does not provide curriculum,” Gumus said. “We use Tennessee’s curriculum.”



Cosmos has about 130 charter schools in several dozen states. Its largest network is Harmony Public Schools in Texas, which serves 20,000 students.



Various media, including The New York Times and “60 Minutes,” in reports this spring allege Cosmos funneled business to a network of Turkish businesses, including building contractors, vendors selling school lunches, uniforms and after-school programs.



Last fall, Herenton announced Harmony Schools was an “advising partner” in his plan to open nine charter schools in Memphis and Shelby County. But Herenton said this week that he included the reference only strengthen his charter application.



Nationally, the backlash includes complaints that hundreds of teachers and administrators have been imported from Turkey to work in the Cosmos schools, often called “Turkish Schools.”



This year groups pushed legislators in four states to limit the number of foreigners allowed to teach in charter schools.



In Tennessee, a bill that passed without Gov. Bill Haslam’s signature limits those on work visas to 31/2 percent of staff. It becomes law July 1.



At MSE, it means four staff members, including a hard-to-find science teacher, may be let go.



“The situation is gray because we may be able to grandfather them in,” Gumus said. “We are working with our lawyer. But if it doesn’t work, we will abide by the law. We are not angry.”


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