Thursday, August 4, 2011

That's Why They Are Not Gulen Charter Schools

I am the mother of a sixth grade in one of the so-called Gulen charter schools in Ohio. I felt an obligation to go through this Gulen charter controversy, and forged my own research about these "mysterious" Gulen charter schools who are being operated by the Turkish educators across the country for more than a decade.

My kid has been a student in these schools for three years now. Up until this time, I have never recognized that my kid's school is a Gulen charter school. Interestingly enough, some people on the internet are boasting a narrative of Gulen charter schools in order to undermine the reputation of these Turkish schools.

If they were Gulen charter schools from the very beginning, why didn't we know about them and their agenda up until this time? Last week, finally, I decided to go to the principal to talk about it. I jumped into the topic headlong and asked the question right away: Is this a Gulen charter school?
Mr. Gulen just inspires
charter school teachers,
does not dictate over them.

There appeared a smile on principal's face. He seemed as a man who is familiar with the question. Without hesitation, he began telling me his personal story. What he told me brielfy is that he knows Mr Fethullah Gulen personally and respects his ideas on education and humaniterianism. He reads Mr. Gulen's works and follows the academic conferences about him and the movement named after him: the Gulen movement which promotes a moderate version of Islam with an emphesis on interfaith and intercultural dialogue.

At the end of the converation, he stated that even though he respects and loves Mr. Gulen personally on account of his contribution to the universal peace and humanity, it does not mean that the school in which he serves is not a Gulen charter school.

My eyes were wide open. I tried to undertand it but I needed more than this. Thus I asked him again. How is it possible that you are a follower of Gulen and your school is not? I meant if you were following his ideas, then your school autmatically becomes a Gulen charter school.

The same smiling expression appeared on his face again and he explained further more. This time he used an analogy to illuminate the mystery. He said: There are millions of Catholics out there, right? I replied, yes. He said okay, and asked. If one of these Catholics becomes a principal of a public schools, will the school become a Catholic school which is governed from the Vatican city? I said, of course not. Like this, if a lover of Gulen holds a principal position in a charter school, this school does not become a Gulen charter school. It's that much easy.

I felt satisfied after this explanation. Indeed it is very easy and simple. There is no need for hesitation or worry. My child is in a nice place and the people in it is also awesome. I urge all the parents here that if you have any concern about the gulen charter school controversy, go to the principal directly and ask him/her. I did so, and now I am feeling quite happy. Tag: Gulen charter schools


  1. I absolutely agree with that. We parents are supposed to be smart and be more involved with our child's education. Also keep in mind that Charter schools understand that parents are the ultimate decision makers in choosing their child's school and can remove them if dissatisfied. As a result, charter schools are sensitive to the needs of the students and the importance of being responsive to parents. Parent surveys prove that charter schools score high for being very parent friendly.

  2. I agree with her. As a parent, we should raise our voice and support our school. This is an excellent school and got A in its report card for 2010-2011 school year from Michigan Department of Education. Michigan Math and Science Academy is the highest achieving school in the region. I would like to congratulate administrators and teachers at MMSA. Keep up the great work!!!!

    Here is the link for MDE school report card.

  3. Well said!I agree with you. Schools are very open to visitors and they invite everyone to come and visit.


Plese let us know what you think about the issue of the charter schools allegedly linked to Fethullah Gulen and thus labelled as Gulen charter schools.