Sunday, May 19, 2013


The link above includes a video interview of Mary Addi by right wing ultra conservative columnist and anti-Islam activist Frank Gaffney. Both individuals traveled to DC in order to testify against the establishment of a charter school by Turkish American educators.  However, the interview includes many contradictions, misinformation, and discrepancies. Below are some examples:
  • Her husband “had to give 40% of his salary back” in support of “the Gulen Movement” 
If her husband’s monthly salary were hypothetically $3,000, 40% would equal to $1,200. So he would have left only $1,800 a month. This is outrageous. How can someone accept to give 40% of his salary to anyone for any reason and be able to live on what is left?

Another thing is that her husband is the only person, out of close to a hundred employees on visas, to come up with such accusation from the schools.  It is also interesting that such accusation comes from her husband who is also a disgruntled former employee like Mary Addi.
  • Directors are always Turkish at these schools
Directors at Horizon Science Academies are strong leaders with impressive experience and educational backgrounds in addition to their unmatched commitment and hard work ethics. They are diverse in terms of gender and experience. It has been also Concept’s practice to promote leaders from within. The success level the Horizon Science Academies along with other schools within the Concept network have attained is a testament to the effectiveness of these school leaders. 5 of the principals/directors in the Concept network are impressive females with strong leadership skills. As far as the administrations are concerned in these schools, that percentage goes up to 40%.  As far as the teachers are concerned, 70% of the teachers at Concept networks are female.

What the parents at Horizon Science Academies care about is not the nationalities or gender of the principals but their qualifications, leadership skills, and the work that we see every day. All the directors at Horizon Science Academies do a darn good job in such areas.
  • Mary Addi says, “her husband is a brilliant IT man but no experience in teaching” as he was asked to teach children at Horizon Science Academy-Denison.
If her husband is a “brilliant IT man” why can he not teach? Teaching experience is not a prerequisite to be a great teacher. Potential and brilliance are. A flexibility given to charter schools is that they can employ a small percentage of experts to teach without certification. They can have a doctor teach anatomy, engineer teacher physics, or an IT person teach computer. As long as these individuals add value to the school and teach effectively, that is a great flexibility given to Horizon Science Academies as charter schools.
  • Mary Addi says Turkish teachers “may be highly educated” at one point and claims that they “are not qualified” at another point. 
If the Turkish teachers at Horizon Science Academies are “highly educated” what makes them “not qualified” to teach. These teachers are not illegal immigrants who snuck into the US and are secretly teaching at Horizon Science Academies. They all went through a process through which US Federal Agencies and Consulates determined that they were qualified to each in the US. Otherwise they would not given visas to work and teach at the schools. When that is the case, who is Mary Addi to say that “they are not qualified.” This is like an insult to those federal agencies who approve these individuals to come and teach at our schools.

By the way, the parents at Horizon Science Academies really appreciate the diversity amongst the teachers at CMSA. We are not sure on what planet Mary Addi lives, but we all live in a global world. We work, interact, and live with people from many different backgrounds and diversity has always been valued in the US. Only small, marginal groups of people have been threatened by the diversity in this country throughout its history.
  • Mary Addi claims that Turkish teachers a administrators “move constantly from one city to another due to license issues”
Concept is a growing organization and promotes people from within. Therefore, principals and teachers, regardless of their background, are offered new positions within the network or asked to move to a new school because of their familiarity with the educational design. Teachers and administration need to meet the licensing requirements in the new state that they move to. They do not move to avoid licensing requirements because these requirements exist in all states. This can really compete with Mary’s other far-fetched conspiracy theories.
  • Accusations of proslytization and indoctrination to Turkish culture
Horizon Science Academies are to provide unprecedented opportunities to their students. These include exposing their students to different cultures around the works including Turkish. Therefore, they organize trips, cultural exchange programs and teach unique languages such as Turkish. Concept schools received over $350,000 in federal grants to teach Turkish. Concept organized trips to the following countries in the past: Thailand, Russia, Singapore, Philippines, China, Puerto Rico, and Europe. Participation on these trips is on a voluntary basis. Students and families pay for it. No Concept managed school organizes free trips for anybody.

Over the years, thousands of students, parents, and staff have participated in these trips. Not a single person claims that some type of indoctrination, proslytization, or promotion of any religious/political ideas took place on these trips.  Mary Addi is just blowing smoke…
  • Mary Addi claims that students are mandated to take Turkish classes as part of Horizons’ effort to proselytize their students. 
All of the language classes including Turkish at Horizon Science Academies are elective classes. Students CHOOSE to take these classes. This is plainly misleading and wrong information.  Mary Addi knows this fact since she worked at Horizon Science Academy-Denison. She is clearly lying here.
  • Mary Addi claims that staff visits homes as part of their proselytizing efforts.
Home visits are part of the Concept Schools educational design. All staff working at Concept managed schools visit families. It is not just Turkish teachers. Then how could that be part of the proslytization? Local teachers who are American are visiting homes to indoctrinate their students to Turkish culture? The sky is the limit when it comes to Mary Addi coming up with conspiracy theories…
  • Mary claims that countless teachers and countless parents contacted her since she started her blog. 
She could not count them because they do not exist. Someone needs to tell Mary that these are other bloggers posing as parents since that seems to be the trend among their circles.

Contrary to Mary Addi’s claims, many parents, students, and staff stood up and spoke against such allegations. Their videos are included in Concept’s blog,
  • Frank Gaffney shares an anecdote from a parent supposedly from a charter school initiated by Turkish American educators. In his anecdote he conveys “a parent was separated from her child” during a trip to Turkey and “she had no idea where her daughter went and did.
If nothing else, just this would be an example of how Frank Gaffney uses partial information to serve his purpose of proving something that he believes happening. First of all, it is practiced even at Horizon Science Academies to organize separate trips for parents and students because their interests are completely different. Parents are interested in history, culture, nature and similar things. Students are interested in fun activities. Therefore, different itineraries are developed for different interests.
Second of all, did this “parent” in Gaffney’s story not ever reunite with her daughter after the trip? Did she not ever find out whether from her daughter or the school officials where they went? Did she not ever ask her daughter whether she was indoctrinated during her trip? This whole story does not make sense and is incomplete….
  • In the video, Mary Addi and Frank Gaffney claims that the community behind them and they are against the proposed charter school.
There are only 12 people standing behind them.  Is this community comprised of only 12 people? Half of them may be people like Mary Addi traveling from other communities with a certain agenda opposing the school there. Half of them like Mary Addi are not parents with schools age children in that particular community. Who are they fooling?
  • Mary Addi claims to have “documented evidence” on her accusations and she claims to have shared them on her blog.
Some one needs to let Mary Addi know that excel sheets does not qualify to be “documented evidence.” Fabricated email communications between individuals does not qualify as “documented evidence” either. Yet, she presents them as evidence on her blog.
  • Mary Addi claims that Horizon Science Academy and Concept does not take legal action on her because what she says is true…
Did it ever occur to Mary Addi that Concept and Horizon Science Academies do not have time to deal with her nonsense and idiots like her… They are focused on educating our kids and would not be able to do a good job if they spent their time, energy and efforts on such people like Mary Addi and their baseless allegations and accusations.

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