By Donna Garner
Here is yet another example of a Turkish charter school in trouble. This article (posted below) describes Abramson Charter School in New Orleans, Louisiana. As you read this article, you will see how “murky” yet interconnected these various Turkish schools really are as they move money, power, and influence across state lines.
Atlas Texas (a Houston-based contractor) has won many contracts from Cosmos Foundation which is tied to the Pelican Education Foundation that runs Abramson and another charter school in Baton Rouge.
Both Cosmos and Pelican have disavowed any official religious links, though Abramson teachers on a school-sponsored trip to Turkey received pamphlets on the Gulen movement. The literature emphasizes Gulen’s peaceful message and a commitment to serve ‘people regardless of faith.’ (The Times-Picayune, 7.15.11)
It was the Vice-President for Atlas Texas who tried to bribe Folwell Dunbar, an official with the Louisiana State Department of Education, to cover up the problems at Abramson.
Below are the three supportive documents that the reporter for The Times-Picayune used to write his article. These documents contain very disturbing details from both teachers and students at Abramson that are similar to other allegations from Gulen charter schools all around the country — a system of questionable test scores, lies and intimidation from the Turkish charter school administrators, free trips to Turkey with an emphasis on the Gulen Movement, charter school teachers from Turkey who speak very little English, indoctrination of students into Turkish culture and theopolitical ties, cheating on science projects, financial ties across state lines among Turkish entities, etc.
SUPPORTIVE DOCUMENTS FOR THE TIMES-PICAYUNE ARTICLE
7.15.11 — Fox8live.com — New Orleans, Louisiana — Louisiana Department of Education Investigating Abramson Charter School —
Letter from Folwell Dunbar, Louisiana Department of Education, unannounced site visit to Abramson — Investigation Letter #1:
Letter from Folwell Dunbar, follow-up site visit to Abramson — Letter #2:
“Stranger Than Fiction” written by Folwell Dunbar that tells about a bribe from VP of Atlas Texas: