by C.A.S.I.L.I.P.S. - Citizens Against Special Interest Lobbying in Public Schools
Charter applications, annual reports, and website texts for Gulen charter schools contain sections, often lengthy, that appear to be copied from other sources. Some examples follow.
Horizon Science Academy's "Five Essentials" are in essence
KIPP's Five Pillars, in large part copied verbatim
The following is quoted directly from the Annual Report of Horizon Science Academy Cleveland High School 2008-2009. The changes necessary to make it an exact copy of KIPP's Five Pillars are indicated with added text in red and deleted text in light gray. The most revealing signs of copying are the slips of writing "of each HSA Cleveland" rather than "of HSA Cleveland" under the second point, and leaving "principals" in the plural in the fourth point. The grammatical errors of the Gulenist editor contrast starkly with KIPP's carefully chosen phrasing. Note that the first KIPP school was founded in 1994, well before the first Horizon school. KIPP is not credited in the document.
"FIVE PILLARS ESSENTIALS
1) [Maximal] High Expectations
KIPP Schools have HSA Cleveland has clearly defined measurable high expectations for academic achievement and conduct that make no excuses based on the background of students students' background. Students, parents, teachers, and staff create and reinforce a culture of achievement and support, through a range of formal and informal rewards and consequences for academic performance and behavior.
2) Choice & Commitment
Students, their parents, and the faculty of each KIPP School HSA Cleveland choose to participate in the program. No one is assigned or forced to attend these schools. Everyone must make and uphold a commitment to the school and to each other to put in the time and effort required to achieve success.
3) More Time Determination
KIPP schools know HSA Cleveland knows that there are no shortcuts when it comes to success in HSA and life. With an a determination on extended school day, week, and year, students have more time in the classroom to acquire the academic knowledge and skills that will prepare them for competitive high schools and colleges, as well as more opportunities to engage in diverse extracurricular experiences.
4) Power to Lead Involvement
The principals of KIPP schools HSA Cleveland are effective academic and organizational leaders involvement who understands that great schools require great school leaders student and parent involvements. They have control over their school budget and personnel. They are free to swiftly move dollars or make staffing changes, allowing them maximum effectiveness in helping students learn. Parents and teachers should expect maximum effectiveness in helping students learn though Projects, Competitions, National and International Trips, Educational Camps, and All other School Related Activities.
5) Focus on Results
KIPP schools HSA Cleveland pursues relentlessly focus on high student performance on standardized tests and other objective measures. Just as there are no shortcuts, there are no excuses. Students are expected to achieve a level of academic performance that will enable them to succeed in the nation's best high schools, colleges, and the world beyond."
Richmond Education Foundation website contains text copied from the magazine Physics Today
From the website of the Virginia-based Richmond Education Foundation (which is attempting to start the Richmond Science Academy) http://www.richmondeducation.org/Our-Philosophy.html
"It has become apparent that our nation's economic future will require a technologically competent and highly adaptable workforce. Problems facing our society at all levels are increasingly scientific and technological in nature. To address these concerns effectively, Americans need to be science literate."
From Physics Today, September 2001
"It became apparent that our nation's economic future would require a technologically competent and highly adaptable workforce. Problems facing our society at all levels were increasingly scientific and technological in nature. (...) To address these concerns effectively, Americans needed to be scientifically literate."
(There does not appear to be any attribution to Physics Today.)
Knoxville Charter Academy application contains large sections of text copied word-for-word from other sources, including non-Gulenist ones. Sources are not always attributed.
The application for Knoxville Charter School, which now is scheduled to open in fall 2012, is 334 pages long, but the instructional plan is given on pp. 17-76.
pp. 19-25 Language Arts
- 198-word section copied nearly verbatim from Fulton Sunshine Academy application (Gulen charter school in Atlanta Georgia) - the main change is the school name
- 99-word section copied verbatim from trackstar.4teachers.org and mnps.org (no citation)
- 373-word section copied verbatim from http://www.ncte.org/library/NCTEFiles/Resources/PolicyResearch/AdolLitPrinciples.pdf with no citation
- 295-word section copied from http://www.ncte.org/positions/statements/onreading
While this source is cited, it is not made clear that the text is copied verbatim
- 186-word section copied from http://www.ncte.org/governance/writing
In the latter part, the section headers of the source document have been changed to bullet points, with the remaining section text deleted. The wording, however, has not been altered.
- 113-word section copied verbatim with no citation from http://clevehill.wnyric.org/webpages/curriculum/effective_writing.cfm
- 131-word section copied verbatim from http://www.ncte.org/library/NCTEFiles/Resources/PolicyResearch/21stCenturyResearchBrief.pdf While this source is cited, it is not made clear that the entire section is a direct quote.
- 127-word section copied verbatim from http://www.ncte.org/library/NCTEFiles/Resources/PolicyResearch/21stCenturyClips.pdf The source is not cited, and, interestingly, the final line of the text is "Give students explicit instruction about how to avoid plagiarism in a digital environment."
- 49 word section copied verbatim from http://www.ncte.org/consultants/adollit
pp. 25-31 Mathematics
- A 31-word string is copied from http://www.springbranchisd.com/instruc/math/goals.htm
- A 42-word section is copied from http://www.project2061.org/publications/bsl/online/index.php?chapter=2 with no citation given; only slight changes are made.
- Most of the mathematics section contains text copied essentially verbatim from applications, documents or websites of other Gulen charter schools, especially Sweetwater Branch Academy in Florida, but also Horizon Science Academy Denison in Ohio, and Palm Springs Science Academy in Florida.
pp. 32 – 39 Social Studies and Science
- The description of the social studies curriculum is essentially copied verbatim from the www.socialstudies.org/pass (Powerful and Authentic Social Studies) website, which is cited.
- Most of the science curriculum description is copied word-for-word from http://www.nsrconline.org/pdf/ScienceAchievementStudies.pdf The citations given are to broken links that appear to have had the same content as this website.
pp. 46 – 54 Exceptional Students (i.e., Special needs/special education)
- 567-word text copied from http://dellp.myweb.uga.edu/Charter_Petition_Clayton_County.htm
- Section with diagram copied from the Fulton Science Academy middle school renewal proposal Fulton Science Academy renewal http://public.doe.k12.ga.us/DMGetDocument.aspx/Fulton%20Science%20Academy%20Charter%20Petition.pdf?p=6CC6799F8C1371F64E447ACDC1FBC2C9DA25630A36DA91F373D2D506BC367F5A&
- 168-word text copied essentially verbatim from http://www.smcoe.k12.ca.us/StudentServicesDivision/SELPA/Documents/Mtg%20Needs%20of%20English%20Learners%2011-10%20SSD%20FINAL.pdf
- 504-word text copied from the State of Georgia Department of Education website (while Knoxville Charter Academy is in Tennessee, the copying from Georgia seems to have occurred because the special education plan is largely based on that of Fulton Science Academy, an existing Gulen charter school in Georgia) http://public.doe.k12.ga.us/DMGetDocument.aspx/Decision%20Making%20Along%20the%20Continuum%20of%20the%20Pyramid%20of%20Intervention.pdf?p=6CC6799F8C1371F6B35490C1325D530746C644D715F6B6D497FA469BBF19D135
- 68-word text copied from http://www.gilmerschools.com/education/components/scrapbook/default.php?sectiondetailid=10441&
- 71-word text copied from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Inclusion_%28education%29
- This section is mostly copied from a manual for LEP from the website of Fulton County Schools, Georgia http://www.fultonschools.org/dept/curriculum/CurrGuides/ESOL/manual.pdf
Handbooks from Harmony Public Schools and Frontier Schools contain a line taken verbatim from two connected private schools in Houston: Mrs. Wagner's School and Trafton Academy
The following line can be found on the website of Mrs. Wagner's School, a private school in Houston established in 1958, as well as in the handbook of Trafton Academy (which is connected to Mrs. Wagner's School):
"The school establishes an atmosphere in which students develop abilities to generate new thoughts, to think analytically, to draw logical conclusions, and to express thoughts in written and spoken form."
This line appears word-for-word in several brochures for the Harmony Public Schools in Texas, as well as a brochure for Frontier Schools (Frontier School of Innovation, Frontier School of Excellence) in Kansas City, Missouri.
Moreover, essentially the same line appeared in the Prospectus for the proposed DigiTech K-12 Digital Arts & Technology Charter School) charter school in New York State (application rejected in March 2011):
"DigiTech K-‐12 will establish an atmosphere in which students develop abilities to generate new thoughts, to think analytically, to draw logical conclusions, and to express thoughts in written and spoken form."
This is only a small sampling of borrowed texts used by Gulen charter schools. Numerous other examples can be shown. For example, the charter application of Minnesota School of Science contains many instances.