Concerns about testing irregularities in Gulen charter schools
Concerns have been raised regarding testing irregularities in several Gulen charter schools:
PATERSON CHARTER SCHOOL FOR SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY, NEW JERSEY
Source: The Record, New Jersey, news article "State flags two North Jersey schools for erasures, changes on tests" July 18, 2011 by Leslie Brody
"Two North Jersey schools have been flagged for having an unusually high percentage of answers changed from wrong to right on state tests for two years in a row, reports released by the New Jersey education department show.
"A high rate of answers changed from wrong to right does not in itself indicate cheating, but a state official said Monday that schools that repeatedly show high rates might warrant further inquiry.
"Seventeen schools statewide that had high rates in both 2009 and 2010 include Paterson Charter School for Science and Technology and Grant Elementary School in Ridgefield Park, which last fall won a national Blue Ribbon award for stellar performance among disadvantaged children.
CORAL ACADEMY OF SCIENCE, NEVADA
Source: Report from the Nevada Department of Education
"On 5/28/09 the Nevada Superintendent of Public Instruction received a complaint dated 5/23/09 from a special education teacher (complainant) alleging violations of special education law with respect to the operation of the Coral Academy of Science Charter School (CASLV) where she was employed. An investigation team was appointed to examine the allegations that CASLV: 1) had an unsafe environment for some students because of some incidents that occurred; 2) allowed a parent to bully the complainant on various occasions; 3) engaged in testing irregularities during the administration of proficiency exams in spring 2009; 4) inappropriately assigned the complainant to teach physical education; 5) screened out students with disabilities from the school’s entry selection process; 6) did not implement certain students’ individualized educational programs (IEPs) in the area of English; 7) did not conduct child find activities upon referral, specifically screening; 8) did not provide testing accommodations for special education students during the administration of proficiency exams in spring 2009 and specifically did not provide testing in a small group setting, other than the regular classroom."
HARMONY SCHOOL OF SCIENCE/HARMONY SCIENCE ACADEMY, TEXAS
Source: Report of the State Board of Education, Committee on School Initiatives, Generation 13 Charter Interviews, September 13 - 14, 2007
Combined interview for applications for Harmony School of Science-Houston, Brownsville and Laredo:
“Ms. Knight inquired about the problem with excessive erasures on TAKS tests. Dr. Tarim stated they had received a letter from TEA stating that the problem had been resolved, and he could not recall an onsite visit in reference to the problem.”
See also this slide presentation about the Harmony Science Academy schools in Texas.
SONORAN SCIENCE ACADEMY, ARIZONA
Source: The Arizona Daily Star - July 21, 2003 Claims cost charter school $5K
The article can be viewed at the NewsLibrary.com website.
"The Sonoran Science Academy charter school paid two claims, using about $5,000 in state taxpayer money, to settle accusations a math teacher locked children in a closet as punishment. The Arizona State Board for Charter Schools is also opening an investigation into the school on a separate issue after receiving a letter from a former teacher. She wrote that she saw an administrator help students answer questions on the state-required AIMS test and that students were allowed to use dictionaries during the test."
Gulen Movement has been accused of test manipulation in Turkey
In a July 10, 2009 opinion piece in Turkey's leading English-language newspaper Hurriyet, journalist and columnist Ilhan Tanir wrote of the Gulen Movement: "the movement justifies any conduct to achieve its ends at any cost. For instance, if passing school entry test questions to the movement’s pupils is a justifiable way to ride into any kind of school that is important to attend even it can be done for years, even if it means usurping the rights of other pupils. But again, others are just others."
A December 15, 2011 article by Justin Vela that appeared in Lebanon's newspaper The Daily Star stated that "In April, hundreds of students protested in Istanbul when allegations surfaced that Gulenist students were being given the answers to exams for top universities and jobs within the state bureaucracy."