Magnolia Science Academy is without a doubt a Gulen Managed charter school

The Gulen Movement is fantastic at advertising, PR, and bestwowing fake honors on their students, politicians, local media and academia. The Parents4Magnolia blog is NOT American parents it is members of the Gulen Movement in damage control mode. Magnolia Science Academy, Pacific Technology School and Bay Area Technology is the name of their California schools. They are under several Gulen NGOs: Pacifica Institute, Willow Education, Magnolia Educaiton Foundation, Accord Institute, Bay Area Cultural Connection. Hizmet aka Gulen Movement will shamelessly act like satisifed American parents or students. They will lie, cajole, manipulate, bribe, blackmail, threaten, intimidate to get their way which is to expand the Gulen charter schools. If this doesn't work they play victim and cry "islamophobia". Beware of the Gulen propagandists and Gulen owned media outlets. DISCLAIMER: if you find some videos are disabled this is the work of the Gulen censorship which has filed fake copyright infringement complaints to Utube

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Magnolia Science Academy, LAUSD to have moratorium on new charter schools

Vote gives LAUSD Teachers more say in charter schools
LOS ANGELES -- Los Angeles Unified teachers have approved a new labor agreement with the school district that will give teachers wide-ranging decision-making power in running their schools.
United Teachers Los Angeles said Thursday that nearly 70 percent of its members voted in favor of the agreement. About 29 percent were opposed.
Under the pact, the district says it will not allow charter operators to take over low performing schools for the next three years, instead allowing teachers and administrators charter-like autonomy to write their own management plans for individual schools.
School reformers have criticized the plan for leaving innovative charters out of reform efforts, but UTLA President Warren Fletcher says the plan gives teachers equal footing to compete with charters, which have taken away hundreds of unionized teaching jobs.

Magnolia Science Academies in Los Angeles will not grow for the time being.  They are projected to have one open in Milipitas, CA.  However they have new applications pending in other parts of California under the name Pacific Technology Schools.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Magnolia Science Academy Students show up at the Gulen Pacifica Insitute Anatolia Festival

Magnolia Science Academy Students in their school uniform shirts join in the Gulen sponsored Anatolia Festival.  Perhaps this is part of the expensive "Extra curricular activities" on the Magnolia Education Foundation's IRS tax forms.
Should American Tax payers be paying for the busing of American students to Gulen's Anatolia Festival?

From Gulenist ran Today's Zaman (Gulen's own propaganda media arm)

Locals were all positive that it was a sunny weekend in California as usual but all those who entered the Orange County Fairgrounds in Costa Mesa a week ago realized that it was in fact going to be a very different one on the west coast for them.

The Anatolian Cultures and Food Festival 2011 was what they all gathered for. And as they were waiting for the gates to be opened, staring at full-size replicas of statues more than 2,000 years old below an orange-colored arc, their excitement was not in English, Turkish or any other particular language. It was a universal feeling for people of many nations, including but not limited to India, Mexico, Syria, France, Armenia, the United Kingdom, Iran and Turkey as well as the United States, who, through various means and for different purposes, came to this part of the world’s sole superpower.
Luckily, I was one of those who had the chance to see what this festival had to offer to its visitors for four long days from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. between Oct. 6 and Oct. 9.
The corridor connecting the gate to the festival grounds was decorated with a written history of the many civilizations that lived in Anatolia, contributing to today’s Anatolian culture in many ways, and the replicas of a number of other monuments from around Turkey lined the corridor. Standing next to those monuments were teenagers dressed in the way the people who built those monuments centuries ago would have been dressed.
The Ottomans -- who, just like representatives of other civilizations visitors saw along the corridor, saluted them -- were last in the line of these civilizations and came right before visitors found themselves at the edge of a vast area where dozens of booths of restaurants, gift shops, book stores, civil society organizations, media outlets and travel agencies were all calling on them. What, however, may have amazed them the most must have been the replica of Topkapı Palace, standing to their right, and the city exhibits from İstanbul, Konya, Antalya, Mardin and Van on their left.
Turkish food was no less various than the origins of the visitors. Turkish ravioli was served, and a variety of kebabs, olive oil dishes and pastry filled with cheese, potatoes and ground beef were only some of the other types of food items available to people in the area at reasonable prices.
What most of the visitors did as part of their day at the festival was that they would first grab some food and then take their time to enjoy all the festivities -- live music, traditional dances and the march of the Ottoman military band, to name a few -- and see what all those exhibitors had to offer them. The organizers were kind and thoughtful enough to also build a playground for the kids so that they, too, could enjoy their day.
İbrahim Barlas, president of Pacifica Institute, the event’s organizer, said the aim of the festival is to encourage intercultural dialogue and to make mutual understanding the mode of conduct between people of different cultures. He believes the festival has already earned a name for just that and underlined that the festival was visited by numerous federal and local government officials every year. The festival was organized for the first time in 2009 and managed to attract more than 70,000 visitors in its first two years. The number of visitors for this year’s event has yet to be announced but his estimate points to over 60,000.
The most dazzling aspect of the festival, however, was the fact that 400 volunteers worked tirelessly before, during and after this event to create a platform where people of many different countries, most of them being thousands of miles away from their homeland, came together to share the very similar joy of sharing this world as they shared the festival area and there are in fact many similarities that outweigh the differences between them.
Lectures were no less enjoyable
The festival also featured a number of lectures which allowed participants to hear what experts had to tell them and later participate in a fruitful discussion with both the speakers and other participants. The topics of the lectures varied from the state of Turkish-Israeli relations to the cultural legacy of Armenians in Anatolia and from how Islam preaches liberties and democracy to Turkish pastas, but what all discussions had in common was that all those who spoke were respectful of different opinions and were open to hearing ideas that disputed the very arguments they made. At the end, no political or cultural lecture offered the ultimate recipe to solve the problems the different peoples may have between them, but the ambiance the participants and speakers shared with each other showed how one can make peace with him or herself as well as with others.
Whereas Kerim Balcı, editor-in-chief of the bimonthly magazine Turkish Review, who spent eight years in Jerusalem as the representative of Turkey’s Zaman daily, briefed the participants on how the relations between erstwhile allies Turkey and Israel soured in a region where all interstate relations are now reconstructed, Rabbi Reuven Firestone, a professor of medieval Jewish studies, emphasized the scriptural foundations of Muslim-Jewish dialogue and coexistence in both religions’ sacred texts.
It truly was not an easy task to elaborate on the cultural legacy of the Armenians -- a disputed number of whom perished in the Syrian deserts after they were forced to migrate from Eastern Anatolia by the Ottoman Empire in 1915 -- in front of an audience including Turks and Armenians. Yet when David Minassian, chairman of the board of trustees of the Organization of İstanbul Armenians -- ended his words, Turks shook his hand just like Armenians. Differences may have remainied over how to label the mass killings almost a century ago between them, but they could talk while looking each other in the eye rather throwing accusations from distant places.
Can a favor change the world?
When Katharine Branning, an American author who is now the vice president of the French Institute Alliance Française in New York, started talking about her book “Yes I Would Love Another Glass of Tea,” by depicting the kind of hospitality and understanding she received in Turkey during her frequent travels to the country since 1977, her emphasis was on the fact that Turkey has gone through a substantial transformation both politically and economically, but that one thing remained the same: She always felt home in this country. That I believe is a common feeling for a lot of people given the fact that Turkey is world famous for its hospitality and sympathy towards foreigners. As a Turkish citizen, I must also admit that the reason I felt at home in the US was not only because of the food I had in that “small Turkey” thousands of miles away but also because two good things -- directly or indirectly related to the festival -- happened to me during my stay in America.
Bryant Hardin is an American citizen in his 70s, living in San Diego and also a frequent traveler to Turkey. I met him at İstanbul Atatürk Airport before boarding a flight to New York, where I transferred to another flight to Los Angeles. Despite his age he was carrying a backpack and the first thing he asked was if a wireless Internet connection was available in the waiting area where we met. Not long after we started talking, I realized how deep his love for Turkey was. He actually had tears in his eyes as he explained to me how sad he was to leave it after his 15th vacation in the country. We talked about a lot of things, such as the ongoing Occupy Wall Street protests and the condition of the world economy as well as our lives. He was, however, particularly happy that he learned about the festival from me given the connection he had with Turkey and its people. We met twice at the festival area and he was kind enough to show me around on one of those days although he had no such obligation. For him, it was returning a favor from someone else in the country he deeply loves.
The other good thing happened as I was returning from Los Angeles to New York. When a flight attendant came to offer me something to drink, as he was supposed to do to all other passengers on board, I was not too hungry, but I said I could have something to eat. He said “alright” but that I could only pay by credit card, which I did not have on me as I had forgotten mine in İstanbul almost a week earlier. After asking me about my final destination, he did not simply continue to serve other passengers -- which would have done no harm to anyone, including me -- but said, “I’ll be back in a minute.” He came back just as he had promised, but with a sandwich in one of his hands. “Are there still homeless children in İstanbul?” he asked, and after I responded in the affirmative, he said, “Please be good to one of those kids,” and left the sandwich with me as I was trying to understand what it really was that just happened as Branning’s book lay open on the tray table. Moments after he left to serve other passengers, I was only able to think that a flight attendant could in fact create a lasting change in this world of ours and the idea of returning a favor deserves much recognition from policy makers. Costa Mesa, İstanbul Sunday’s Zaman

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Gulen Charter Schools of California, monitoring enrollment levels

Monitoring the enrollment of Gulen charter schools in California
In 2002, the first school was opened in California, enrolling 188 students. In 2010, 14 schools were operating, enrolling a total of 2804 students.* California is the state with the third highest number of Gulen charter schools (behind Texas with 40 and Ohio with 17). See a list of current, attempted, and pending schools @

Important questions to be answered: 

1. How many parents of the nearly 3000 California students enrolled in these schools know anything about the Gulen Movement and/or the controversies which surround its undisclosed agenda and activities, including its steadily growing worldwide project of opening schools

2. How many of the board members who authorized these schools (Los Angeles USD, Oakland USD, San Diego Unified, Santa Clara County Office of Education, El Dorado County Office of Education, or the California State Board of Education) know anything about the Gulen Movement and/or the controversies which surround its undisclosed agenda and activities, including its steadily growing worldwide project of opening schools?

3. How many of the people just mentioned above know that these charter schools have been opened for the purpose of implementing Fethullah Gulen's vision and educational philosophy, and to advance the cause of the Gulen Movement -- including the building of an ever-growing body of Americans who are sympathetic to the movement? 

4. Is it right for public money to be used in this way when at least 99.99% of the taxpayers have no idea about any of the things mentioned above?

Read "How the schools serve the Gulen Movement."
The graphs demonstrating the enrollment at all Gulen charter schools in the U.S. will be much, much steeper. The first school was opened in 1999, and now the movement operates ~140 schools which enroll approximately 35,000 students. 

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Magnolia Science Academy advertises for teachers on Craig's List

Teachers needed: music, art, PE and multiple subject (Carson, CA)

Date: 2011-08-29, 8:07AM PDT
Reply to: [Errors when replying to ads?]

Magnolia Science Academy 3 (grades 6-10) in Carson is looking for new teachers in the following areas:

Music teacher: Part time, credential is preferred.

Art teacher: Part time, credential is required.

Multiple subject teacher: Part time or full name. this teacher might teach math, science and math intervention for middle school students. Multiple subject credential is required.

Physical Education (PE) teacher: Part time, credential is required.

Computer science: Part time, credential is required.

If you are interested, please send me your resume at mkaya (at) magnoliascience org or reply to this post with your resume.

Magnolia Science Academy 3 - Carson. 1254 East Helmick st. Carson, 90746.

Thank you.

Mr. Kaya

Academic Coordinator

Magnolia Science Academy 3 - Carson
1254 East Helmick Street Carson, CA 90746

Phone (310) 637-3806
Fax (310) 637-3809

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Gulen Charter Schools Censor The Internet, hides behind playing victim while repressing fellow Turkish citizens

A study on Islamophobia in the US, released by the Washington-based Center for American Progress (CAP) on Friday, highlights how a small group of donors fund misinformation experts who promote Islamophobic sentiments and how their misinformation spreads through the media and grassroots organizers like Eagle Forum.

The research was also reported that these misinformation experts are also manufacturing a smear campaign against the Gülen movement, inspired by the teachings of Turkish Islamic scholar Fethullah Gülen, in the US.
The extensive study, titled "Fear, Inc.: The Roots of the Islamophobia Network in America," was conducted through the collaborative efforts of prominent experts like Wajahat Ali, Eli Clifton, Matthew Duss, Lee Fang, Scott Keyes and Faiz Shakir.
According to the research, five experts generated the misinformation and materials used by political leaders, grassroots groups and the media. Those experts are:
Frank Gaffney at the Center for Security Policy
David Yerushalmi at the Society of Americans for National Existence
Daniel Pipes at the Middle East Forum
Robert Spencer of Jihad Watch and Stop Islamization of America
Steven Emerson of the Investigative Project on Terrorism
The research revealed that these misinformation experts have been very influential on Islamophobia groups in 23 states, exemplified by Brigitte Gabriel's ACT! For America, Pam Geller's Stop Islamization of America, David Horowitz's Freedom Center and existing groups, such as the American Family Association and the Eagle Forum.
According to the report, this small network of people is driving national and global debates that have real consequences on the public dialogue and American Muslims.
The research also shed light on the key foundations that endorse these misinformation experts by channeling $42.6 million between 2001 and 2009 to their efforts to spread hate and misinformation.
In the research, these top seven key foundations are listed and ranked according to the amount of founding as follows:
Donors Capital Fund
Richard Mellon Scaife Foundation
Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation
Newton and Rochelle Becker Foundation
Russell Berrie Foundation
Anchorage Charitable Fund and William
Fairbrook Foundation.
The Donors Capital Fund, which is listed at the top in the report, contributed $21,318,600 to groups promoting Islamophobia from 2007 to 2009. The research revealed that this money went to the Middle East Forum, Clarion Fund, Investigative Project on Terrorism and the David Horowitz Freedom Center.
One of the significant parts of the research claims that these misinformation experts have served as source for Anders Breivik who shot and killed 77 people in Norway on July 22.
In the research, it was reported that Breivik cited Robert Spencer, one of the anti-Muslim misinformation scholars, and his blog, Jihad Watch, 162 times in his manifesto. Another member of this "network of Islamophobia" in America is David Horowitz and his Freedom Center website. Spencer's frequent collaborator Pamela Geller and her blog, Atlas Shrugs, were also mentioned 12 times by Breivik.
According to former CIA officer and terrorism consultant Marc Sageman as quoted in the report, the writings of these anti-Muslim misinformation experts make up “the infrastructure from which Breivik emerged.”
Now, it is important to make a distinction and say that even though some of these misinformation experts are of Jewish decent, like David Yerushalmi for example, not all Jewish organizations are in the same alarmist line.
For example, the Anti-Defamation League reviewed Yerushalmi's activities and concluded that he has a "record of anti-Muslim, anti-immigrant and black bigotry.
The research also pointed out that The Eagle Forum, which is classified within the Islamophobia network, has targeted the Gülen movement, labeling it as a threat of radical Islam, although it actually devotes itself to education, global peace and mutual understanding efforts.
Noting that the Eagle Forum partners with Brigitte Gabriel's ACT! for America and Frank Gaffney's Center for Security Policy to push anti-Muslim issues, particularly anti-Shariah hysteria, the study explained: "At its 2011 Eagle Forum conference in St. Louis, Missouri, for example, Gabriel, Gaffney and others in the network revealed a new supposed threat: Muslim Gülen schools, which they claim would educate children through the lens of Islam and teach them to 'hate Americans'."
"Worse, the speakers alleged that President [Barack] Obama's support for charter school reforms was a back-door strategy for using taxpayer money to fund the schools," it added. "Of course, Gülen schools are nothing of the sort. They are the product of moderate Turkish Muslim educators who want 'a blend of religious faith and largely Western curriculum'," the study, nevertheless, maintained.
Now we should also remember a disappointing article appeared in The New York Times on June 7, by Stephanie Saul titled “Charter Schools Tied to Turkey Grow in Texas,” which attempted to defame Harmony Public Schools in Texas.
The research raises the question of whether the article was a part of these misinformation campaigns or not.
As we remember quite well, the article contained an explicitly anti-immigrant bias and suggested that Harmony, one of the most successful charter school programs in the US, is somehow suspect because its founders were Turkish immigrants. Unfortunately, the impressive success story of Harmony students was barely mentioned in the article.
This New York Times article triggered some other biased articles in The Times Picayune of New Orleans, leading the charter of Abramson Charter School to be revoked. The school was run by the Pelican Foundation, which was established in December 2005 and primarily focuses on math, science and technology. Now, they are trying to start a similar smear campaign against Kenilworth Science and Technology School, which also operates under the Pelican Foundation.
Now, I think it is necessary to clarify here that even though these schools are often called Gülen schools, in fact they are quite different. As a reporter, I interviewed some of the founders of these schools and they claim that they have no affiliation with the Gülen movement, which has devoted itself to global peace and education in all over the world. Is it bad to be affiliated with the Gülen Movement? Most definitely not, but even though some of the founders of these schools migrated from Turkey and were inspired by the teachings of Mr. Gülen, they are American citizens and it's their constitutional right to choose to identify themselves however they want.
Mainstream American media, interestingly, remains silent about CAP's research.
* Aydoğan Vatandaş is an investigative reporter based in New York and holds an MA in media studies.

The repressive regime continues in Turkey
The Turkish government goes on arrested those who are in opposition.
 Just a few days ago, ten members of the very popular and opponent National Channel (Ulusal Kanal) workers and Aydinlik newspaper staff were put in jail.The Government's police raided Aydinlik and took 10 people into custody.  The police officers searched the whole TV building and the press agency and captured many documents and computers..
 "The Police based their actions on a recent broadcast about the prime minister's speech."

Because these kinds of operations have been carried on on opponent press agencies, this rationale is not supported by the truth
Those who are under arrest by the AKP government have started a hunger strike.  Many of their friends who are not imprisoned have joined them. ,Those who are imprisoned are facing serious health problems because of the bad conditions
The Turkish police raided one Turkish press office and one Turkish TV office.  As a result, they arrested 10 people.  Other Turkish media will not report this, because they are afraid of a Government clamp down." reporter USA by Pen Macpherson

Protestors face off with Gulen Movement controlled police in Turkey

Before hunger strike

After arrest and hunger strike

Friday, August 26, 2011

Magnolia Science Academy, Gulen Charter School applies for $8.7 million in Charter School Facilities funding.

See complete Magnolia Educational Charter School Facilities request for $8,706.978


STAFF SUMMARY REPORT – JUNE 2011 Applicant/Obligor:
Magnolia Educational and Research Foundation
Project School:
Pacific Technology School – Santa Ana
CDS (County – District – School) Code:
09 76596 0119537
[Proposed] Project Location:
1548 W First Street, 1434 W First Street and 1525 W Walnut Street, Santa Ana, CA
Project Type:
New Construction
District in which Project is Located:
Santa Ana Unified School District
Charter Authorizer:
California State Board of Education
Total OPSC Project Cost:
State Apportionment (50% Project Cost):
Lump Sum Contribution:
Total CSFP Financed Amount:
Length of CSFP Funding Agreement:
30 years
Assumed Interest Rate:
Estimated Annual CSFP Payment:
First Year of Occupancy of New Project:

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Gulen Charter Schools in California- LAUSD outperforms Charter Schools

No surprise, Charter School closures for Califorinia 2009 were largely closed because of mismanagement and financial issues.  collectively 72% of the reason.

After all the debate over teacher evaluation, class size, reading & math fundamentals, special ed, etc., what actually works in public education? New test scores released Monday revealed surprising results: that the Los Angeles Unified School District not only held its own in math and English test scores, but in most cases outperformed schools run by four charter reform efforts. What’s more, the district achieved the feat without outside funding brought in by reform groups to their schools. LAUSD is championing the results but the charters say it’s not the whole picture. They claim the numbers alone leave out important elements, like the large number of students who greatly improved their scores but still did not meet proficiency standards, school safety, and student retention to list just a few. David leads a discussion with the LAUSD and heads of some of those reform efforts about what approach they take, what works—both in the long and short term-and what the goals of public education should be

Gulen Charter Schools in California are:
Magnolia Science Academies (largely based in Southern California with 1 in Santa Clara)
Bay Area Technology School (Oakland)
Pacific Technology School (Orangevale, CA near Sacramento)

Friday, July 8, 2011

Magnolia Science Academy, the HYPE and MARKETING never stops!!!


Sheriff Baca was last year's key note speaker.  Lately Baca has been under the fire for his pro - Islamic slant

Watch LA Sheriff busted here for his participation in Islamic Services and groups.

Wow this is impressive, now they got the Assistant Director in charge of the local FBI and a Hispanic American as well to do this year's keynote address.  This co-mingling of the FBI is nothing, the Gulen Charter Schools are under FBI investigation this Martinez is a nothing and nobody!!!!

Then there is always the fake rankings, this one is by The Washington Post (owned by another cult the Rev. Sun Moon)  where Magnolia is ranked a paltry #114.  What is this challenge index?  How many Gulenists can slam the online voting boards?

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Magnolia Science Academy, A Gulen Charter School to face more scrutiny under SB 0645

It seems that Senator Simitian has overwhelming support on this SB 0645 which is about strict accountability and oversight of charter schools.  No more claiming of high test scores or other PR glossed over nonsense.  If Charter schools apply to the State of California for these $million dollar construction grants, you will be transparent.   The largest Charter School chain in the USA Inspire has backed this bill and it will be voted in.
Hey Suleyman, start opening up your books and who is paying for those trips to Turkey or the nonsense Gulen sponsored Olympiads, where you parade American children around dressed in Harem outfits.

SB 645: Charter Schools (2011)
Senate Bill 645 increases oversight and accountability for charter schools.  The bill would require the Superintendent of Public Instruction to identify the charter schools that have not met the renewal criteria, as defined by the bill, and notify the charter school and its authorizer. The bill would prohibit the renewal of a charter school that does not meet the criteria.  A charter school that does not meet the renewal criteria may appeal to the State Board of Education.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Magnolia Science Academy-A Gulen Charter School, Turkey ranks the lowest in higher education

Wall Street Journal article explores the sagging educational system in Germany and mentions their large Turkish population.  Also note the country ranking included with the article how Turkey is ranked at the bottom in percentage of higher education graduates.
Can someone explain how the Gulen Movement has conned local school districts in the USA that Turkey has some sort of superior education?  BALONEY!!!
JUNE 27, 2011
In Search of a New Course
Germany's once-lauded education system is under fire. But fixing it hasn't been easy.
Germany, the birthplace of kindergarten and the modern university, has long been admired for its commitment to education and for good reason: For generations its specialized schools produced more than their share of Nobel Prize winners, as well as the highest skilled tradesmen—high-octane fuel for Europe's economic powerhouse.
Journal Report
Read the complete Germany report.
Today, however, Germany is coming to grips with a much different report card—that of an academic underachiever. Almost one-fifth of Germany's 15-year-olds can't read proficiently, and just 29.8% of young adults have a higher-education degree, below the European Union average of 33.6%. Many students who attend the country's lower-tier high schools don't leave with the skills they need to get additional training in a trade, according to the government's 2010 education report.
For a country whose primary asset is brain power, Germany can hardly afford to lag behind in education. Fearing that large swaths of the future work force may soon be too uneducated to maintain Germany's export-driven economy, much less support its fast-aging population, policy makers have wrestled with a range of reforms in recent years despite deep support within society for the current educational system.
"Being just OK is not good enough for a country with high living standards, wages and technology," says Jörg Dräger, board member responsible for education programs at the Bertelsmann Foundation, a German think tank.
Many policy makers believe Germany's early-selection school system—one of the few in Europe that splits children up at around age 10—is at the heart of the problem. After four years of primary school in most German regions, the smartest go on to Gymnasien, top-level high schools for university-bound students, while average students are directed to Realschulen, a path usually to white-collar or technical trades. Those with the lowest grades go to Hauptschulen, schools traditionally meant to prepare students for mid-to lower-level vocational training but that over time have become reservoirs for immigrant children and others who have fallen through the cracks.
More than in most other developed countries, however, the biggest determinant of a German child's educational track appears to be his or her family's socioeconomic status. Even with similar grades, children with college-educated parents are at least three times more likely to go on to Gymnasien than those from working-class families, according to data from the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development.
That's of particular concern as Germany's poorly assimilated immigrant population swells—some 20% of Germany's school children come from Turkish or other immigrant families. While the rest of the system scores average or better in many education standards, "the 20% or so that gets lost is a catastrophe," says Mr. Dräger.
Nevertheless, the three-track system continues to have deep support within society, partly because of Germany's past education and economic success. Most prized—and staunchly defended—are Germany's academically rigorous Gymnasien.
"The idea is that homogenous learning groups are better at helping children perform," says Katharina Spiess, education and family research director at the German Institute for Economic Research, of the early-selection system.
But Germany received a rude shock nearly a decade ago, when its teens unexpectedly scored in the bottom third of a widely watched OECD study, well behind many European peers.
German states, which control the education system, have made modest changes, and academic improvement, since then. In some regions, Hauptschulen arebeing combined with Realschulen, and in most cases, students at the combined secondary schools still have the option of pursuing a course toward a diploma that would allow them to attend a university.
But the collapse of a plan to reform schools in the port city-state of Hamburg last year underscores the difficulty of pushing through bolder reform. There, the city's conservative-Green ruling coalition pitched a plan to extend primary school by two years, waiting until after the sixth grade to divide children into different schools. The idea was to give children more time to determine the best education path, and let poorer and slower learners benefit from mixing longer with faster ones.
The result was a fierce backlash, especially among university-educated parents who feared their children's education would suffer by shortening the Gymnasium phase of it. Voters decisively rejected the plan in a referendum last July, leading to the resignation of Hamburg's mayor.
The defeat has discouraged political leaders in other German states from broaching more radical school reform. North-Rhine Westphalia sought to sidestep a similar battle by allowing individual municipalities to decide whether to form schools that kept children together until up to the 10th grade as part of a pilot project.
That didn't stop protests among some parents and teachers. In April, a judge blocked one of the first moves to form a so-called community school, putting the effort in legal limbo.
Still, many Germans argue its education system needs to become less rigid to adapt to an ever more global economy and give its people more opportunities to broaden their skills.
Sabine Lochner-Zerbe, a 51-year-old mother of two in Berlin, learned firsthand the difficulties of changing education course when as a youth she was sent to Realschule.
"I had the grades, but my father didn't think it was so necessary for girls to go to Gymnasium," she says. After training to become a florist, she realized she wanted to go to college. To do so, however, she had to go back for three years of high school to get the necessary diploma. At age 25, she began her university studies, eventually receiving a physics degree in Scotland.
But her tenacious efforts to pursue a higher degree haven't always been looked upon favorably. "People just view it as indecision," she says.
In Berlin, children already wait until after the sixth grade to take a specific school path. Ms. Lochner-Zerbe's 10-year-old daughter will learn next year whether her primary school recommends her for Gymnasium—"a lot of stress," she adds. "But I think it's better that they have more time than I did."
Ms. Fuhrmans is a reporter for The Wall Street Journal in Berlin. She can be reached at