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

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Magnolia Schools Opening ends close business relationship

As one of the conditions for allowing Magnolia Science Academy 6 in Palms and Magnolia Science Academy 7 in Van Nuys to remain open, Superior Court Judge Luis A. Lavin ruled last week that the parent company, Magnolia Public Schools (MPS), could no longer do business with Accord Institute for Education Research. That effectively ended a close business relationship.

 A very close business relationship. Magnolia Public Schools, the parent of the two charters, is located at 13950 Milton Ave in Westminster, Suite 200A. Accord is located at 13950 Milton Ave in Westminster, Suite 200B. Close ties are also evident in two of Accord’s three board members who previously served on the board for MPS and were intimately involved in launching a few of the charter schools. The Accord website says current board president Ertan Salik was a “key figure in the charter school development team for Magnolia Science Academy, where he served as the board president from 2002 to 2005.” Another Accord board member, Suat Utku Ay, was on the board of directors for Magnolia Science Academy 1 in Reseda from 2005 to 2007. He was also the lead petitioner for Magnolia Science Academy 2 in Van Nuys.

In ruling against LA Unified, which wanted to close the schools over financial concerns, Lavin listed six conditions that could not be violated for the schools to remain open. One was an end to MPS’s outsourcing core administrative services for all eight of its LA Unified schools to Accord. Accord provided professional training, human resource and financial support, curriculum development, teacher evaluations and other academic support services for MPS. LA Unified contended that transferring those responsibilities called into question MPS’s accountability in the operations of its schools. While Lavin did not explain his reasoning for insisting on the breakup, in a June 27 letter to MPS, Jose Cole-Gutierrez, head of LA Unified’s Charter School Division, said the overlap of services provided by MPS and Accord “raises the question of the purpose of (MPS) and the management fees it receives from the schools when it appears that Accord is providing wholesale operations to the school.” LA Unified concluded that MPS spent nearly 30 percent of its total 2012 spending in payments to Accord and 26 percent in 2013. Between 2010 and February of 2014, the district said MPS paid Accord about $3 million. MPS denied all accusations of impropriety and argued that the $3 million represents a only 2.75 percent of the parent company’s five year, $110 million revenue stream, according to Mekan Muhammedov, Chief Finance Officer of MPS.

But Mehmet Argin, MPS CEO, told LA School Report, “We will comply with all the conditions” set by Lavin. “I believe the judge made a fair decision.” Lavin’s prohibition against the MPS-Accord business relationship struck at least one other charter executive as curious. David Hyun, Chief Financial and Operating Officer for Alliance College Ready Public Schools, which will operate 26 district charter schools when schools open in August, says Alliance would avoid the perception of a conflict interest but that there is nothing inherently illegal in what MPS is doing. “I don’t think the location matters; I think it’s about control,” he told LA School Report. “If the Accord board members are not on the board of Magnolia anymore, and they are two separate legal entities, then I don’t see where the conflict lies. Now if that board member was on Magnolia and Accord, at the same time, then I see the conflict.” It is unclear whether MPS or another outside company will now assume the responsibilities once performed by Accord.


Thursday, July 24, 2014

Magnolia Science Academy a Gulen operated Charter school goes to court

07/24/2014 at 01:31 pm in department 82 at 111 North Hill Street, Los Angeles, CA 90012 Order to Show Cause Re Prelim Inj MAGNOLIA IS PROVIDING A BUS TO SUPPORTERS TO THE COURTHOUSE. WHO IS PAYING FOR THIS BUS--TAXPAYERS?
In Chicago the Gulen Movement rounded up homeless people from a rehab center, bused them in and gave them free t shirt and lunch. LOL. Its the middle of the afternoon why aren't these parents at work?

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Magnolia Science Academy linked to reclusive Turkish Imam face closure A fiscal audit of two Los Angeles charter schools for fiscal mismanagement has led to concerns about the two charter schools’ parent organization. The audit led to the closing of Magnolia Science Academy-6 and Magnolia Science Academy-7 for reasons, according to L.A. Unified district, that included “a number of irregularities.” However, the audit also apparently revealed that the charters’ parent, Magnolia Public Schools, may itself be insolvent. The news about the two Magnolia schools in Los Angeles has been noticed by other localities that host Magnolia charters. The Santa Clara County Office of Education last year renewed a charter petition for a Magnolia school outside of Cupertino, but is now concerned. “We will pay attention to this—we wouldn’t want to find out that our [Magnolia charter] school would have to close because other [Magnolia] schools are in trouble,” said Don Bolce, Santa Clara’s director of special projects. “We recognize that with a charter school that is part of a charter management organization, a problem at one school could impact other schools – if there is a problem, it endangers the system.” Magnolia’s charter school in Santa Ana, according to L.A. School Report, “has been of concern to school and county officials in Orange County despite winning approval for $18 million in facilities bond money.” The Magnolia charter school system has had its ups and downs over the years, with some schools closed in other districts. But the 11 operating Magnolia schools, including eight in the Los Angeles Unified School District, are not ordinary charter schools, assuming there is any such thing. A Turkish newspaper, the Daily Sabah, indicates that the Magnolia schools are affiliated with a Turkish movement called the Gülen Movement. A website for the Gülen movement, also called “Hizmet,” describes the movement as “a faith-inspired, non-political, cultural and educational movement whose basic principles stem from Islam’s universal values, such as love of the creation, sympathy for the fellow human, compassion, and altruism,” establishing schools and universities around the world to carry out the beliefs of Gülen. The Daily Sabah, supportive of Turkish government authorities, has a much more negative characterization of Gülen. “The movement is led by a controversial imam living in rural Pennsylvania in self-imposed exile, who is at odds with the Turkish government over the influence he wields inside the Turkish police forces and top judiciary. Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan recently requested the extradition of Fethullah Gülen both privately and publicly from the Obama administration and accused Gülen of plotting a judicial coup against the Turkish government before the local elections last March.” The Hizmet Chronicle, a news outlet that is supportive of the movement and critical of the Turkish government, has charged that the press has smeared Gülen schools, with the Erdoğan-connected Turkish press playing a role in headines about other Gülen-related schools. Another website provides a somewhat dated list (as of 2011) of Gülen-affiliated public schools, numbering perhaps as many as 140, including 44 in Texas and 19 in Ohio, though it seems that they aren’t all part of the same network or management. Why charter schools? A 60 Minutes piece on Gülen schools makes the connection to the Gülen belief system: Living in exile in a gated retreat in Pennsylvania’s Poconos, “the Turkish imam Fethullah Gülen…tells his followers that to be devout Muslims they shouldn’t build mosques—they should build schools; and not to teach religion, but science. In sermons on the web, he actually says: ‘Studying physics, mathematics, and chemistry is worshipping God.’ So Gülen’s followers have gone out and built over 1,000 schools around the globe - from Turkey to Togo; from Taiwan to Texas.” We certainly don’t know enough to comment pro or con about the Gülen movement and the insinuations against it lodged by the Erdoğan government. However, there have been criticisms, highlighted in the 60 Minutes coverage, that the Gülen charter schools are, according to a whistleblower, basically a money-making operation and a ruse for getting Gülen’s Turkish acolytes visas. If the Gülen schools are business ventures first and educational institutions second, the shutting down of Magnolia schools in Los Angeles suggests that the business plan might not be working in some geographies. But without taking a position regarding Gülen versus Erdoğan, we can suggest that creating charter schools that overtly or covertly pursue a specific quasi-religious message, even to the point of one linked to a cultish leader like Gülen, shouldn’t be part of the K-12 public school system. Even if Gülen’s reported vision of Islam is positive with its emphasis on science, to the extent that it is tied to religion and doing battle with other interpretations of the Koran, it doesn’t really belong in a public school system—Rick Cohen

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

LAUSD orders 2 Gulen Magnolia Science Academies closed, parents vow to fight despite being in the dark over finances LOS ANGELES (AP/ — Los Angeles Unified School District officials have decided to close two charter schools, based on the finding of a draft audit that has not been made public. District administrators last month revoked the charters of Van Nuys’ Magnolia Science Academy 7 elementary school and its sister institution, Magnolia Academy 6 middle school in Palms, The Daily News reported.

Just months earlier, the district board “conditionally” approved renewing the schools’ charters. The California Charter Schools Association says the district’s approval and sudden revocation violates state law. “With little warning, no chance to respond and with only six weeks until the start of the next school year, LAUSD informed us that they are not renewing two of our Charters, based on findings that are either factually incorrect or grave misinterpretations,” Magnolia Education and Research Foundation’s Mehnet Argin said.

A judge will consider issuing an injunction Thursday that could stop the district from closing the schools, at least temporarily. About 300 students who attended Magnolia Science Academy 7 and another 140 students at Magnolia Science Academy 6 will have to find new schools to attend for the fall session, according to LA School Report. According to The Daily News, there had been questions in the past as to whether schools as small as the Magnolia academies were financially viable.

Read here how Magnolia Science Academy's Accord Institute is related to Faruk Taban and Turkish Lobbying.

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Magnolia Science Academy investigation California state wide

Not only the LAUSD but the entire State of California

New troubles for the non-profit charter school network, Magnolia Public Schools (MPS), are beginning to raise concerns beyond LA Unified, where the sudden closure of two schools for fiscal mismanagement expanded yesterday into what could be a larger investigation.
In a letter outlining a recent fiscal audit that led to the closure of the two LA Unified schools, Magnolia Science Academy-6 and Magnolia Science Academy-7, district officials detailed a number of irregularities and called the parent organization itself “insolvent.”
At least one other county has noticed.
“We will pay attention to this – we wouldn’t want to find out that our school would have to close because other schools are in trouble,” said Don Bolce, director of special projects at the Santa Clara County Office of Education, which renewed a charter petition last year for a Magnolia school located on the outskirts of Cupertino after reviewing concerns about the school’s finances.
“We recognize that with a charter school that is part of a charter management organization, a problem at one school could impact other schools – if there is a problem, it endangers the system,” he told LA School Report.
Messages seeking comment from Mehmet Argin, the MPS chief executive, were not immediately returned.
MPS currently operates 11 schools across California: eight in LAUSD, plus three others, including one in Santa Ana that has been of concern to school and county officials in Orange County despite winning approval for $18 million in facilities bond money.

Magnolia has also closed — and attempted to open — numerous other schools in various districts in recent years. (See list below).
For MPS, the problems in LA Unified are just the latest in a series of issues that have plagued the nonprofit in recent years. It has faced numerous audits of its schools as well as accusations of an association with a Turkish group called the Gulen movement, an Islamist-based group involved in education in countries around the world that has been accused of creating a cult-like environment in its schools.
An examination by LA School Report of public documents reveals a history of concern by officials around California who have repeatedly flagged financial issues.  Here is a rundown of some of the activity that MPS taken in recent years:
District Charter – San Diego Unified School District 
  • SD Magnolia Science Academy 2
    Closed 2010: MPS had won a charter petition to open the school in 2009, but after a year’s delay, it opened with only eight students enrolled. It was closed by the district mid-semester in 2010.
  • Magnolia Next Generation Charter
    Denied 2014: MPS submitted a charter petition numerous times to the school district to open Next Generation. In denying the charter this year, the district said the organization was “demonstrably unlikely to successfully implement the program set forth in the petition because the petitioners have presented an unrealistic operational plan for the proposed charter with respect to facilities and enrollment.”
  • Magnolia Science Academy – San Diego open since 2005
    Renewal petition slated for 2015: The district sent warnings to MPS in both 2011 and 2012 after finding it had a negative ending fund balance and an inadequate reserve.
Countywide Charter – Santa Clara County Board of Education
  • Magnolia Science Academy — Santa ClaraRenewal approved 2013: Reservations stemming from its financial footing were flagged in a staff report that cited concerns with the school’s “negative fund balances, negative cash flow, poor fiscal accounting procedures, and internal control weaknesses.” Since then, according to Bolce, the county monitored its progress, and the school made the necessary adjustments. “Our biggest concerns were that we saw some operational concerns, the thing that was driving it for us – we had concerns about the school’s solvency…that was because the state was deferring payment.”
Statewide Benefit Charter
  • Pacific Technology School-Orangevale  (Near Sacramento)
    Closed 2013: This school strugged with enrollment and financial issues, and was flagged by the state as being in “Poor Financial Condition.” According to a memo issued by Secretary of Education, Tom Torlakson last year, the school had  a “negative fund balance trend is an indicator that demonstrates poor fiscal management practices and if unabated may result in financial insolvency or (California Dept. of Education/State Board of Education) action.” The school was closed in June 2013.
  • Santa Ana Pacific Charter/Magnolia Santa Ana (190 students 6-12)
    Renewed April 2014: Operating for five years as a “statewide benefit charter,” authorized by the California Department of Education, this school was forced to seek a new authorizer when its sister school in Orangevale closed. (The state requires an operator to have two schools under a statewide benefit charter). Last year, the state put it on a list of schools in “Poor Financial Condition,” and when the operator sought authorization from the Santa Ana Unified School District, the district denied the petition, citing fiscal concerns. The appeal was denied by the Orange County Department of Education in February of this year. On appeal, the Advisory Commission on Charter Schools State Board of Education voted in favor of awarding a the charter despite a staff report citing financial concerns.The school is on track to receive $18 million dollars in bond money for a new facility.
Previous Posts: JUST IN: LAUSD expands probe into Magnolia charter schools‘Fiscal mismanagement’ cited in closing 2 Magnolia chartersTwo LAUSD charter schools face closure after fiscal audit

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Magnolia Science Academy - A Gulen Charter School: LAUSD to expand investigation includes all Magnoli...

Magnolia Science Academy - A Gulen Charter School: LAUSD to expand investigation includes all Magnoli...: LAUSD’s audit of two Magnolia Science Academy ch...

LAUSD to expand investigation includes all Magnolia Science Academys as ordered by Dr. Deasy

LAUSD’s audit of two Magnolia Science Academy charter schools leading to their possible closure has triggered investigations into the financial health of six other schools run by the same non-profit group.
We are looking at the other Magnolia charter schools through the Office of the Inspector General,” Superintendent John Deasy told LA School Report today.
The district denied the charter renewal applications for Magnolia Science Academies 6 and 7 after an independent audit conducted on behalf of the district determined that the schools’ parent company, Magnolia Public Schools (MPS), is insolvent. The audit uncovered a number of fiscal management violations.   
MPS, which is based in Westminster, Calif., operates eight schools within LA Unified that serve more than 2,700 students. It also runs three other schools in San Diego, Santa Clara and Costa Mesa.
The organization told LA School Report today it is appealing the denials to the LA County Board of Education, an avenue that state laws provide. The schools have also filed for an injunction in LA Superior Court to allow the schools to remain open. A hearing is set for July 24.
LA Unified’s chief legal counsel, David Holmquist, said the district routinely expands the scope of its investigations when there is evidence of potential instability. 

“It’s our normal course of action when we get a report that says something is wrong,” he explained.  
Holmquist said the findings of further investigations could launch the revocation process for the remaining Magnolia schools, putting the future of more than 2,300 students in jeopardy.
About 140 students who attended Magnolia Science Academy 6 in Palms and another 300 who attended Magnolia Science Academy 7 in Van Nuys will have to find new schools to attend starting in the fall. 
Fiscal mismanagement problems and low enrollment have plagued most the LA Magnolia campuses since the first charter was founded in 2002. Most recently, a 2012 audit of Magnolias 1, 2 and 3 by the Inspector General’s office found that Magnolia “needed to strengthen their internal control systems and their oversight of fiscal and financial operations.” 
According to that review of the non-profit group’s financial statements and accounting records numerous concerns emerged such as: non-disclosure of transactions; failure to maintain required reserves; failure to appropriately apply accrual basis of accounting; insufficient monitoring of cash receipts and deposits process; insufficient documentation for disbursements; a lack of control over journal entries, and lack of adequate training for the accounting staff.
Despite the irregularities, the district did not initiate the revocation process for any of schools. Instead, it made recommendations for the charter management company to correct the problems.
These are Magnolia’s eight schools in LA Unified:
  • Magnolia Science Academy 1– Reseda
    Enrolls 538 Students
    Charter renewed in 2012 and expires in 2019
  • Magnolia Science Academy 2 — Valley
    Enrolls 440 students
    Charter renewed in 2012 and expires in 2017
  • Magnolia Science Academy 3 — Carson
    Enrolls 426 students
    Charter renewed in 2012 and expires in 2017
  • Magnolia Science Academy 4 — Venice
    Enrolls 202 students
    Charter renewed in 2013 and expires in 2018
  • Magnolia Science Academy 5 — Hollywood
    Enrolls 240 students
    Charter renewed in 2013 and expires in 2018
  • Magnolia Science Academy 6 — Palms
    Enrolls 137 students
    Charter was up 2013, not renewed
  • Magnolia Science Academy 7 — Van Nuys
    Enrolls 301 students
    Charter was up 2013, not renewed
  • Magnolia Science Academy 8 — Bell (Pilot School)
    Enrolls 497 students

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Magnolia Science Academy # 6 and #7 not renewed and ordered CLOSED after forensic audits

Two high performing LA Unified charter schools, Magnolia Science Academy 6 and Magnolia Science Academy 7, have been ordered to shut down after failing a new round of scrutiny, leaving the possibility that 450 students will be looking for a new school in the fall.
The two schools had initially been approved for renewal by the school board in March, pending the results of an internal fiscal audit by the district’s Inspector General. But the findings of that audit, which was concluded late last month, led the LAUSD Charter School Division to call off the four-year renewals.
“We are empathetic that parents and families are in this situation but it doesn’t touch the level of disruption it would cause if the schools were to shut down mid-year,” board member Steve Zimmer told LA School Report about the last minute closure.
“What is happening now is a function of our obligation as an authorizer. We have an obligation to make sure all of our schools are sound and to make sure the laws are followed,” said Zimmer, in whose district Magnolia Science Academy 6 is located.
Last week the schools’ management organization, Magnolia Charter Schools, filed an injunction in Los Angeles Superior Court to prevent the closures. A hearing is set for July 24th.
It’s unclear exactly how the schools violated the district’s guidelines — district officials declined to elaborate — but at the time of the renewal application the district was looking into the long-term fiscal viability of the two schools. Both have struggled to meet enrollment targets and were planning to eliminate grade levels next year. And neither school maintained the district’s recommended 5 percent in cash reserves as a rainy day fund.

Another issue that has dogged the schools’ operator in the past has been its ties to the Gulen movement, a Turkish Islamist group that has founded schools, think tanks, and media outlets around the world.
At the school board meeting in March, Inspector General Ken Bramlett confirmed claims of the association, “We have done some looking into that allegation and there is some evidence that some members of the Magnolia organization do have ties with the Gulen movement, but we have not found anything currently that would be grounds for denial.”
Instead, Jose Cole-Guitierrez, Director of the Charter School division told the board, “we want to do a deeper dive” into the schools’ financial state, before adding, “our expectation is that there [will be] no material weaknesses found in that review.”
But the findings of that audit apparently revealed enough damaging information that it triggered the non-renewal.
At last week’s board meeting Janelle Ruley, an attorney representing the Magnolia Science Academy schools, challenged the Charter School Division’s decision and its timing, accusing the district of delaying the results of the Inspector General’s audit until the last day of the school year, which left the schools no time to respond to or remedy the violations.
“Right now, it’s the middle of the summer and all of a sudden these students don’t know where they’re going to school next year,” she said.
She asked the board “to retract the letter from the Charter Schools Division and instead work with the charter schools to find collaborative solutions for these students over the summer.”
But in a statement released today, LAUSD says the schools had plenty of warning. “Magnolia was present at the Board meeting and was aware of the recommendation for conditional renewal before, during, and after the Board action.  The Charter Schools Division and Magnolia had several discussions regarding the steps needed to implement the review of the schools’ fiscal processes and operations.”
Calls to Magnolia Charter Schools were not returned. There is no indication on either school website or corresponding Facebook pages that parents have been informed of the schools’ closure.

The audit is below that determined Magnolia Science Academy #6 and #7 closed.  Page 5 indicates over $200,000 was spent on H1-b Visas and many were not employees.  Additionally one of the parent companies MERF (Magnolia Education and Research Foundation) borrowed $2.8 million from the schools.