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

Friday, February 12, 2016

Magnolia Science Academy OIG (Office of the Inspector General) Audits and Investigations

Caprice Young thought the worst was behind her, that her group's charter schools would be free to grow steal after straightening out the poor financial record-keeping that prompted a recent state audit.
She was wrong. 
The school district still found fault with her organization's petitions to open new campuses. District officials told her to expect rejection.
Young's group, Magnolia Public Schools, eventually abandoned the effort.<---Good no one wants them.

Charter supporters say the district is unfairly scrutinizing their independently run campuses because it sees them as a threat.
At Tuesday's board meeting, members are poised to reject two new charters — this in addition to the three charter petitions that Young withdrew from consideration.
Since July 1, L.A. Unified has denied six petitions and approved five others, according to figures from the California Charter Schools Assn.
That's less than a 50% approval rate. Two years ago it was 89% and last year it was 77%, according to the association.
In a letter emailed to the board Monday, leaders of charter groups accused the district of obstructing their efforts to improve public education:
"We are concerned that this district is looking for reasons to prevent new charter schools from opening, even those proposed by the most respected, successful charter operators. Issues that in the past were seen as minor or correctable are now elevated to significant issues that somehow warrant denial." There is more than a hundred reasons that Magnolia Science Academy should not only be denied but closed down in the State of California. 
Twenty-one charter organizations, enrolling 56,000 students, signed the letter, which continued:
"Given the measurable drop in approvals for new petitions, the inconsistent and non-transparent review processes, and the backroom pressure to abandon our efforts to grow, we all feel it is appropriate to bring these concerns into the light of day." Magnolia Science Academy represents less than 8% of the 21 charter schools.
The school district has not analyzed its approval rate, said Jose Cole-Gutierrez, <---use to work for CCSA (California Charter School Association)  head of the charter-school division, and he denied any wrongdoing or change in policy.
"The process has remained the same, and the findings are there for the board and the public to review," he said. "Our office continues to be focused on quality for students and putting students first."
Charters' rapid growth — to about 101,000 students in L.A. — is responsible for about half of a precipitous drop in district enrollment and the funding that comes with it.
Charter operators said that families who want to take advantage of charters should not be thwarted. The charter association also points to regulations indicating that charters can't be blocked because of harm to the district budget. That is ridiculous pretzel logic. Charters want the same funding as traditional public schools but they don't want the same accountability, laws, regulations. 
The issue with Magnolia included problems with signatures on the petition and under-enrollment at some of its 11 campuses, Cole-Gutierriez said. 

In fact some of the Magnolia Schools should be closed look at this paltry enrollment record, yet Caprice Young tries to say "We have hundreds of students on waiting lists" 

It also may be noteworthy that Magnolia is the subject of a long-running review by the district's inspector general. No allegations of significant wrongdoing have emerged.
For Young, the justifications sound more like excuses. Young's entire education career has been one excuse after another. 
"Despite bending over backward to answer all of their questions, they were going to turn down our charters," said Young, who signed the letter. Were you bending over when the Turks offered you a huge salary to turn around their financial mismanagement? Maybe you kneel more to blow them then bend over. 

Another charter group facing a thumbs down for new petitions Tuesday is Partnerships to Uplift Communities. It was co-founded by recently elected school board member Ref Rodriguez, who is expected to recuse himself from issues involving his former schools.<---Good
Partnerships to Uplift Communities' petitions have sailed through in the past, but its handling of food contracts has been under district investigation.
"It appears that the emerging new policy may be that you get no new charters if your existing charters have any problems," said one district insider who was not authorized to speak on the record.
Another charter group, Ingenium Schools, is being threatened with revocation of its authority to operate three of its campuses, based on construction work that allegedly posed a safety risk to students.
Twitter: @howardblume
Editor's note: Education Matters receives funding from a number of foundations, including one mentioned in this article. The California Community Foundation and United Way of Greater Los Angeles administer grants from the Baxter Family Foundation, the Broad Foundation, the California Endowment and the Wasserman Foundation. Under terms of the grants, The Times retains complete control over editorial content.

A number of charter school operators across LA Unified say the district and its school board are turning up the heat on them to an unbearable degree while using the Charter Schools Division and Office of Inspector General to make approval and renewals of charter schools increasingly difficult.
They claim there has been an increase in the number of investigations by the Inspector General’s office and more denials of charters by the board though increased scrutiny by the district’s Charter Schools Division.
The board has already denied more charter applications in the last six months than it had in the previous two years combined, and it is likely to issue at least three more denials at today’s board meeting. Three other applications were withdrawn last week by Magnolia Public Schools after the Charter Schools Division was set to recommend denial.
The board rarely goes against staff recommendations on charters and has only done so one time in the last year.
“It’s starting to feel like a witch hunt as opposed to effective oversight and accountability,” said Magnolia Public Schools CEO and Superintendent Caprice Young, who served as LAUSD board president from 2001-2003. “I definitely believe some of the board members confuse increased bureaucracy with effective oversight.” No Caprice you are the only one that is confused. You and your Turk buddies are not wanted in the USA
Previous to Young taking over Magnolia a little over a year ago, LA Unified attempted to shut down two of its campuses over fiscal mismanagement. But then a state audit issued in May said the district acted too hastily in trying to shut the schools down.
Young said Magnolia has been the focus of a series of investigations by the Inspector General’s office and it is beginning to feel like a never-ending investigation. Just as she thought the investigations of Magnolia were over and relations with the district were returning to normal, she discovered Magnolia was the subject of a new investigation when the Inspector General’s office asked for financial records dating back to 2002, something it had already fully investigated in the past. OIG should be looking for 2-3 sets of books and under other names like their original charter holder "DIALOGUE FOUNDATION" - Dialogue is a center buzz word to the Gulen Movement except it's all smoke and mirrors.  No Dialogue has every been established in Turkey it's in civil unrest.
“The Inspector General should not be allowed to investigate charters indefinitely,” Young said. “These investigations put an unnecessary cloud over charters, which I believe is intentional. The investigations are taking place in search of problems instead of in response to evidence of problems.” No Caprice, they have the right to investigate you and your Gulen controlled Magnolia Science Academies as long as they need to unless of course you would like to give up public funding.  Your problems are there and they are big, hence the reason you were DENIED or WITHDREW all 7 applications in California. 

Young said the investigation was launched in August days after a Broad Foundation plan to finance a major expansion of charter schools in the district was leaked. Prove it or STFU
A nonprofit to execute the plan, Great Public Schools Now (GPS Now), was formed later and has since said the plan is being retooled to finance charters, magnets and other district schools. Still, the plan has been denounced by the school board in a December resolution because of the perceived threat it sees to the district’s enrollment and finances. Several board members have delivered scathing public comments attacking the plan, with board President Steve Zimmer saying the backers of the plan want to “bring down” the district.
In an open letter to LAUSD that was sent to LA School Report by the California Charter Schools Association (CCSA), 23 charter operators said they see a connection between the opposition to the plan and the increased scrutiny of charter schools.
“We are concerned that the current political and financial climate is impacting the district’s ability or willingness to review new charter petitions objectively,” the letter states. “We fear that as long as charters are unfairly singled out as the main cause of the district’s financial troubles, the district could choose to respond by preventing new charters from opening.”
When asked by LA School Report if his office is using “a finer microscope” when looking at charter schools or requesting more investigations of charters by the Inspector General’s office, Jose Cole-Gutierrez, director of LA Unified’s Charter School Division, said: “We have remained faithful to the board’s policy and faithful to the law, and our department has not been asked nor is it our role to say, ‘Cut off the spigot. Increase the spigot.’ No. We judge them on the merits as they come in. Period.”
The Inspector General’s office looks at improper and illegal activities taking place within the district and tries to detect fraud, waste or abuse. The office — which reports directly to the board — can be requested by any board member to open an investigation and has the power to issue subpoenas. Good start to Subpoena the Gulenists like Umit (Matt) Yapanel who worked as principal of their Colorado Lotus School of Excellence, Yilmaz Ak principal of Santa Clara who came from Coral Academy of Science (NV) and loaned Magnolia like $40,000.  Then question Erdinc Acar who worked at Coral Academy of Science (NV) then Accord Institute (now called Accord Education) which was ordered severed ties to Magnolia by the judge.  Now Erdinc is on staff at Magnolia in a "fancy new title" which amounts to the same duties done by Accord.

Accord Institute is now called Accord Education, they have
shuffled the name and people around.

A. Re-branding in late 2015: New corporate name decided on 10/17/2015, per AND new website launched on 12/29/2015, per
B Board of directors
  1. Guilbert Hentschke, USC [ex-Magnolia board member w/multiple ties to the Pacifica Institute, including as a presenter at a PI co-sponsored event at Santa Clara University: “Comparing secular schooling arguments with the educational philosophies of Fethullah Gulen.”
  2. Elizabeth Munisoglu, Court Commissioner for LA superior court and widow of Nejat Munisoglu and She’s one of many appearing on Gulen-promotional videos produced by Spectra Media.
  3. Suat U. Ay, U of Idaho [Suat Utku Ay; Dialog/Magnolia board, Fountain Magazine author]
  4. Baris Cagdeser, InvenSense, Inc. [Willow Education/BayTech]
  5. Salih Kilic, Keyssa Systems [Bay Area resident; Pacifica Institute representative who met with a San Jose City public official in 2011, ; Q: Is he “Sam Kilic”, a broker associated with Kismet Investment Properties on Magnolia paperwork for the Santa Clara County Office of Education?]
C. Staff
  1. Matt Avsar, CEO [Ahmet Avsaroglu; previous positions at Magnolia & BayTech]
  2. Irfan Erol, CFO [Ahmet Irfan Erol; previous positions at Magnolia]
  3. Karen Evans, Director of Accountability [previous position at Magnolia; daughter of Greg Evans, creator of the Luann cartoon]
  4. Cruz Bustamante, Director of Business Development [ex-CA State Assemblymember, ex-Speaker of the Assembly, ex-Lieutenant Governor of CA] !!!
  5. Huseyin Gunay, Director of Compliancy [not much known]
  6. Ellie Watkins, Director of Marketing & Charter Development
  7. Holly Kekacs, Executive Assistant
  8. Travis Pryor, Analytics & Communications Manager
  9. Zekeriya Ocel, Character & CMLP Coordinator [previous position at Coral in Reno]
  10. Omer Odabasoglu, Guidance Coordinator [previous positions at Sonoran in Tucson & Beehive in UT]
  11. Ibrahim Bayraktar, STEAM Coordinator [previous positions at Sonoran in Tucson]
D. The only schools referenced on Accord’s website:
  1. Beehive
  2. Coral
  3. Lotus
  4. Sonoran
E. Advisory board
  1. Alan J. Daly, UC San Diego [since at least 2011]
  2. Ron Ferguson, Harvard University [since at least 2011]
  3. Robert Maranto, U of Arkansas
  4. June Schmeider-Ramirez, Pepperdine U [since at least 2011]

LAUSD Inspector General investigation of Magnolia Science Academy

Much of the Inspector General office’s work is done in secret without public discussion, and confirming the claims by charter operators that the office has increased investigations is difficult. While any financial audits of charters are publicly released and published on the district’s website, investigations are not generally publicly released, and the office will not confirm or discuss any ongoing investigation. Caprice if you have nothing to "hide" don't be concerned about secret investigations. 
There is some evidence that the office may have increased its number of investigations. The Inspector General, Ken Bramlett, went before the board’s Budget, Facilities and Audit Committee last month and requested an additional $570,000 for audits and investigations.
Ken should have the Santa Ana School District investigate the "sleep overs" at the Magnolia Santa Ana Campus and the unnecessary Turkish language teachers.  NOTE: Santa Ana Unified School District had DENIED this Magnolia School but the Gulenist "secretly" went to the county and state bypassing local authority for approval.

Taken from the Schools December 2015 Newsletter
He said, “Charter-related work consumes the most amount of investigative resources due to the time-sensitive nature of the work and the monthly deadlines for board action on charter petitions.” He added, “What really worries me is the more charter schools that we authorize or the more charter schools that are planned, that’s that much more we are going to be asked to do with no additional resources.”
This year alone, there are five ongoing large-scale charter school investigations, Bramlett told the LA School Report in an email, although it is unknown if that is an increase from years past. When asked if there is any public record of who asked for an investigation, or if the number of investigations has increased, he said that information was confidential per the state education code.
Bramlett, should check the qualifications of the Turkish principals who have no administrative educational degrees.  The Magnolia Science Academy Carson, CA campus just appointed an African American principal (a first for the Gulen Movement 146 charter schools)

The Charter Schools Division, which reports to the superintendent and issues recommendations to the board on the approval or denial of charter applications and renewals, can also request that the Inspector General open an investigation. Members of the public and other LAUSD divisions can also request an investigation through a hotline.
Cole-Gutierrez, who has been leading the division for eight years, insisted his office has not increased its scrutiny of charters or felt pressure to issue more recommendations for denials.
“Are we receiving indirect or direct pressure to deny charter schools? No,” Cole-Gutierrez said. “Our role is to be faithful to the process on the merits and give our best recommendation regardless of whatever else there may be in terms of perceptions, politics, etc., and I am proud of our team and our record to do so.”
When asked if his office had requested more investigations be launched by the Inspector General’s office, he said, “There are very few open investigations at the moment. I just think the facts don’t support that there are an increasing number.”
Young and other charter leaders said they see it differently and tell stories of being drowned in red tape. Several charter executives said they see a connection between the opposition to the GPS Now plan and increased scrutiny of charters that have been operating for years.
Parker Hudnut, a former LA Unified administrator who is now chief executive of ICEF Public Schools, a group of eight charters in LA Unified and two more in Inglewood Unified School District, put it this way:
“There’s absolutely a chilling effect going on, but I’m not smart enough to know what’s causing it. There has been a recent escalation, and the Broad plan may have a lot to do with that. But there’s what I call a dehumanization in the relationship between charters and LA Unified. It’s become a compliance culture; that’s the only thing we communicate about. There’s no space to talk about what we’re supposed to be talking about, and that’s helping kids.”
Cristina de Jesus, president and chief executive officer of Green Dot Public Schools California, which operates over a dozen schools in LAUSD, also said the scrutiny has increased. Green Dot has had eight charter renewals successfully go before the school board in the last year and had a new charter application approved in January. But de Jesus said it was no easy task.
“One of the frustrations I know that we have experienced and other folks have shared — and it could be the nature of the beast — but the target also seems to change,” she said. “What might be looked at one year might not be looked at the next year but something else is going to be, so it feels like you can’t get your bearings because the target is always changing.”
Young said the way charters are treated and analyzed is uneven compared to the scrutiny district schools receive.
“Back when I was on the board, we were approving charters with 50 pages of details and today the vast majority of those schools are thriving and are doing some cutting-edge work,” Young said. “Now, [charter applications] are 500 pages and most of that is boilerplate required by the school district, which makes the application process stifling. For the district to review a pilot school and approve it, they limit the submission to only 30 pages. With charters, the boilerplate alone is 10 times that.”
None of the seven school board members responded to a request by LA School Report to be interviewed for this story. Board member Ref Rodriguez, who took his seat on the board in July, sent a statement: “I have publicly advocated for more clear and transparent guidelines for how the superintendent makes a recommendation to the board regarding new petitions and renewals of charter schools.”
He added, “At the past six board meetings, I have had some outstanding questions regarding the grounds on which the district has based some of its recommendations. I acknowledge that quality oversight is complex and can be difficult; however, it is LAUSD’s duty, as the largest authorizer in the state, to ensure that all schools receive a fair, transparent, consistent and rigorous accountability process.”
Jed Wallace, the executive director of CCSA, said he also sees a pattern of anti-charter behavior by the board.
“Bottom line, this is a total witch hunt and charters are being harassed,” said Wallace, a former teacher in South-Central LA and administrator in San Diego before becoming chief operating officer of High Tech High, which grew from one school serving 400 students into eight schools serving more than 3,000 students during his tenure.
“This is not good authorizing and no other district in the state uses an [Inspector General]-like approach, an entity which was originally established to monitor LAUSD’s own bond efforts. LA’s charter sector is the best performing in the country and growing to meet the needs of students and their families. LAUSD has to do its part and improve its oversight to match that excellence.”

*Updated to reflect the letter was authored by 23 charter operators, not CCSA, and to include responses from Bramlett

Principal Ak and Sahin are they qualified to be administrative school employees? Ken Bramlett check out Mustafa leave Ak for Santa Clara.
Yilmaz Ak formerly associated with the Gulen operated Coral Academy of Science
which is now trying to get a school on the Nellis AFB in Las Vegas, Nevada

Now for the dismal academic record of Magnolia Science Academy that Caprice Young claims is "high performing"

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