|MSA with Assemblyman Nazarian|
the schools frequently take photos and videos with
local politicians to imply that the movement is "endorsed"
by people in places of power.
|Magnolia Science Academy in Carson, CA where a teacher was|
arrested for having sex with female students.
This school has marginally better STAR scores: 2013 math 29.2%, English 48.3%; 2012 math 25.0%, English 49.3%, 2011 math 21.1%, English 47.6% (Los Angeles Times). Like its Anaheim counterpart, the Magnolia school never saw even half of its student body proficient in these core subjects. So much for claims of “quality education”. Young is alumnae of the pro-privatization outfit CORO Magnolia’s Young also continually refers to charter schools as “public schools.” While her background is that of being a corporate executive, mine is in education law. Accordingly, it is my obligation disabuse her and any others of this egregious misunderstanding. Generally charter schools are not public schools. This has been long established in both existing case law and public policy. The Washington State Supreme Court (2015) held that charter schools are not “common schools” because they’re governed by appointed rather than elected boards. The 9th Circuit US Court of Appeals (2010) ruled that charter schools are not “public actors.” The California Court of Appeals (2007) ruled that charter schools are not “public agents.”
Here is the Magnolia gang at the March 2016 CCSA expo
The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) joined scores of other government agencies in unequivocally determining that charters are, in NLRB’s words, “private entities.” By definition if a charter school is operated by a for-profit company, or a 501c3 non-profit corporation (e.g. Magnolia Educational and Research Foundation), then it is not a public school. The United States Census Bureau frames this issue best: “A few “public charter schools” are run by public universities and municipalities. However, most charter schools are run by private nonprofit organizations and are therefore classified as private.” (US Census Bureau. (2011). “Public Education Finances: 2009 (GO9-ASPEF)”. Washington, DC: US Government Printing O ce. Print. vi). Since these lucrative charter schools are not public, and hence not subject to even a modicum of public oversight, they are able to get away with violating the constitutional rights of their students. The decision in Scott B. v. Board of Trustees of Orange County High School of the Arts saw scholar Rosa K. Hirji, Esq. write: “The structures that allow charter schools to exist are marked by the absence of protections that are traditionally guaranteed by public education, protections that only become apparent and necessary when families and students begin to face a denial of what they were initially promised to be their right.” (American Bar Association). Lastly, the proverbial “elephant in the room” which Young alludes to with her phrase “operate in the shadows”.
One of the many opening houses for the new Santa Ana campus
to refresh everyone's memory the Gulenists were denied this school by the local district.
The Gulenists then bypassed the district and went to the county who then did approve the school.
WHAT WILL THEY DO WITH THE 7 DENIED APPLICATION?
The largest chain of corporate charter schools in the United States is that of the secretive Gülen religious cult. This is the inevitable result of putting public money into private hands. There is ample documentation tying the Magnolia corporate charter school chain to the Gülenist Movement, namely through their intertwinement with the Los Angeles based Pacifica Institute — a Gülen organization which denies the 1915–1918 Armenian genocide (Los Angeles Times). Moreover, Fethullah Gülen’s ties to the Magnolia charter school chain were reported to Turkish readers of milliyet.com.tr as early as 2010. (milliyet.com.tr). 60 Minutes did a feature on the Gülen charter schools, and there is a website called Charter School Scandals that provides a wealth of information on Gülen Charter Schools. A high profile law firm recently announced it has been retained to investigate Gülen’s Magnolia schools, and a gripping documentary film about Gülen Charters, entitled KILLING ED, has been released. That the Anaheim Union School District took such a principled stand against such an unprincipled organization, and industry for that matter, is something we need to emulate statewide. It’s time to stop allowing these corporate charter entities to view education as a cash cow, and demand authentic accountability. ===
Robert D. Skeels is a Los Angeles based social justice writer, public education advocate, and immigrant rights activist. He holds a BA in Classical Civilization from the University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA), and is currently a Juris Doctor Candidate at Peoples College of Law (PCL).
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