Texas charter school network accused of bias and self-dealing
Update Turkey Follows Through with Complaint Against Harmony | The Texas Tribune http://bit.ly/1s7Zl23
Harmony Public Schools, Texas’ largest charter school network, is known for its math and science prowess. Now it’s under fire for allegations of discrimination, self-dealing, misspending – and ties to Turkish immigrants.
A law firm hired by the Republic of Turkey is asking the Texas Education Agency to investigate Harmony, which was founded in 2000 by Turkish nationals. Harmony runs 46 schools across the state, including a dozen in the Dallas area.
The firm, Amsterdam & Partners, filed a 32-page complaint today with the state that details “some very concerning issues and some apparent illegal or improper conduct related to these school operators,” said John Martin, senior counsel for the firm.
Among the allegations: Harmony hires under-qualified Turkish teachers and steers business to companies run by Turkish nationals, including some former Harmony employees.
Soner Tarim, Harmony’s superintendent, called the complaint “ridiculous and baseless.” He said it’s a politically motivated attack by Turkey’s president, whom most Turks living in the U.S. don’t support.
“We’re going to continue to serve our students and parents, and nothing will distract us from that,” Tarim said.Big Education Ape: Republic of Turkey Targets Houston-Based Charter School | The Texas Tribune http://bit.ly/1U3I7Jk
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