Saturday, March 05, 2016

Beneath The Surface Of Rochester Academy Charter School



What's REALLY Proposed For Our Backyards?

A friend of SCATS contacted us after doing some research on Terra Science & Education, the Syracuse-based foundation that will own the proposed Rochester Academy Charter School facility to be located on the former Mother of Sorrows property. Concern has been expressed about the finances of this proposal. Terra would own, then lease the facilities to the school. A lack of oversight, secrecy, taxpayer issues and the connection to the rapidly spreading Turkish Gulen school movement are all potential matters of concern.

Rochester Academy Charter School: Affiliation to Gulen movement ~~ This link shows connections between this charter school, Terra Science, the Turkish Cultural Center (Don't they also operate the center that opened on Dewey Ave. in the old funeral parlor?) and even events held at City Hall - i.e. political connections.  As noted in the article, Robach has met with their Secretary.


  • In common with other Gulen charter schools, RACS:
    • uses H-1B visas (non-resident) to hire staff
    • offers Turkish language instruction
    • participates in the Turkish Language Olympiads, an event run by the Gulen Movement
    • takes students on field trips to Gulenist events promoting Turkish culture (e.g., from school website, for 2008: "10th grade Turkish Language students attended the Turkish Days in New York City.")
    • does not show the names of any administrators, staff or board members on its website

The "Problem" With Gulen Schools:  120 American Charter Schools and One Secretive Turkish Cleric

  ( "One of their most troubling characteristics is that they don’t have a great track record when it comes to financial and legal transparency." ... "A Gülen organization controls the real estate companies that own their schools. They charge rent to their own schools and tax-payers foot the bill. They refuse to answer public records requests, falsify attendance records, and cheat on standardized tests.")

Charter School Scandals List : Includes Rochester Academy Charter School

22 comments:

SCATS said...

For ALL interested parties: Here is the link to the Planning Board's meeting minutes about Terra Science's application/request: http://www.greeceny.gov/files/Planning_/Minutes_03-2-2016.pdf

Anonymous said...

Note that Little Rickie Antelli is MIA from the hearing as USUAL. One wonders if this is to prevent public exposure of his qualifications to sit on this Board.

Will the "school" PA system have stadium speakers to announce the Call to Prayer 5 times a day, or will they come later and be handled Administratively as other things usually are as was mentioned by the Town Employee in the hearing?

WILL THIS CHARTER SCHOOL PAY PROPERTY TAXES??

Anonymous said...

What can we do to stop this from happening?

SCATS said...

To 4:31PM ~~ GREAT QUESTION!

To 7:29PM ~~ According to WHEC-TV who reported on this: "The Greece Town Director of Planning and Zoning says residents can attend the planning board meetings if they want to weigh in. The next one is March 16 at 7 p.m."

If you want to be effective, I'd GET EDUCATED with the background info related to Terra Science & RACS. The links we provided have a wealth of info & lots more related links. Then I'd SHARE THAT INFO as widely as possible - GET THE WORD OUT. Then I'd show up with lots of company at that next meeting. CALL TO CONFIRM whether or not you are permitted to speak at that meeting. A petition with as many signatures as possible certainly won't hurt. If you know you will have a petition to present and/or there will be a decent crowd attending, give advance notice to WHEC (CH. 10) and other local stations to get it covered. ALL of those things help exert pressure on the electeds.

Sharing info on here beforehand will help you to deciminate faster. We will do what we can to help.

Barbara Carder said...

Terra Science Education Foundation is not only a 501[c]3 but ALSO a 501[c]4 ---- Internal Revenue Code that allows for 501(c)(4) organizations, ostensibly devoted to “social welfare” but permitted to engage in electoral politics in an essentially unregulated way. A 501(c)(4) is not required to disclose the sources of its funding, and that provision alone has brought in huge amounts of money from donors eager to contribute but reluctant to identify themselves. The 501(c)(4) loophole has been around since the early 20th century, but it was given new vigor in 2010 by the Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision, which removed virtually all limits on corporate campaign funding and fostered its anonymity. -- from "Dark Money" by Jane Mayer -- http://www.nytimes.com/2016/01/24/books/review/dark-money-by-jane-mayer.html ------- can see growth of TS's real estate holdings by looking at tax filings online. Is it a 'non-profit' or is it a 'real estate developer'? Terra Science filing: http://990s.foundationcenter.org/990_pdf_archive/273/273215060/273215060_201112_990.pdf

TERRA SCIENCE AND EDUCATION, INC IS A NON-PROFIT, EDUCATIONAL ORGANIZATION PROMOTING SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY EDUCATION AT THE SECONDARY AND POST-SECONDARY LEVELS IT PROVIDES SCIENTIFIC AND EDUCATIONAL SUPPORT AND SERVICES FOSTERING LEARNING AND ACADEMIC EXCELLENCE BY WORKING WITH SCIENTISTS AND EDUCATORS

Barbara Carder said...

Terra Science Education Foundation is not only a 501[c]3 but ALSO a 501[c]4 ---- Internal Revenue Code that allows for 501(c)(4) organizations, ostensibly devoted to “social welfare” but permitted to engage in electoral politics in an essentially unregulated way. A 501(c)(4) is not required to disclose the sources of its funding, and that provision alone has brought in huge amounts of money from donors eager to contribute but reluctant to identify themselves. The 501(c)(4) loophole has been around since the early 20th century, but it was given new vigor in 2010 by the Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision, which removed virtually all limits on corporate campaign funding and fostered its anonymity. -- from "Dark Money" by Jane Mayer -- http://www.nytimes.com/2016/01/24/books/review/dark-money-by-jane-mayer.html ------- can see growth of TS's real estate holdings by looking at tax filings online. Is it a 'non-profit' or is it a 'real estate developer'? Terra Science filing: http://990s.foundationcenter.org/990_pdf_archive/273/273215060/273215060_201112_990.pdf

TERRA SCIENCE AND EDUCATION, INC IS A NON-PROFIT, EDUCATIONAL ORGANIZATION PROMOTING SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY EDUCATION AT THE SECONDARY AND POST-SECONDARY LEVELS IT PROVIDES SCIENTIFIC AND EDUCATIONAL SUPPORT AND SERVICES FOSTERING LEARNING AND ACADEMIC EXCELLENCE BY WORKING WITH SCIENTISTS AND EDUCATORS

SCATS said...

To 3:52PM ~~ TY for that info!!! VERY interesting! I saw that Hillary Clinton got campaign donations from various gulen school affiliated groups.

Anonymous said...

Barbara Terra is the front group so to speak. They purchase the properties and then rent them to the Gulen schools which sometimes run under other fronts, For example the Rochester schools are run by a group named apple which has nothing to do with the American company. The rent is usually above market values They get the rent from our tax dollars and if my guess is right it get kicked back to the gulen group which uses it for other non educational purposes. Yes Scats Gulen is very well connected politically they give to Clinton among others and sponsor trips for politicians in order to curry favor. They are big players in turkey.

SCATS said...

To 6:42PM ~~ The question we have is, did Greece planning board members, or other insiders, know & understand the relationship this school has with the gulen umbrella?

Anonymous said...

Sort of a simple question, how many Turks live in Greece and the immediate surrounding area?

A bit of looking on google tells me there is a Turkish school at Dewey & Florence, and a Turk Center in an old party house on Behan Rd, and the Turkish community is making slow progress building their own Mosque. A little basic math says a "community" that has all these facilities and is already in the Greece area really doesn't need a second location in Greece.

Something about this deal don't ring right.

SCATS said...

To 9:34PM ~~ I don't have an exact answer for the question you asked, but in my research, I found that the Rochester area has around 4000 Turkish folks. To be clear, the Turkish Cultural Center on Dewey does teach some classes, including language & cooking. They appear to be connected to Turkish Cultural Centers from other areas, including Syracuse. The Turkish Society of Rochester's property at the old Party House on Beahan Rd. offers those and other classes. The new mosque will be on their property and from what I was able to find, they hoped to complete it by this fall. I have not been able (yet) to find any connection between those two groups/facilities, but it seems logical that one would exist. As the links provided with the BLOG on this thread show, the Rochester Academy Charter School is a gulen school and their secretary is connected to the cultural center on Dewey Ave.

A friend tells me they just saw another Turkish Center facility on Lake Ave. It appears we're being slowly absorbed by the Turks :)

SCATS said...

Beware should any of our elected locals suddenly take a trip to Turkey! It appears to be a tidy "gift" given by gulen members, along with campaign donations ... many from people who can't be located once the donation is received!
"USA TODAY has identified dozens of large campaign donations attributed to people with modest incomes, or from people who had little knowledge of to whom they had given, or from people who could not be located at all. All the donors appear to have ties to a Turkish religious movement named for its founder, Fethullah Gülen. USA TODAY reported last month that the movement has secretly funded more than 200 foreign trips for members of Congress and their staff ...

USA Today also reported that more than 200 members of Congress have accepted free trips to Turkey from the Gulenists.

Another article reports that Hillary Clinton has received large donations from Gulenists, as well as major contributions to the Clinton Foundation.

Maybe all this cash is meant to protect the Gulen charters, which have been a major revenue source for the Gulenists. The FBI has raided Gulen charter offices in Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, and in Louisiana.

Is it even legal for elected officials to accept contributions from foreign nationals?"


http://dianeravitch.net/2015/11/25/usa-today-gulen-charter-chain-giving-campaign-cash-to-american-politicians/

Anonymous said...

Is there any chance they will send King Willy to Turkey, ONE WAY?

I'll contribute a couple bucks to that.

SCATS said...

To 7:08PM ~~ LOL !!! We could start a 'Go Fund Me' page right here!

Anonymous said...

Sounds like the Turks have learned to scam American education just as the corporate charter schools have.

SCATS said...

To 8:15AM ~~ Historically, Greece & Turkey have fought over less. But those were the countries ;)

Anonymous said...

Sounds like something that Slick Willie could come to like. Lower assessments all around. How many hundred tickets to the pig roast did you say you wanted?

Anonymous said...

Just thinking, with this magnificent cultural infusion atop Paddie Hill, right across the street from the Fire House and immediately adjacent to the MOS Cemetary, not to mention the Church immediately to the South, what is Planned, since the Town Planners are involved to keep the Turks attending functions at this center from being offended by all the marble and granite crosses between their building and the Catholic Church down the hill? Will this be a taxpayer expense?

We also might want the Town to address the matter of BLAST SHIELDING. According to this story; http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3490400/Many-dead-injured-blast-Turkish-capital-Ankara-just-weeks-30-killed-car-bomb-there.html#ixzz42pu3ppbz
Turks aparently attract violence or bombing is a part of their culture.

Brighton mandated Blast Shield Barriers around the offices of Dr Wartman due to concern for nearby businesses and a school. Shouldn't Greece do the same? North Greece Fire tax is already overbearing, and taxpayers shouldn't have to replace blown up fire trucks when a Blast Shield could prevent the damage.
Probably ought to be a shield in front of the school on the West as well.

SCATS said...

To 10:26PM ~~ Sorry, but the mere suggestion that Turks "attract violence" is offensive, ignorant and completely untrue! In fact, Turkey is one of the US's best allies in the Middle East. That puts them in a precarious position relative to those who aren't so friendly towards us ... i.e. the actual threat by real terrorists.

Anonymous said...

The problem here is not with "turks" as a whole but with this particular group which is using charter schools as a way to fund themselves and seems to be engaged in illegal and dubious practices. We should not equate the Gulen movement with all Turks

SCATS said...

Well put 9:12AM.

Anonymous said...

Does anyone know where an Armenian group could get a small facility around Mt Reid & Latta for a Cultural Center? We won't need much space, maybe a single car garage because Mr Ataturk purged our ancestors & we're still rebuilding.