Fulton Science Charter Possible Says Georgia Charter Schools Association VP

Andrew Lewis said the state Supreme Court's May opinion that ruled the Georgia Charter Schools Commission is unconstitutional puts all state charter schools in doubt. Several Sandy Springs students attend FSA.


Georgia Charter Schools Association Executive Vice President Andrew Lewis said he believes a state charter for Fulton Science Academy Middle School is possible after the .

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Lewis said the Fulton County Board of Education had the legal right to rescind its rejection of the charter application and adopt a revised charter that met its demands.

. They said the revised application will be on a schedule that would grant a charter starting with the 2013-14 school year–causing the school to be closed during the 2012-13 school year.

Casting doubt upon a state charter is last May's in a 4-3 vote.

"The constitutional history of Georgia could not be more clear that, as to general K-12 public education, local boards of education have the exclusive authority to fulfill one of the"primary obligation[s] of the State of Georgia," namely, "[t]he provision of an adequate public education for the citizens," the ruling states in part.

Lewis said "The May 16th Georgia Supreme Court ruling has put into question the existence of all State Charter Special Schools."

Supreme Court Justice Nahmais said in his dissenting opinion that "the majority’s illogical reasoning and overbroad conclusion render the ‘special schools’ provision a dead letter, effectively abrogating not just commission charter schools but also the state chartered special schools established under the Charter Schools Act of 1998 and any other ‘special school’ the General Assembly might dare to create."

"Under current Georgia law, school system bureaucrats who want to stifle options in public education can smother new charter schools or current charters seeking renewal, like Fulton Science Academy, by refusing to adequately fund them. This is wrong, and hurts kids by taking options away from communities who are desperate for better public schools for kids," Lewis said.

Additional risk has been added that a local school district could challenge the constitutionality of a state charter special school, forcing the school to not only adjust to what Lewis calls inappropriate student funding levels, but cross their fingers that some district in the state does not challenge their existence as well. Some charter school founders have withdrawn from Georgia, Lewis said, "taking options away from communities who are desperate for better public schools for kids."

A bipartisan coalition of community leaders, parents, teachers and education reform groups has joined together to protect charter schools in Georgia by amending the state Constitution to allow an alternative route for good charter schools to be approved, he said.

"After the legislature passes the measure, every voter in Georgia will then have a chance to vote yes or no on it this November, since it is a Constitutional Amendment," Lewis said.

, a new school caught in the court ruling as it was trying to open for the 2011-12 school year. The school's charter application with Cherokee County had been denied.

MarkMunoz December 29, 2011 at 07:04 AM
Fulton Science Academy Board should be assuming responsibility for their shirking contractual obligations. To blame the Fulton County BOE is decieiving the parents and community. Stop and show some transparency and accountability, we support the Fulton country Board of Education. http://www.gulencharterschools.weebly.com
FSA MS and FSA ES Father December 30, 2011 at 04:26 AM
Mark, The FSA Board deserves their share of the blame for poor negotiating. The Fulton County School Board deserves the same. The link to the Gulen site pretty much explains your real position and motivation Taxpayers have spent $20-30M to build the best Science Technology Engineering and Math School in Fulton, actually the best middle school overall. Now Avossa and Schulz are throwing that away because "we take our responsibility to the tax payers very seriously". Really? Then why throw away 10 years of investment by Fulton taxpayers. "The matter is closed". What a reprehensible attitude towards the taxpayers. This is about politics and personal pride. It is not about what's best for Fulton and what's best for our children. The FSA Board has said uncle and accepted the FC Boards mandates, But the Board says too late, we are throwing the taxpayers investment out along with abandoning all of the students and parents. There are a lot more people that support our kids education and Fultons reputation than support the FC Board.
Cris Cringle December 30, 2011 at 12:29 PM
I'm a parent of kids at both FSA middle and the elementary school. What's become crystal clear over the two or so weeks since we realized the charter renewal was in jeopardy is that the school board had zero intention on renewing from the get-go. Knowing the recent Supreme Court ruling they realized early on that becoming a State Charter school is an iffy proposition for FSA. Unfortunately, our governing board walked right in a land mine without realizing it because they thought student performance (itbs scores etc) would rule the day. The Fulton school board doesn't give a crap about FSA's performance record. In fact, in their eyes the schools dominance has highlighted the inferiority of the non-charter public schools in the county. So how do you cope with an overachieving high performer? You make it disappear. We also made a strategic mistake by moving forward with building a new school before the charter renewal was granted. This gave the Fulton board the ammo they needed to change the status quo - they surely couldn't say we were underperforming academically.
MarkMunoz December 30, 2011 at 05:21 PM
Sorry you have been "had" parent(s) but your child's academic record is contrived as all of these schools are by this "group". The charter schools are managed by a private business and it is a sales job of the worst kind You should look beyond YOUR kids awards and wonder why that they are NOW RECIEVING THESE AWARDS AND WERE NOT BEFORE. Additionally, this "group" is KNOWN for cheating back to the days they all attended Feto's Lighthouse Schools. You must look a bit deeper than the shallow surface that this group has created and realized the FC BOE had very very good reasons to now renew this Charter's renewal. And your school board, had very very good reasons for not wanting to take the 3 years and shadow the REAL reason from parents who have been conned by all the marketing, advertising and hoopla created by their contests. Again, show some responsibility and look to the person or people who would not accept the 3 year renewal
MarkMunoz December 30, 2011 at 06:25 PM
If you REALLY are a FSA parent, then you must look past the standard high test scores from "these" schools. Here is some research done, but there is much much more. Many American teachers at these schools have testified that tests were gathered and taken into another room where answers were changed. Remember, the outer appearances is important to this group, especially with the schools as they know this will enable them to continue getting funding. Also question where every dime is going. Your stories are nothing new, you are all part of the plan. Fancing advertising, awards and trips to local politicans, etc., all the same. http://gulencharterschools.weebly.com/standardized-tests.html
MarkMunoz December 30, 2011 at 06:50 PM
These publicly-funded charter schools in the Atlanta, Georgia area are run by the Grace Institute for Educational Research and Resources, Inc. The name of TEACH ("Technology Enriched Accelerated Charter High") has been changed to Fulton Science Academy High School. The original name of Fulton Science Academy was "Cosmos Science Academy." The name "Cosmos" has significance for the Gulen Movement; the Cosmos Foundation in Texas as well as the Cosmos Foundation of Georgia are Gulenist organizations. Ask the FSA school board why they changed the name of the school so many times!
MarkMunoz December 30, 2011 at 06:53 PM
Isa Afacan • Fulton TEACH High School • Istanbul Center (Gulenist organization) Emre Akbaba (a.k.a. David Condor) • Principal, Orlando Science Middle School (2009-10) (Gulen charter school) • Teacher, Fulton Science Academy (2005-06) Cevdet Akbay • Fulton Science Academy board member • petitioner for Cape Fear STEM School, a proposed Gulen charter in North Carolina • Quoted in Turkish newspaper article as saying he is a follower of Fethullah Gulen Baybars Bakay • Fulton Science Academy computer science teacher • Istanbul Center • Turkish Olympiad of the Southeast • Nile Foundation • Turkish American Islamic Center of Florida • registrant. Historical domain name registration information can be accessed by Note: The Istanbul Center, Turkish Olympiad of the Southeast, Nile Foundation in Florida and Turkish American Islamic Center of Florida are all Gulenist organizations. Mustafa Basgun • Fulton Science Academy board member • Global Spectrum Foundation Note: Global Spectrum Foundation is a Gulenist umbrella organization running the Istanbul Center.
MarkMunoz December 30, 2011 at 06:53 PM
just a partial list of FSA's MANY affliations to Hizmet. Ask them to come clean to American families. Dr. Levent Bulut • Fulton Science Academy board member • Former Treasurer of the Cosmos Foundation Note: The Houston-based Cosmos Foundation is affiliated with the Gulen Movement. The Harmony Science Academy schools, Dove Science Academy schools in Oklahoma, the Pelican Foundation which in turn runs charter schools in Louisiana, and the science fair ISWEEEP are all under the auspices of Cosmos.
Jim December 30, 2011 at 09:19 PM
This constant barrage of repetitive comments with links to made up stories on weebly and other non-authoritative sites is counter productive and the tone borders on hate speech. Please either stop or say something new; say something that demonstrates a reasoned position relevant to topics being discussed. As it stands Mark you look like a crack pot who can't articulate a balanced argument. You are the literary equivalent of someone yelling fire in a crowed room when there is no fire. Take a minute and read the story, comment of the merits of the story and related articles. You seem to be missing the major point--many in the community, state government and the state board of education rate this as a high achieving school. Many in this state want to move from the bottom of the educ achievement list and view choices like FSA as a way to get there. This isn't about your perverse fascination with the founders of the school. It's about public school choice. It's about a school board that is afraid of loosing funding and being held accountable to do their jobs because of choice. It's about state legislators that are willing to do the right thing for kids regardless of which county they live in. It's about educating kids. Either find a way to get involved in a purposeful way OR please go find another cause to be a fanatic about, that way you'll get what you want and everyone else can have a constructive debate based on merits of school choice.
FSA MS and FSA ES Father December 30, 2011 at 11:17 PM
Jim, well said. The constant obfuscation thrown out by the ditto heads helps no one. My kids had better grades at their private schools and were less challenged. Their ITBS scores are the same. I'll take the better education even if it is Gulen. I am white, catholic, post grad in engineering and did my time in the Middle East. Mark, you asked if we really are PARENTS, and then said we are all 'part of the plan'. You obviously are not a parent and are not part of the community. Take on a local issue, be passionate about something you have a stake in and where your opinion will be respected. Don't be afraid of foreigners. The FSA MS parents are highly educated and highly involved. Respectfully we are much better informed than you.
Jim December 31, 2011 at 12:21 AM
Thank you. My father's family immigrated to this area of country from Wales in the 1850's for opportunity (work, education, freedom to worship their brand of Baptist faith). The church they built in 1862 still stands and we just had our 50th family reunion there. As a child I remember riding on segregated buses around ATL & drinking from the "right" fountain. The south has changed. One of our core strengths in Georgia is our diversity. We must support the differences in our community. This hate mongering isn't helping anyone and only draws attention away from tangible efforts our community is making to educate our children. I look at the improvements Forsyth and Cherokee have made & it amazes me that FCSS remains so entrenched. I attended a FCSS community meeting and each time a new idea from one of these counties was brought up the participating FCBOE shot back some negative comment. Continuing in the direction FCBOE has set for our kids will mean they are less prepared to meet future challenges, our state less competitive and our community welfare will suffer. Priority 1 is to set things right so that this school can continue with the same flexibility and mission as it has for the past 10 yrs. Priority 2 work with the legislature to put GA on a trajectory where all families have choice. Along the way I plan to find an appropriate alternative to my school board representative in the next election and then support that individual as the new board member rep.
Another FSA Parent January 01, 2012 at 01:00 PM
As always, this is a complicated issue. As a tax-paying parent, I want a well-performing SECULAR school for my children. As a Jewish parent, this takes on additional importance for me. While neither of my two MS and ES children have indicated that there is any proselytizing going on, my radar is constantly engaged. The Turkish angle of FSA MS and ES, particularly given the anti-Israeli attitude of Turkey these days, makes me somewhat concerned. However, even if there is some sort of "Gulen conspiracy" going on (I have little doubt that the Turkish leaders of similar "Science Schools" talk to one another), I'd much rather see a so-called Gulen school succeed than a generic FS school fail. Unfortunately, Mark's comments (rants) are misleading. Mark, if your intent is to inform parents of the Gulen angle, thanks. I would not have been aware of it if not for your comments. However, as "father" says above, this borders on hate speech. And again, as a Jew, I am highly suspect of anyone who tries to make an argument that belonging to a group is tantamount to a conspiracy.
FSA MS and FSA ES Father January 01, 2012 at 04:52 PM
All, I agree we need to focus on the task at hand, saving our children’s school. With that said, I must admit I have real issues with bullies and hate speech, so I dug into Mark’s history of posts. A quick web-search on Mark Munoz (aka Mary Addi) and Gulen was interesting yet sad reading. He/she has been exposed while smearing many Charter Schools across the US in the past few years. He/she has no ties to Fulton County. He/she claims to be part of the local community whenever attacking a school and “Gulen”. The Mark/Mary theme is a vitriolic attitude in general; and personal and petty attacks on anyone that disagrees with him/her. http://horizonparents.blogspot.com/2011/01/here-is-story-of-mary-former-gulen.html Mark / Mary and the other aliases http://goosenetwork.tumblr.com/list-of-goose-network-websites List of anti-Turk Schools / Gulen sites
MarkMunoz January 02, 2012 at 07:41 PM
fake weebly sites?fake sites are the ones this group makes up from scratch with no cited sources. all the sources are cited- they are governmental papers such as your 990 IRS tax returns, articles by reputable investigative journalists: NY times (pulitzer prize winner Stephanie Saul) USA Today (Greg Toppo) CNN news, PBS, etc., Nothing is made up only the grades and results from Fulton Science Academy. Parents don't be conned by this group of Yalanci Hizmet. Contrived grades is a sales job, they have been found to change grades and the children are given awards at their OWN sponsored contests like: Turkish Olympiad, Science Olympiad, I-Sweep, GENIUS and more. Many American and other ex-Hizmet teachers have witnessed the cheating. They publicize the heck out of it and are media savvy and know how to "work into the arteries of the system" as their Hocaefendi has instructed. If you child is suddenly receiving good grades and awards because they are now at a charter school managed by Hizmet members - you parents should be questioning the accuracy. Turkey's education is below standard in international ratings, out of 34 countries they are 32 just above Mexico and Chile, there is over 14 million illiterate in Turkey (pop est 78 million) and over 2,000 students drop out of school a day in Turkey. AND you thought your school had Turkish scholars? (snicker, giggles) Lastly, why would Mary Addi from Horizon Schools care about this? ARE the schools connected?
MarkMunoz January 02, 2012 at 07:46 PM
Jim, get a life away from the kool aid that this group is feeding you. (if you are truly a parent) we know from past experiences this group slams online boards and voting. No I am not crack pot, but Hizmet is. FSA parents are tools for their expansion into America and growing their industry around the schools. In Ethiopia they put in Textile Mills around the schools, in Central Asia (where they have been kicked out of Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan) they were mining. Extracting all the money out of the countries and wiring it back to Turkey. They don't give a flip about you or your kids, you are tools to their goal which is increase of power. But it is crumbling down on them, and is failing in America as it has in other countries. Follow the money and pay close attention to these "scholars" that are babysitting your kids. Any of you parents been on their staged tours to Turkey? paid for with tax dollars intended for educational purposes?
MarkMunoz January 02, 2012 at 07:50 PM
Gulen only has a 5th grade education, please view his green card appeal after he was DENIED a green card because he had no extraordinary talents. Gulen vs. Homeland Security (Chertoff) Stop derailing the discussion about immigration and other strawman argumentation. This is about Hizmet's lack of accountability and transparency. The reasons they were denied a charter renewal and you puppets blame the County BOE because this group has shirked their responsibilities off and are doing the blame game. Is this the type of character you want taught to your children? to shirk off human rights violations and other issues this group has a problem with in their home country? Their issues will never go away, and the only "crack pots" are the liars that are operating this school who have used you parents by giving your kids undeserving awards and fake grades. Lets not forget how your children are learning Turkish and the Kolbasti. Hardly resume builders.
MarkMunoz January 02, 2012 at 07:55 PM
Wow, WHY would Mary Addi from the Gulen Managed (Concept Schools) Horizon Science Academy in OHIO give a flip about the Fulton Science Academy in Georgia? Hmmm, who is the crackpot now? Gotta love your made up web sites with NO CITED sources. Could it be you are all related? Ask the FBI, they can tell you more about their ongoing investigation. http://www.horizonparentstruth.blogspot.com Learn about their latest denials at http://www.gulencharterschools.weebly.com - if you are counting their schools have 75 DENIALs and 35 pending charter school applications that are being examined thoroughly. You legitmate parents, get your parents out in June and prepare to find a new school where there is transparency.
MarkMunoz January 02, 2012 at 09:27 PM
You are no Jew, this group HATES jews and periodically the flag of America and Israel is burned at their protests in Turkey. Your rants are so so obvious who you are, every board you come on you act like "happy parents" it isn't working, your schools are being denied in America. The crack pots and rants come from the Cult known as the Gulen Movement (Cemaat or Hizmet) losers brainwashed by a 5th grade educated exiled Imam residing outside of Poconos, PA in Saylorsburg on his "Golden Generation" compound. Golden Generaton is the silly name Hocaefendi has give his future generation educated the Gulen way by his followers. You American parents are suckers. http://turkishinvitations.weebly.com/gulen-v-chertoff-contradictions.html


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