August 21, 2014 10:00 am -

While the so-called “unbiased news” industry has been worshiping the likes of Michelle Rhee and others seeking to undermine the nation’s public school system, they have turned their back on a huge story: a pattern of charter school corruption so egregious that the FBI has had to intervene.

From Pittsburgh to Baton Rouge, from Hartford to Cincinnatti to Albuquerque, FBI agents have been busting into schools, carting off documents and making arrests leading to high-profile indictments.
“The troubled Hartford charter school operator FUSE was dealt another blow Friday when FBI agents served it with subpoenas to a grand jury that is examining the group’s operations. When two Courant reporters arrived at FUSE offices on Asylum Hill on Friday morning, minutes after the FBI’s visit, they saw a woman feeding sheaves of documents into a shredder.”—The Hartford Courant, July 18, 2014

“The FBI has raided an Albuquerque school just months after the state started peering into the school’s finances. KRQE News 13 learned federal agents were there because of allegations that someone may have been taking money that was meant for the classroom at the Southwest Secondary Learning Center on Candelaria, near Morris in northwest Albuquerque … “—KRQE News 13, August 1 2014

“COLUMBUS, OH—A federal grand jury has indicted four people, alleging that they offered and accepted bribes and kickbacks as part of a public corruption conspiracy in their roles as managers and a consultant for Arise! Academy, a charter school in Dayton, Ohio.” —FBI Press Release, June 2014

What’s going on here?

[su_r_sky_ad]That’s Ruth Conniff of In These Times asking the question, and while the rest of her article is worth reading, anybody who has been paying attention knows the answer: charter schools are the very sort of lucrative, fast-money racket that “free market” opportunists use to put your tax money in their pockets. Conniff links to an Atlantic article that goes into depth on a chain of schools run by a shadowy Turkish cleric:

In Western countries such as the United States, Germany, and France, there isn’t any evidence whatsoever that the nearly 120 Gülen charter schools in America include Islamic indoctrination in their curriculum. The schools are so secular that singling out the Gülen schools as particularly nefarious, simply for being run predominantly by Muslims, smacks of xenophobia.

However, these schools might be suspect for reasons that are completely unrelated to Islamic doctrine. One of their most troubling characteristics is that they don’t have a great track record when it comes to financial and legal transparency. In Utah, a financial probe launched by the Utah Schools Charter Board found the Beehive Science and Technology Academy, a Gülen-run charter school, to be nearly $350,000 in debt. Furthermore, as the Deseret News reported, the school’s administrators seemed to be reserving coveted jobs for their own countrymen and women: “In a time of teacher layoffs, Beehive has recruited a high percentage of teachers from overseas, mainly Turkey.”

The conservative clown car’s “intellect” simply adores those entrepreneurial charter schools, but their lizard brain reflexively hits 11 when the matter of Muslims is involved. Cognitive dissonance leading to cranial detonation in 3… 2… 1…

D.B. Hirsch
D.B. Hirsch is a political activist, news junkie, and retired ad copy writer and spin doctor. He lives in Brooklyn, New York.

31 responses to Did You Know The FBI Has Been Raiding Charter Schools?

  1. Eric Trommater August 21st, 2014 at 10:14 am

    “Capitalism is the astounding belief that the most wickedest of men will do the most wickedest of things, all for the common good,” John Maynard Keynes.

    • John Tarter August 21st, 2014 at 12:55 pm

      And what do you suggest as an alternative? Socialism , Communism perhaps? No system has raised more people from poverty than the capitalist system pure and simple.

      • M D Reese August 21st, 2014 at 1:15 pm

        Oh bullshit, pure and simple.

      • dave-dr-gonzo August 21st, 2014 at 1:29 pm

        That’s a stupid question. You sound like a holdover from the McCarthy era… excuse me… that was the 1950s calling, Tartster, and even they don’t want you back!

        • Dwendt44 August 21st, 2014 at 3:54 pm

          Exactly. The wild ‘cut throat’, profit at any price, capitalism does more harm than good. That’s why anyone interested in the future of this country want reasonable controls and oversight on the ‘capitalist’ system.
          Some how corporate welfare is ignore by those screaming ‘socialism’.

      • fahvel August 22nd, 2014 at 9:47 am

        don’t hold your breath, but the capitalist global consumer and grow culture will be top heavy sooner than later and fall. It’s based on nothing but false counting.

  2. mea_mark August 21st, 2014 at 11:07 am

    Maybe we stop calling what the republicans want ‘free market capitalism’ and call it ‘free market corruption’, that seems more apropos,

  3. BillTheCat45 August 21st, 2014 at 11:10 am

    Gosh, you mean the “schools” championed by the science-deniers and bigots are corrupt?? Q’UELL SURPRISE. Maybe Rhee was getting out while the gettin’ is good.

    • fahvel August 22nd, 2014 at 9:44 am

      just plain quelle.

  4. Dwendt44 August 21st, 2014 at 11:25 am

    Now if only they’d start investigating the fraud and abuse in the voucher system.

  5. R.J. Carter August 21st, 2014 at 11:27 am

    Our “charter school” thankfully has a student population of 1.

    • mmaynard119 August 22nd, 2014 at 2:27 pm

      And you’re taking remedial courses.

  6. tiredoftea August 21st, 2014 at 12:27 pm

    Inevitable since they started with the idea of destroying the public school system.

  7. John Tarter August 21st, 2014 at 1:00 pm

    So then, why are the regular public schools so bad? There is ample evidence that the stranglehold the unions have had on our education has taken it to the depths of failure. Children who can’t read at grade level , the indoctrination of liberal thought, and numerous violent actions from them show how bad the current system is.

    • dave-dr-gonzo August 21st, 2014 at 1:25 pm

      No, Stimpy. That’s a trite, clichéd, and typically reactionary response.

      It is immediately clear that you don’t know jack squat about public education.

      For starters, Sparky, >>school boards<< are far more influential in the operation of individual schools than any teachers' union, and they generally do a mediocre to poor job of managing and hiring.

      Additionally, public schools are woefully underfunded thanks in large part to a cynical, self-defeating "cheap-labor cheap-resourse" philosophical bastard child of Reagan and Rand that dominates the management of American public and private educational institutions. Public institutions should not be run by businesses. Here's a hint: when we start paying teachers as well as doctors and lawyers, you'll see better teachers. But I bet you're too damn greedy and conservative to pay the taxes needed for American exceptionalism in education.

      And there is a stronger correlation between children who cannot read at grade level and parents who cannot read than there is of children who cannot read and "failing schools". There are a litany of studies that have tied academic performance to family literacy and function/dysfunction, but you'll never see a serious report on these lest they offend Campbell Brown, Michelle rhee, and their gangster-edjamacation handlers on K Street and Wall Street!

      What are you doing to impart a culture of literacy among these families?

      • tiredoftea August 21st, 2014 at 2:33 pm

        Well said!

    • Dave August 21st, 2014 at 1:26 pm

      OK John, so crooks stealing tax money is a GREAT lesson for kids. And stop with the union crap already…..People need a voice!

      • Dwendt44 August 21st, 2014 at 3:59 pm

        Besides, unions don’t have much to say about what’s being taught and other ‘in classroom’ learning. Unions are there to protect the teachers from arbitrary firings, discipline, and assignments, and so forth.
        EVERY union contract in existence has procedures set down concerning how to fire a teacher that isn’t doing his/her job or that has other personal problems.
        School boards and superintendents are either to lazy to use those tools or are aware that the claims against a particular teacher are baseless or at least exaggerated.

    • tiredoftea August 21st, 2014 at 2:35 pm

      “So then, why are the regular public schools so bad?” Because they are not as profitable as arms manufacturers and funded not nearly so well as them.

      • mea_mark August 21st, 2014 at 3:47 pm

        American priorities are out of whack. Too much money for guns, too little for education.

        • raincheck August 21st, 2014 at 6:59 pm

          Yes yes yes!!

      • mmaynard119 August 22nd, 2014 at 2:32 pm

        T2 – I know a lot of teachers. Most are not in it for the money. The problems with the US education system starts with tax cuts, instead of investing in the school systems. The school day needs to be longer, the school year needs to be year round and the school curriculum need to get back to basics of 3R’s. All of them do require more money for operations. Quality education cannot be done on the cheap.

    • raincheck August 21st, 2014 at 7:06 pm

      “the indoctrination of liberal thought, and numerous violent actions from them” REALLY?….people like you are dangerous to this country

    • Gary August 21st, 2014 at 11:33 pm

      If there’s been so much ‘indoctrination of liberal though’ for so many years, why are we ALL liberals?

    • liberalMD August 22nd, 2014 at 7:21 am

      What evidence do you have that children in charter schools can read at grade level(assuming that the charter schools have not culled out all but the over-achieving children)?
      What evidence do you have that the inability of children to be able to read at grade level is due to the public school system?
      What evidence do you have that the violent actions occurring in the schools are a result of the public school system and not due to external forces?
      Why should the indoctrination of liberal thought be a bad thing?

    • CanterburyTom August 22nd, 2014 at 11:15 am

      It’s part of the plan,John. One voice. Theirs.

  8. voice_reason August 21st, 2014 at 3:26 pm

    it’s about time

  9. raincheck August 21st, 2014 at 6:52 pm

    There are some things that just shouldn’t be “For Profit”… Schools and Prisons are two of them. There will always be greedy people, just waiting to get their hands on your money and play with it… Like, SS, US mail…RIGHT! (Republicans) It always seems like when cuts are being made, Public Education is one of the first to get hit. Then they start complaining about how poorly the system works, then go on to suggest “Charter Schools are the way to go!” (That way money that SHOULD pay for equipment, field trips, more Teachers etc. can instead go toward lining the pockets of the Administrators who run the Charter schools) More Teachers, would help reduce the classroom sizes,allowing the Teachers to give more attention to students that need more attention

    • Gary August 21st, 2014 at 11:29 pm

      I’ll add to that; libraries and fire depts.

  10. raincheck August 21st, 2014 at 7:02 pm

    Better education means… fewer Republican trolls… (lol)

  11. mmaynard119 August 22nd, 2014 at 2:27 pm

    One of the biggest advocates of charter schools is Jebbie of the Bush Crime Family. He’s made a small fortune through his involvement in charter schools. I was involved with the early charter school movement in Massachusetts. I took part because I believe in being able to have tailored education for exceptional students. When I found out what the first charter schools were going to do for curriculum – I get out quickly. Education and profits don’t mix.