What is a Gulen Charter School?A Gulen charter school is a publicly-funded charter school that was founded and is run by individuals who are secretly followers of a Turkish imam named Fethullah Gulen. Gulen's followers are called Gulenists, and collectively they form a worldwide covert network called the Gulen Movement. The key defining feature of Gulen charter schools is that control of the schools' policies and (most importantly) finances lies entirely in the hands of Gulenists. This allows the Gulenists to use the schools in ways that further the Gulen Movement's goals. The infiltration of the Gulen Movement into our publicly-funded education system has been made possible by a perfect storm of very lax charter school regulation; the current political climate favoring expansion of charter schools; the Gulenists' unparalleled skills at marketing, deception, and intimidation; the presence of influential sympathizers in our government and in academia; and an extreme reluctance on the part of many journalists, academicians and government officials to involve themselves in this issue for fear they might be labeled as Islamophobic or xenophobic.
Where are the Gulen charter schools, and how many are there?
The list of names of Gulen charter schools currently in operation in the US is given hereat our companion site, which is about the Gulen Movement. Another blogger is also keeping count of the number of schools. At last count, 122 are currently in operation, in 28 different states, and the Gulenists are actively proposing and founding new ones.
What sort of information can I find here?One of the most controversial aspects of these schools has been the public denials made by Gulenist administrators that there is any connection with the Gulen Movement. Many of the pages here are compilations of evidence that a strong connection exists. Other pages explore additional issues of concern about these publicly-funded schools. Our companion site, A Guide to the Gulen Movement's Activities in the US, has more information about the Gulen Movement in general, as the charter schools are only one aspect of this movement's growing influence in our country and around the world.