The charter school controversy is going on full throttle and some charter schools, infamously called Gulen Charter Schools, have recently become a scapegoat in this process. After revealing some information on Peggy Littleton, I have now turned my attention to other attackers. Recently, Donna Garner has made some buzz on Harmony Schools in Texas. She has some accusations on so-called Gulen Charter Schools at different internet sources and as a scholar, I made my own investigation with those schools and refuted Garner’s groundless accusations. Her knowledge in those issues is just superficial and she doesn’t even know the simplest facts on neither charter schools nor Harmony Schools. That is why, henceforth, I will start calling her a sciolist (meaning “a person with superficial knowledge”).
Let us take a look at some of her accusations along with my consequent refutations. I will not provide the links about her accusations, but will give the resources that she “contributes” to. I will also use claim-answer format to expose more about her sciolism:
Claim: "I imagine that many of these people (U. S. Congressmen Gene Green, Sheila Jackson Lee, Kofi Annan, Mayor Tom Leppert, Dr. Terri Grier, Texas Railroad Commissioner Elizabeth A. Jones, Bill White, Dr. Akbar S. Ahmed (Ibn Khaldun Chair of Islamic Studies at American University), and James Baker) help to fund the Turkish charter schools where Islam is the predominant religion." (taken from her article on isdinitiative.org dated February 11, 2011)
Answer: "What an imagination" (!) I should say. The names are so irrelevant that it is hard to find any logical relationship among each other. Besides, Dr. Grier is the Superintendent of Houston Independent School District (HISD). How come an ISD superintendent helps the funding of a charter school? That is ridiculous. Garner has no proof of such funding other than her wild imagination. Besides, if a person shows up at the Gulen Institute, does it mean that s/he helps the funding of charter schools? What kind of correlation is here? Kofi Annan, former UN Secretary, has nothing to do with charter schools. He works for a Speakers Bureau giving keynote speeches around the world. This is pure ill intention to find such a relationship. I don’t want to go over the names separately, but two examples should suffice.
Claim: How would Turkish teachers (many here on visas) teach our American children about such historical events as the Holocaust? (taken from ramparts360.com) How could those Turkish teachers teach American children about the Constitution, Civil War and American History? (taken from her talk on City on a Hill radio)
Answer: Let me start with a question and a simple stat as an answer that I took from Harmony Schools officials: how many Turkish teachers are there at Harmony Schools teaching Social Studies? ZERO. Ms. Garner is so ignorant that she is not aware of the simple facts. Yet, interestingly, she does not bother to ask school officials before she comes up with a conclusion. Please do not worry Ms. Garner. Our American History is told by local American teachers.
Addendum: On the Ghostfighters page, where you can find the same article that I got from ramparts360.com, on top of the headline, a sentence reads: “we are funding charter schools that teach the kids to kill us.” Another bold and reckless claim... Imagine a school where you teach your kids how to kill their parents. None of the students react this! None of the parents, fellow teachers or community members show any reaction to this! Is it possible? If there were such things at these schools, we would have heard this somehow and some way, right? Or at least we would have heard some attempts from elementary and middle school kids to kill (!) their parents. I am ashamed to talk about those baseless claims, but attacking innocent schools with a partisanship attitude is what people like Donna Garner do. I wish we could dwell on more sensible things. By the way, I found that I was not alone. More things could be found on Donna Garner on the internet.
Donna Garner is a rich resource in terms of superficial and false information. She is the embodiment of sciolist approach. I am planning to write more about her false claims and their answers.
TO BE CONTINUED…