Tim Griffin research on Turkish charter schools for Mike Flynn didn't run deep | Arkansas Blog

Thursday, May 11, 2017

Tim Griffin research on Turkish charter schools for Mike Flynn didn't run deep

Posted By on Thu, May 11, 2017 at 11:41 AM

TURKISH TIE: LISA Academy gets the OK from Lt. Gov. Tim Griffin.
  • TURKISH TIE: LISA Academy gets the OK from Lt. Gov. Tim Griffin.

An article in today's Arkansas Democrat-Gazette
notes that Lt. Gov. Tim Griffin's name turned up in a Justice Department review of Michael Flynn's political work, specifically on behalf of some Turkish interests opposed to Fethullah Gulen, a Turkish exile in the U.S. who's been linked to the operation of charter schools nationwide.

Gulen is an arch-enemy of current Turkish leadership.

Griffin dismissed the matter. He said he was called by a political operative of his acquaintance who wanted to know about ties between Gulen and the LISA Academy charter schools in Arkansas.

Griffin, who made clear he's an advocate of LISA Academy, said he called Scott Smith. He's the Walton Family Foundation-financed head of the Arkansas Public School Resource Center, which promotes charter school establishment. They love them all, no matter who's behind them.

Smith told the D-G that the issue had been raised years ago, but no evidence put forward to support the claim.
"The state Board [of Education] asked some questions about it and as far as I know they weren't able to substantiate anything," Scott Smith said.
I don't recall the state Board making any effort to determine ties between LISA Academy and Gulen (or, for that matter, if it would be of consequence if proved.) But Turkish connections at the school are deep and well-known, beginning with the native Turk founders, the Turkish members of the original board and a great number of Turkish teachers on special visas (because of a shortage of math and science teachers, the school has said.) Anti-Gulen websites have persistently claimed ties between LISA and the Gulen movement, though the shrouded nature of charter school finance and control makes it difficult to easily track relationships. The school has just as persistently disclaimed a tie with the movement.

For someone with time, however, there are threads for a dedicated researcher like Tim Griffin to follow.

Example: Here's a New Orleans report on a questionable contact made by an official of a Texas construction company with ties to a Louisiana charter school "as well as charter schools in other states run by Turkish immigrants." A Texas construction company of the same name, coincidently, did work on the LISA Academy in Little Rock, according to an OSHA news release about citations for safety violations during the work. The New Orleans report notes the tangled relationships of schools, supporting organizations and others and suspicions about Gulen ties  We explored the Turkish background years ago in an article by Jennifer Barnett Reed.

Gee, maybe Griffin should have called us, too.

Tags: , , , , , , ,


Favorite

Comments (4)

Showing 1-4 of 4

Add a comment

 
Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-4 of 4

Add a comment

More by Max Brantley

Readers also liked…

  • Among the last words from Kenneth Williams: 'Finger Lickin' Good Fried Chicken'

    What's purported to be a final-words essay from condemned prisoner Kenneth Williams was distributed today by Deborah Robinson, a freelance journalist in Arkansas.  He reflects on his execution, his victims, reactions of inmates and big servings of fried chicken, which he says are given to all inmates on execution days.
    • Apr 27, 2017
  • Mitch Landrieu on the removal of Confederate tributes in New Orleans

    You want to hear the words of a strong mayor? Read the speech delivered by New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu on the removal of the last of four Lost Cause tributes in the city. THIS is a strong mayor. Brilliant.
    • May 22, 2017
  • Baseball fans have a new place to stay

    If you missed out on Razorback baseball home games this year because you couldn’t find a great place to stay, your problem is now solved: Staybridge Suites of Fayetteville is now fully renovated and located directly across from Baum Stadium, with free parking for hotel guests.
    • May 22, 2017

Slideshows

  • Arkansas vs Ole Miss at War Memorial stadium in Little Rock, Saturday, Oct. 13, 2018. After leading for much of the game, Arkansas lost 37-33 when Ole Miss scored the game winning Touchdown with less that 2 minutes left. 
  • Margaret Clark Adventure Park
    New sculptures, preschoolers play area dedicated in Riverfront Park in Little Rock.

Most Recent Comments

  • Re: Friday: News headlines and open line

    • When the millennials blame the baby-boomers for today's environmental issues, I remind them to turn…

    • on December 14, 2018
  • Re: Judge strikes down Obamacare

    • Damned humans! How dare they get sick! They oughta know better! Guess they're not good…

    • on December 14, 2018
  • Re: Friday: News headlines and open line

    • Vanessa, clothes lines are a great start, my wife has purchased one for me to…

    • on December 14, 2018
 

© 2018 Arkansas Times | 201 East Markham, Suite 200, Little Rock, AR 72201
Powered by Foundation