Harmony Public Schools and 60 Minutes: Setting the Record Straight
Harmony Public Schools have issued a statement regarding the “60 Minutes” broadcast aired on May 13, 2012:
You can download the PDF version of the statement here: Harmony Public Schools and 60 Minutes: Setting the Record Straight – 5/14/2012
A segment of the May 13 television news show 60 Minutes included references to Harmony Public Schools (HPS) of Texas that may have left some inaccurate impressions. Please note the following facts about Harmony Public Schools, all of which were shared with 60 Minutes before the show was broadcast:
- HPS operates charter schools in Texas only.
- HPS are non-profit, open enrollment, Texas public schools, free to all students living in their respective independent school districts or surrounding districts.
- HPS is overseen by the Texas Education Agency and the State Board of Education, and follows the same rules and regulations as any other public school in Texas.
- HPS are not part of a national network of charter schools.
- HPS are not affiliated in any way with any religious or political organizations, including the so-called Gulen movement.
- HPS do not teach religion in any form.
- Approximately 16 percent of HPS teachers are on H-1B temporary work visas due to the well-documented shortage of qualified math and science teachers in the U.S. These teachers go through a rigorous, multiple agency U.S-government visa process before being approved to teach in the U.S.
- Of the more than 1,800 HPS employees, we have two teachers on H-1B temporary work visas who teach English. Both are graduates of an English language or literature program, and meet state and federal definitions of being “highly-qualified” to teach.
- The former teacher from Ohio who alleged that her husband was required to give a portion of his paycheck to an unnamed organization has never had any association with HPS whatsoever.
- In addition to having two schools ranked in Newsweek’s 2011 list of “Top 500″ High Schools in America and “Ten Miracle High Schools,” three HPS campuses made U.S. News & World Report’s “Best High Schools 2012 Rankings.”
Thank you for your continued interest in Harmony Public Schools. We remain confident that the more factual information people have about HPS, the more people will understand our philosophy and mission: Excellence is our standard, we expect every student to perform to the highest standards, and we believe that every child can achieve excellence in the classroom, and in life, if we nurture, develop and challenge them.