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Gulen Charter Schools: Why do some bloggers attack Harmony Schools as Gulen Charter Schools?

February 26, 2014 Leave a comment

Gulen charter Schools is a new phrase coined by some groups with anti-charter sentiments and we already have a Gulen Charter Schools page that explains the motive behind these attacks. After getting many inquiries we decided to do another post right here.

They can keep calling them Gulen Charter Schools, State Officials also keep approving them!

These groups are still posting allegations against some high performing charter schools, however state institutions, district boards keeps approving new schools of the organizations that are being attacked. The Harmony DC approval is just one of them. For further details see our post Harmony Schools Approved by D.C. Charter School Board

A lot can be said about the reason behind those attackers, but as Harmony Schools Advocates, we believe that the video below well summarizes this Gulen Charter Schools concept. Watch and see how the attackers of Harmony Schools are informed and clueless about Harmony or any charter school for that matter.

Harmony Teacher receives the Red Apple Teacher of the Month Award

February 25, 2014 Leave a comment

Harmony Science Academy-High Houston robotics teacher gets a nice surprise!

Harmony Waco Robotics Team competes in First Tech Challenge

February 22, 2014 Leave a comment

Harmony Celebrates National School Choice Week

February 10, 2014 Leave a comment

national school choice week harmony

Story by Harmony Public Schools

On Saturday, January 25th, more than 3,000 families, educators, elected officials and community supporters gathered together to celebrate their ability to choose when it comes to education. The 2014 National School Choice Week Kick Off event was at Minute Maid Park’s Union Station in downtown Houston.

Harmony Public Schools, an official NSCW partner, not only participated in the planning process for this hugely successful event, but also provided pre-event excitement from the Lady Tiger Cheerleading team at Harmony School of Excellence. Harmony also had a very busy booth in the exhibit hall, where representatives provided information about why Harmony is an excellent school choice option.

The event featured lively performances, moving testimonies from both parents and students attending schools of choice and wonderfully energized remarks from U. S. Senator Ted Cruz and U.S. Representative Sheila Jackson Lee.

More than 500 Harmony students, parents, teachers and staff attended the event. A huge thank you goes to all the staff who worked so hard to coordinate our participation in this event, as well as to all our parents and supporters!

How to Turn Kids into Techies

January 21, 2014 Leave a comment

Harmony Public Schools were featured on EdTech.

Last September, Harmony Public Schools‘ middle and high school students returned to class to find the familiar textbooks and whiteboards they’ve always seen. But each student also received a box whose contents, administrators of the Houston-based public charter school nonprofit hope, will open up the world to students and potentially lead to more of them choosing careers in science, technology, ­engineering or mathematics.

Inside those 15,322 boxes were new 11.6-inch Lenovo ThinkPad x131e Chromebooks: one for every middle and high school student and teacher throughout the 40-school system. For now, staff members provide the tech support. But soon, students will take over, offering both help desk services to their peers and their teachers and getting an unrivaled, hands-on education in technology before they graduate.
Read more…

Harmony Honored at the Texas Charter School Conference

December 20, 2013 Leave a comment

Harmony Public Schools was recognized at the recent Annual Texas Charter School Association Conference.

From The Texas Insider Report:

Last week more than 1,400 charter school leaders gathered in Fort Worth, Tex., to attend the statewide Texas Charter Schools Conference (Dec. 11-13, 2013).  This year’s conference entitled, “Blazing the Trail to Quality and Innovation,” focused on training, quality services and sharing best practices. The Texas Charter Schools Association (TCSA) also celebrated the 5th birthday of the association during the opening reception. Keynote speakers included national education advocate, Michelle Rhee, and Texas Education Commissioner Michael Williams in a repeat appearance with charter school leaders and supporters.

The new 2013 High Performing Charters awards were given for consistently high student performance and student growth for three years.  The new 2013 Committed to Quality awards were given for outstanding leadership in use of the Quality Framework to achieve success for students. Harmony School of Science – Sugar Land High was granted this award – congratulations!

Harmony Public Schools as a whole received the Committed to Quality Award in recognition of outstanding leadership to achieve all campuses for Quality Framework campus submissions. Dr. Soner Tarim, superintendent and CEO, graciously accepted the award at the TCSA Conference closing ceremony on Friday, December 13th.

For more information on the award, click here.

Winners of Statewide Geography Poster Contest

December 20, 2013 Leave a comment

Congratulations!

Two students earn top places in annual mini geography poster contest

Students from Harmony School of Science-Elementary and Harmony School of Science-Sugar Land High placed 1st and 3rd place respectively in their grade levels in the 26th Annual Texas Alliance for Geographic Education Mini-Poster Contest in celebration of Geography Awareness Week 2013. This year over 11,000 students from across Texas participated in the mini-poster contest with only 12 statewide winners.

First place winner in the middle school category, Tyler D., was honored at a special award ceremony held in Austin on November 20,2013.

For more information about the Annual Texas Alliance for Geographic Education Mini-Poster Contest, please visit www.geo.txstate.edu/tage/

Harmony Schools Approved by D.C. Charter School Board

November 19, 2013 Leave a comment

WashingtonDC

It is our honor to give you the good news. You can read the Washington Post piece here. You can also check out the tweets that were tweeted during yesterday’s meeting at the bottom of the page.

“The D.C. Public Charter School Board voted at its meeting Monday night to give conditional approval to Harmony Public Schools, which operates the largest charter chain in Texas.

Harmony plans to establish an elementary school focused on science, technology, engineering and math — or STEM — that will grow one grade each year until it serves children in kindergarten through grade 12. Eventually, the organization hopes to operate several elementary and middle schools feeding into one stand-alone high school, Harmony Superintendent Soner Tarim said in an interview.

Members of the District’s charter school board said they were impressed by the hands-on and project-based learning they observed when they visited Harmony schools in Texas. Harmony’s strong academic record helped it win a $30 million Race to the Top grant from the Obama administration last year.

“I saw a lot of active learning, not just sitting and listening to the teacher,” said Darren Woodruff. “That was impressive and something that is really needed in the District of Columbia.”

Naomi DeVeaux, deputy executive director of the District’s charter school board, said the board’s staff had examined the allegations against Harmony but found no cause for concern or evidence that laws had been broken.

She said a wide range of officials spoke highly of Harmony, including officials at the U.S. Education Department, the Texas Education Agency, members of the Texas state board of education and the National Association of Charter School Authorizers.

“This is a tremendous opportunity to educate children in the nation’s capital,” Harmony spokeswoman Julie Norton wrote in an e-mail. “Nationwide, there’s a need for STEM education and we’re excited and committed to providing a model in STEM education excellence for students in Washington, D.C.”

Harmony approval

Donna Garner Back to Her Defaming Ways

November 19, 2013 Leave a comment

It seems Donna Garner has returned her defaming ways again. She wrote an article, where she clearly distorts and misinterprets the data about Harmony Public Schools.

As Harmony Schools Advoctes, we have obtained the “correct” information from Harmony officials. Here it is:

61% (23 out of 38) of HPS campuses have earned at least one distinction designation compared to 42% of all Texas campuses.

21% (8 out of 38) of HPS campuses earned distinctions in all three potential areas compared to 9% in Texas.

It is surprising to see how the above data are used in a negative manner. As for the claims about end-of-course tests and some students being told not to participate, we believe this is the worst part; very disrespectful to all the teachers and administrators on our campuses. Everyone is so great with test security. Below you can also find out the data about the number of teachers on H-1 visas.

Harmony Table

Once again, Donna Garner bites on granite! When she made a claim last time, her accusation was debunked. But she seems to have recovered from her latest embarrassment.

Harmony aims to replicate successful STEM education model in Washington, D.C.

November 14, 2013 Leave a comment

Harmony aims to replicate successful STEM education model in Washington, D.C.

(from Harmony press release)
Texas’ largest charter school operator applies for first charter outside of state
Houston, Texas – November 11, 2013 – Texas-based Harmony Public Schools (HPS) recently submitted an application for a charter in Washington, D.C., its first school outside of Texas. HPS operates 40 high performing K-12 college preparatory public charter schools throughout Texas and is headquartered in Houston.

If approved, Harmony School of Excellence-DC (HSE-DC) would open for 2014-2015 school year and bring HPS’ nationally recognized science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) model for educating college-ready students to the nation’s capital. HSE-DC would serve approximately 216 students in grades kindergarten through five the first year, adding a grade each subsequent year until it ultimately serves approximately 850 students in grades K-12.The application was submitted to the Washington, D.C., Public Charter School Board (DCPCSB).
“We believe Harmony has the education model and experience to provide Washington, D.C., students the opportunity to excel in STEM subjects in a safe, stimulating environment,” said Dr. Soner Tarim, CEO and Superintendent of HPS. “The nation’s economic success depends on a workforce proficient in STEM subjects and possessing the skills and capacity for innovation. Harmony’s model provides the education and critical thinking skills that students need to lead innovation in the future.”

Harmony’s philosophy is that excellence in math and science prepares youth to succeed in college, the workplace and the 21st century. Harmony’s model for success relies on challenging curriculum with project-based learning as part of the core studies, ongoing assessments that monitor student progress and a culture of high expectations. By recognizing that each child is unique, with special interests and abilities, Harmony can create student-centered education that caters to the individual and celebrates diversity.
Harmony Public Schools currently operates 40 campuses across Texas in mostly under-served communities. The HPS model works to close the achievement gap for minority populations, with students consistently excelling at STEM courses and performing higher than regional and state averages on standardized test scores. Harmony serves a diverse population of students, with each campus serving a student population representative of the community in which campuses are located.  System-wide, about 56 percent of Harmony’s students are eligible for free and reduced lunches and 80 percent are minority. More than 40,000 Texas students have been educated at Harmony since 2000.

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