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letters | DEFENDING A CHARTER SCHOOL

Everett school serves all and isn’t guided by any religious network

A judge inspects the bottom of a student ’s hovercraft during a science fair at the Pioneer Charter School.

CHARLIE MAHONEY FOR THE BOSTON GLOBE

A judge inspects the bottom of a student ’s hovercraft during a science fair at the Pioneer Charter School.

THE GLOBE’S article (“Turkish charter schools growing,” Metro, Feb. 21) created inferences about the Pioneer Charter School of Science that are without merit.

Pioneer is not a “Turkish” school. It is a public school following the same laws and standards as other public schools.

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There is no connection between the school and any national or international network, and we do not introduce any religious or political philosophy into the curriculum.

Several xenophobic blogs have incorrectly identified Pioneer as part of a network linked to a Turkish scholar. These claims are being spread by some unprincipled public officials, and the Globe’s story used relationships to Turkish-American business and nominal similarities to Turkish-led schools to draw a crooked line to this network.

Five Turkish-owned vendors are highlighted in the story out of 257 we have done business with since opening in 2007; our transactions with them represent 4 percent of our vendor payments. Of the 16 teachers we hired on visas since 2007, all but one were already living in the United States. Only four of the school’s 34 teachers currently hold H1B visas. Of 355 students, one is of Turkish origin.

While it may be interesting that Turkish-Americans are involved in operating a school, it is not threatening.

This type of campaign needlessly demeans our efforts to provide a high-quality educational alternative to families in Everett, Revere, and Chelsea and is a disservice to our teachers, administrators, parents, and students.

Barish Icin

Executive director

Pioneer Charter
School of Science

Everett

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