Concept Schools

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Concept Schools
Formation1999; 19 years ago (1999)
FounderSedat Duman
ServicesCharter school management

Concept Schools is a nonprofit charter management organization that provides education through a network of charter schools.[2]

The group currently manages thirty-one tuition-free science, technology and math-focused schools in seven Midwest states. Serving about 13,000 students, Concept-managed schools are located in urban areas in Ohio, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Wisconsin, Minnesota, and Missouri.[3] Out of 9500 students, 82% are minority and 81% come from economically disadvantaged families. 8% of the students have special education services and 5% are English language learners.

In 2014 schools run by Concept in three states were been raided by the FBI. In total, nineteen search warrants were executed by the FBI on June 4, 2014.[4]

Schools operated[edit]

  • Chicago Math and Science Academy[5]
  • Gateway Science Academy - St. Louis]
    • [Elementary School, Smiley Campus]
    • Elementary School, South Campus]
    • Middle & High School]
  • Horizon Science Academy- Cincinnati
  • Horizon Science Academy- Cleveland High School
  • Horizon Science Academy- Cleveland Middle School
  • Horizon Science Academy- Cleveland Elementary School
  • Horizon Science Academy- Columbus Elementary School
  • Horizon Science Academy- Columbus Middle School
  • Horizon Science Academy- Columbus High School
  • Horizon Science Academy- Dayton Elementary School
  • Horizon Science Academy- Dayton High School
  • Horizon Science Academy- Dayton Downtown
  • Horizon Science Academy- Denison Middle School
  • Horizon Science Academy- Denison Elementary School
  • Horizon Science Academy- Lorain
  • Horizon Science Academy- McKinley Park
  • Horizon Science Academy- Southwest Chicago
  • Horizon Science Academy- Springfield
  • Horizon Science Academy- Toledo High School
  • Horizon Science Academy- Toledo Downtown
  • Horizon Science Academy- Youngstown
  • Indiana Math & Science Academy-West
  • Indiana Math & Science Academy-North
  • Indiana Math & Science Academy-South
  • Michigan Math & Science Academy
  • Milwaukee Math & Science Academy
  • Minnesota Math and Science Academy
  • Noble Academy Cleveland
  • Noble Academy Columbus


Horizon Science Academy Cleveland and Horizon Science Academy Columbus High School received National Blue Ribbon Awards from the U.S. Department of Education in 2009 and 2012, respectively.[6]


Connections to the Gulen Movement[edit]

The Concept Schools have known links to the Gulen Movement and its schools.[7] Both the schools and Concept Schools Vice President Salim Ucan appear in the 2014 documentary Love is a Verb, which details the history and activities of the movement. However, Ucan denies any connection between Concept Schools and the Gulen movement in the film.

School Conditions[edit]

Concept was banned from opening a school in Chicago's South Side Chatham neighborhood after it was determined that the site they planned to use was in deplorable condition. Building inspectors cited the leaky roof, mold, and asbestos laden floor tiles as unsuitable for children.

“Mold is visibly evident throughout many of the classrooms. The mold and mildew is so bad, that a handful of the classrooms cannot be accessed due to the noxious, overwhelming, suffocating scent,” an inspector wrote for CPS officials in July 2014.[8]

FBI Investigations[edit]

In June 2014, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Department of Education, and Federal Communication Commission conducted joint raids on 19 Concept schools in Illinois, Indiana, and Ohio for "allegations of white collar crime," according to FBI spokesperson Vicki Anderson. However, Chicago Math and Science Academy spokesperson Irene Bermudez stated, "I have absolutely no idea what they are looking for."[9]


  1. ^ a b "Concept Schools Inc Form 990 2015". ProPublica. Retrieved 10 November 2017.
  2. ^ "Mission & Vision -". Retrieved 2018-03-08.
  3. ^ Concept Schools Member Schools
  4. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2014-07-09. Retrieved 2014-08-28.
  5. ^ "Chicago Math and Science Academy (CMSA) is a 6-12 college prep charter schools managed by Concept Schools". Retrieved 2017-11-16.
  6. ^ "National Blue Ribbon Schools Recognized 1982-2015" (PDF). National Blue Ribbon Schools Program. U.S. Department of Education. 2015-09-30. Retrieved 2016-05-25.
  7. ^ Stahl, Lesley (May 13, 2012). "U.S. charter schools tied to powerful Turkish imam". 60 Minutes. CBS News. Retrieved January 17, 2018.
  8. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2014-08-27. Retrieved 2014-08-28.
  9. ^ "Concept Schools Raided by Feds". DNAinfo Chicago. Archived from the original on 2016-07-01. Retrieved 2016-05-24.