Concept Schools

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Concept School
School type Charter
Founded 1999
Founder Sedat Duman, Salim Ucan.
Staff 1,544
Grades K-12

Concept Schools is a nonprofit management and consulting organization based in Chicago supporting the development of urban science-focused charter schools in the Midwestern United States.

The group currently manages 30 tuition-free science, technology and math-focused schools in 7 Midwest states. Serving about 13.000 students, Concept-managed schools are located in urban areas in Ohio, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Wisconsin, Minnesota, and Missouri.[1] 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.

Concept schools have experienced some legal troubles in 2014. Schools in 3 states have been raided by the FBI. In total, 19 search warrants were executed by the FBI on June 4, 2014. Nothing was founded and no further action has been taken.[2]

Schools operated[edit]

Name Of The School
Chicago Math and Science Academy
Gateway Science Academy- St. Louis
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 Schools of Science
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.[3]


Connections to the Gulen Movement[edit]

The Concept Schools have known links to the Gulen Movement.[4] 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.[5]

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."[6]


  1. ^ Concept Schools Member Schools
  2. ^
  3. ^ "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. 
  4. ^
  5. ^
  6. ^ "Concept Schools Raided by Feds". DNAinfo Chicago. Retrieved 2016-05-24. 

External links[edit]