Polemics & Exchanges

On the Clear and Present Danger

Scott P. Richert’s article on the Islamic school in Rockford (“Through a Glass, Darkly,” The Rockford Files, April), was extremely tasteful—and also very disturbing.

There are several Islamic private schools here in Washington, D.C.  The Washington Post did a story on the phenomenon a couple of years ago, listing  some of the same selling points that Mr. Richert did, explaining why many Christians (mostly, I suspect, in name only) send their children there—the discipline, the structure, and the academic emphasis.  There are other reasons as well.  Many parents either waited too late to get their children into the private school of their first choice, couldn’t afford their first choice, or got a sudden case of indigestion when they realized how bad the public schools really had become.

I feel quite sure, however, that most parents who send their youngsters to the Islamic schools didn’t do the kind of homework that Mr. Richert did.  It’s not as if one has to stay on school grounds for weeks and weeks, after all, to uncover what he did.  Nothing was hidden.  It was mostly out there in the open, as are many of the problems with the public schools.

As I wrote in a piece last year (“School Days,” Vital Signs, January 2001),...

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