Sorry if its choppy, I’m taking a few minutes out of work to write this. I got to thinking today about raising children in the US and, more importantly, religious children in the US. I am, of course, thinking within the context of raising my children Muslim but this could be applied to anyone who strictly adheres to a conservative religion (say Catholocism or Mormonism as examples) or lifestyle (like “green,” “vegan,” or “earth-friendly” as another.) Its hard to do when sending your children to public schools, so what are our choices?
I know many Muslim moms in the Twin Cities who feel that they have no alternative choice but to home-school their children which takes a lot of time and energy. I’m not the home-schooling type (but I give mad props to those moms who are) so this obviously is not a viable option for me. What can I do?
There is a charter school, (TIZA) that made some news this past year when they were accused of using state money to push and Islamic agenda. Of course that wasn’t true as an audit of the school was done and found no wrong-doing on their behalf (suck it Katherine Kersten) as the USA Today published, “The curriculum at a charter school catering to Muslims complies with federal and state law, the state Education Department said Monday. . .”
However while they are predominantly Muslim students and teachers and offer Islamic after-school programs and hold prayer times during the week, it is not a Muslim school. I would consider sending my children there, but aren’t there any other options? And what about High School? TIZA currently only teaches k-8.
So I took a second (which has now turned into way too much time away from work) to see what else is available and found the Al-Amal School in Fridley, the only Islamic school in Minnesota. Sure its tuition-based, but its accredited and according to their website:
- Al-Amal exceeded the state average in Elementary and Middle/High combined
- Al-Amal School scored the highest in the State in 8th grade math
- Al-Amal scored the 2nd highest in the State in 8th grade Reading
- Al-Amal’s Middle & High School outperformed top school districts like the Mounds View and Wayzata Public School Districts (more info here)
You see that my home-schooling muslimah mommy friends? Thats a glimmer of hope.
I knew it was out there. Next step: having said children… in a couple of years inshAllah.
I’m just a little ahead of myself.