The creation of a school with an emphasis on Arabic culture has drawn criticism in New York. The controversy should not be one about Arabic culture but the departure from a traditional view of public education that one sought to create a shared curriculum and culture for a diverse population. This is part of a broader debate that includes controversies over the creation of schools like the Harvey Milk high school for gay and lesbian students. See prior column, by clicking here
Those who argue that the Khalil Gibran International Academy will become an hotbed of islamic radicalism are misplaced in their criticism. It would be a terrific addition to all public schools to teach about the arab culture and other cultures. The debate should address our model for public education and what our public schools should achieve in creating a common education and tolerant pluralistic society. I believe strongly that these specialized schools are a mistake and undermine one of the great promises of public education.
For full story, click here