A look behind TiZA

Minneapolis’s City Pages is a free weekly tabloid with a strongly left-wing bent. You know the type. But This week’s featured story by Gregory Pratt — “The truth behind TiZA” — is a first-rate piece of journalism on Tarek ibn Ziyad Academy, the (public) suburban St. Paul charter school that was brought down by our friend Katherine Kersten and the lawsuit she inspired.

I have frequently commented here that you might say TiZA was a Muslim school in all but name, but even the name was Muslim. It’s a story with national implications and it’s not over yet.

It was Kathy’s Star Tribune columns that inspired an investigation of, and subsequent lawsuit against, TiZA and others by the Minnesota chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union. Pratt has troubled himself to explore what the publicly available discovery in the lawsuit turned up. He is the first journalist to have done so. His story is deserving of close attention.

Kathy is the subject of a chapter in Timothy Groseclose’s new book, Left Turn Professor Groseclose writes about one of the stories Kathy broke in her column as a result of her conservative perspective and her dogged research. It wasn’t the TiZA story, but it could well have been. For her efforts she is repaid in the City Pages story with an uncharacteristically snide comment by ACLU-MN director Chuck Samuelson, whose principled support of the lawsuit against TiZA is equally deserving of praise as Kathy’s work at the Star Tribune.

The headline of Pratt’s story promises “the truth behind TiZA.” The story goes a good part of the way toward the truth, but there are threads left hanging and clues to be followed. Here’s hoping Pratt follows them.

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