This week's feature chronicles the troubled history of TiZA, the controversial charter school blasted by conservative critics as the "Minnesota madrassa."
Asad Zaman "attacked" the KSTP news crew
TiZA began humbly, serving poor Somali immigrants in Inver Grove Heights. It grew into a media darling, and Congressman Keith Ellison enrolled his youngest child at the school, as we detail in our story. But after Katherine Kersten wrote a column in March 2008 accusing TiZA of being an "Islamic school," a wave of legal problems descended upon the academy.
Its officials reacted aggressively to criticism, hiring a PR firm and lobbying the media. Its monitor, Wayne Jennings, wrote a letter to the Star Tribune defending TiZA. Executive Director Asad Zaman traveled to the Strib's offices to demand Kersten be fired, according to a former parent at the school. But that paled in comparison to the school's reaction when KSTP reporter Chris O'Connell made an unwelcome visit in May 2008.More »