A Sonoran Science charter schools open thread


by David Safier

I don't like to see the comments on one of my posts hijacked, where comments have no direct relationship to what I wrote. That's what happened on one of my recent posts about BASIS, where some commenters used that space to criticize Sonoran Science Academy charter schools. However, I know there's a genuine controversy surrounding the schools, so I want to give commenters a chance to air their views, postive and negative. Keep the comments reasonably civil, of course.

Let me introduce the topic. Sonoran Science runs a number of charter schools in the Tucson and Phoenix areas. They tend to be pretty highly ranked academically, and I've heard positive comments from parents about the quality of the education. Some people are very concerned that the schools are connected to the Gulen Movement led by a Turkish religious figure. They also say the people who run the schools use them to import teachers from Turkey.

Both concerns have some basis, but I have to admit, they don't bother me as much as they bother the schools' critics. When I look at some of the very serious problems within the charter school movement, this, to me, pales by comparison. Apparently the U.S. Air Force isn't overly concerned either, because it allowed Sonoran Science to set up a campus at Davis-Monthan.

That sets the stage. Let the comments begin.