Assistant professor in Hamline’s School of Education, Letitia Basford, and Heather Megarray Traegar, a K-12 teacher in the Twin Cities, presented their paper titled, "How are they going to adapt if they go to an all-Somali school?" at the International School Choice and Reform Conference in Tampa, Florida.
Basford and Traegar addressed three commonly held concerns (by outsiders) about the culturally specific charter school where they worked and conducted research:
1.) that culturally specific schools fail to prepare students to enter culturally diverse situations;
2.) that ethnocentric schools are not academically rigorous; and,
3.) that schools like UMA go against the Establishment Clause stating a separation between church and state in schools, and they encourage Islamic fundamentalism.
The paper is part of a soon-to-be published book addressing culturally specific charter schools.