What LISA Parents, Teachers, Students and Community Think About LISA

Recently, a negative blog was posted in Arktimes online about LISA schools. See the following comments of parents, teachers and community about LISA:
I have just graduated my daughter from LISA West with honors - major is English. I replay the event on my mind because I am elated that she did so well! The values we have instilled in her were reinforced at school. She has a quiet confidence about her that will be an asset in the future. I have sat down with the educators at LISA quite frequently and have been made to feel valued and respected at all times. Never was religion discussed as there was never a forum to discuss that topic. I tend to be leery about disparaging comments from those that have not been an active participant at LISA; what proof do we have that there have been misappropriation of funds? surely many do not jump the bandwagon just because....we are more intelligent than that.

Posted by Rowena on June 7, 2011 at 11:20 AM
I am a recent graduate of LISA Academy in Little Rock. I was always treated with the utmost respect at all times. Religion was never brought into the learning environment or even on social outings.

Posted by recentgraduate12 on June 7, 2011 at 7:29 PM
When my daughter was in ready to start middle school, she was offered a placement in the best TAG program in the LR area. We visited the school and were not impressed with anything except the TAG program. We checked out the school she was supposed to attend because of logistics and was even less impressed academically.
My husband and I started searching all through the central LR area and he found LISA Academy. Test scores were impressive, teacher to students ratio was great and (according to testimonials at Great Schools) it was a great environment for enrichment and learning.
The TAG teacher at my daughter's school didn't like this. She called it a foreign owned school. Can I remind everyone that Charter Schools are not private; they are public? Any student can register for enrollment and then (like Magnet Schools) are selected in a lottery. My daughter was lucky enough to be accepted. She has enjoyed every moment of her learning experience since.
LISA has provided an exemplary educational environment for my daughter. She has excelled in her grades (4.0) and other academics (Math Counts, Quiz Bowl, Science Quiz Bowl, History Day, etc). She has also gained cultural knowledge of the world around her through the diversity of her classmates.
She is going to start high school at LISA next year and is planning to attend Stanford or MIT when she graduates high school.

Posted by garrett on June 7, 2011 at 10:33 PM
I believe the blog contains a clear and disturbing anti-immigrant bias, and suggests that LISA Academy, one of the most successful charter school programs in the State or Arkansas, is somehow suspect because its founders immigrated to America from Turkey. I know that LISA Academy was founded by Turkish-Americans and others who saw a need and an opportunity to help Arkansas schoolchildren in the fields of math, science and technology, and there should be nothing wrong with their heritage and of what they have had the opportunity to accomplish. More importantly, LISA Academy have displayed the diversity of its overall population every year, and it seem like it will continue to diversify as it continues to grow.

Posted by Pro on June 8, 2011 at 5:47 AM
I have worked at Lisa for two years now. Not one time has any religious belief been forced on me or the students. My experience has been wonderful. I am treated with respect and kindness, something I have not experienced in previous jobs.

Instead of flaming the school, why don’t you come visit so you can see for yourself what goes on

Posted by love2teach@Lisa on June 8, 2011 at 5:17 PM

You know this takes me back to stories my Grandfather would tell me about during the McCarthy Era. At this time, if your family background came from a country that was considered communist you were blacklisted and could not work to feed your family. Unfortunately, my Great-grandfather came from such a country and thus my Grandfather was blacklisted. Very sad times! My Grandfather was not at all associated with communist and detested the idea that is why my family moved to this country. This all happened because of irrational and uninformed FEAR! When I read these blogs it makes me think did we learn nothing from our history.

I also notice that the question is not about nationality or religion, it is about funding and the use of taxpayers dollars. Being a person that works with the finances and auditing, it should be said that at schools (even charter schools) there is a system of check and balances that must be kept with the state clearly indicating where every cent is spent. And the auditing system is the same as the IRS. If you have ever been audited, you know how intense and rigorous this process is. The Arkansas State Department of Education and their audit system will determine if this is true or not.

Please when you read this article and these blogs, form your own opinions and use rational and informed logic. Make sure you have all the facts and do not let fear guide you. Look what it did for us in the past.

I am sure that when I post this blog that I will be berated for my comment. God, forbid that you do not go along with someones views and have your own opinion. So I apologize in advance for the ill-mannered and vicious comments that will be posted because of this comment.

Posted by Just_Me on June 9, 2011 at 4:17 PM