Current events in day school education: Updated curricular requirements for non-public schools
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Current events in day school education: Updated curricular requirements for non-public schools

January 15, 2019 09:51AM
Recent news reports discuss new requirements for secular studies in non-public schools in New York State. While I would imagine that virtually everyone reading Lookjed works in educational settings that offer rigorous secular educations to their students, the discussion is certainly of interest to us all.

Below I offer links to a news story in the New York Times, an op-ed that appears in the Wall Street Journal that was written by two prominent Roshei Yeshiva (Tovah Vodaas and Mir) and to Michael Broyde’s legal brief that appeared in the New York Law Journal.

I’d be happy to share the full articles with anyone who encounters difficulty accessing them online.

Shalom

New York Times article “Do Children Get a Subpar Education in Yeshivas? New York Says It Will Finally Find Out”

[www.nytimes.com]

An excerpt:
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Over three years ago, Mayor Bill de Blasio’s administration opened an investigation into a lack of secular education at yeshivas that serve about 57,000 students in the city, but the probe essentially stalled almost as soon as it began. The reason, advocates say, is the city’s politicians, including the mayor, are fearful of angering the Orthodox Jewish community that represents a crucial voting bloc in major elections.

Then the state stepped in with the most significant action yet in the probe. MaryEllen Elia, the state education commissioner, released updated rules on Nov. 20 dictating how nonpublic schools like yeshivas are regulated and what students in those schools should learn, with consequences for schools that do not comply.
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Wall Street Journal op-ed “New York State Targets Jewish Schools” by Elya Brudny and Yisroel Reisman

[www.wsj.com]

An excerpt:
<<
Government may have an interest in ensuring that every child receives a sound basic education, but it has no right to commandeer our schools’ curricula. Parents who want to send their children to a school offering a course list devised by the state enroll their children in the local public school. But parents who choose religious education want their children to have a specific moral, ethical and religious framework for life. Parents who choose a yeshiva want their children’s education to emphasize Jewish texts, history and culture.

While these new guidelines affect all religious schools, we know they were directed at the yeshiva system in particular. In recent years, a small number of vocal critics have complained that a handful of yeshivas emphasize Jewish studies at the expense of secular studies. They ignore the parental and religious rights of those who choose yeshiva education, are naive about the pitfalls of putting state bureaucrats in charge of religious schools, and appear more interested in undermining parental control of yeshivas than in enhancing their secular studies.

There are more than 440 yeshivas in New York state, educating 165,000 students. There will always be schools that need to improve and students who can be better served. But underperforming schools are the outliers, and they don’t define the yeshiva system. Imagine if the state launched a broadside against the New York City public-school system because many of its students are failing.
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New York Law Journal article “Dysfunctional Law Gives Everyone Rights and Harms Children” By Michael J. Broyde
[www.law.com]?

An excerpt:
<<

Recently, much ink has been spilled on New York State’s attempt to ensure the Hasidic (Ultra-Orthodox Jewish) school system provides its students with an adequate secular education, but this is just one of many examples throughout America of states attempting to regulate private religious schools. Not surprisingly, governmental regulation of the parent-child relationship in the context of religious education is fraught with difficulty. Everyone wants children raised successfully: the state and parents all have an interest in well-educated and healthy children—and parents have the additional right to pass their religious heritage onto their progeny as well.

Sometimes these rights are in conflict. What to do when parents believe that the state’s minimal secular education is incompatible with their religious faith is one such hard case. Furthermore, the Constitutional law here makes this problem harder to solve, rather than easier.
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Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 01/15/2019 09:52AM by mlb.
Subject Author Posted

Current events in day school education: Updated curricular requirements for non-public schools

Shalom Z. Berger January 15, 2019 09:51AM

What Yeshiva Kids Are Actually Studying All Day

Shalom Z. Berger January 15, 2019 10:03AM



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