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Friday, July 31, 2015 

NY will investigate Haredi schools for lack of secular studies

It looks like New York's education system is going to check in on Haredi schools that don't teach its students wider subjects:
The City of New York will investigate 39 Brooklyn yeshivas after a local advocacy group alleged that they have failed to implement the full state-mandated educational curriculum.

“We take seriously our responsibility to ensure that all students in New York receive an appropriate education, and we will investigate all allegations that are brought to our attention,” a spokesman for the Department of Education told The New York Jewish Week on Tuesday.

While secular subjects form a much greater part of the curriculum at American ultra-Orthodox schools than in Israeli ones, especially among the non-hassidic groups, there are significant numbers of students who receive minimal instruction.

The department’s response came shortly after Young Advocates for Fair Education (YAFFED), an organization that lobbies for increased secular education among New York’s hassidim, organized a letter-writing campaign complaining of “the poor quality and scant amount of secular education” at the yeshivas. [...]

Several testimonials on YAFFED’s website provide a hint of the resentment and anger among those who believe that they have been denied the education they deserve.

In high school, we didn’t get any secular education at all. We were in yeshiva for almost 12 hours a day, but didn’t learn anything besides Judaic studies.

The lack of education affected me enormously. I couldn’t get in to any college, and I cannot get a decent job. More importantly, I feel like I am unable to succeed to my full potential. I feel robbed. I feel violated,” one anonymous Belz hassid wrote.

“I am empty, numb, void, robotic life trying to support tons of kids. [sic] i have nothing to write because i wasn’t taught how to write,” said another testimonial, this one from a member of the Satmar sect.
Another problem is how the "press" of the tribes refuses to run their ads. That's another reason why it's so difficult to get the proper changes made in such an insular society.

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