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Wednesday, August 10, 2016 

Will they or won't they?

Some Haredi yeshivas in the USA have agreed to improve their secular studies. But those that aren't providing their students with a proper education also aren't giving the best signs they'll cooperate:
As the Core Curriculum law was repealed in Israel, scuttling an attempt by the previous government to enforce teaching the Core Curriculum in haredi schools, a struggle over similar issues has been taking place in the US.

Certain haredi and hassidic elementary and high schools in New York have been teaching secular studies at a very low level, or not at all, though this is against state law and organizations made up of people who have left these communities have been demanding that the government intervene and force the schools to get their secular studies education up to snuff, so as to give students the tools to make a living in the modern world when they grow up.

The Forward reported tonight that the schools have promised to provide better secular education starting from the coming school year.

Department of Education (DOE) spokeswoman Devora Kaye is quoted as saying that the Hassidic yeshivas had “committed to begin altering their curricula to include better and more secular education as early as next year.”

Kaye said that the schools would implement a “high-quality, common core-aligned curriculum as soon as possible.”

However, no information was forthcoming as to what precisely the new curricula will look like, leaving some advocates dissatisfied.

Naftali Moster is the founder of the advocacy group Young Advocates for Fair Education, whose July 2015 letter to the DOE launched an investigation into the schools. “This lack of transparency seems like a deliberate ploy to evade accountability," Moster said.
So long as no transparency is provided, we can't believe the schools will really respect the required steps, and that's why any lawsuits against them should go ahead. And on a related note, the repeal of the law calling for such studies in Israeli Haredi schools was shameful, as are the parties themselves in the Knesset.

While we're on the topic, even here in Israel, there's Haredis who're against secular subjects taught in a certain school:
A battle being conducted by the haredi (ultra-Orthodox) leadership against a haredi school teaching general education subjects in addition to religious studies has been stepped up with several senior haredi rabbis calling on Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat to relocate the school.

The Chachmei Lev yeshiva high school, headed by Rabbi Betzalel Cohen, currently has its premises on the outskirts of the haredi Bayit Vegan neighborhood but has been seeking a larger building for its growing number of pupils.

[...] The haredi political parties in the municipal council strongly objected to the allocation of funds to the school, although they were ultimately unsuccessful, and the money for the renovation was approved.

Following this failure by the political leadership, several senior rabbis issued a letter to Barkat on Friday, and published in the Hapeles daily newspaper calling on him to prevent the school’s relocation inside Bayit Vegan.

“This institution is against utterly and fundamentally opposed to the Torah spirit of the Bayit Vegan neighborhood,” wrote the rabbis, including Rabbi Baruch Mordechai Ezrahi, a member of the Council of Torah Sages of Degel Hatorah, as well as other yeshiva deans and communal rabbis.

The rabbis said that Bayit Vegan enjoyed “quiet and tranquility because rabbis of the neighborhood direct and lead the neighborhood.”
Oh, what's that? Just the problem, I'm afraid. The rabbis have been an obstacle with their socialist MO to the students getting better education, and they're not fit to lead these neighborhoods, let alone determine who can live there or not. They should just shut the crap up.

Those ultra-Orthodox rabbis have caused enough problems already. We have to see to it they can't continue that way.

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  • I'm Avi Green
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