The Yeshiva World
I am appalled, and if the situation was not so serious, it would be laughable. The recent guidelines set forth by the New York State Education Department (NYSED) for all non-public schools strongly insinuate that all Yeshivas provide inadequate education. This is wrong on so many levels.
First, in my experience as an Assemblywoman representing a strong orthodox Jewish community, and as a lifelong resident of the Rockaways, I can say that the Yeshivas’ reputation precedes them.
But merit cannot lay in a reputation. Furthermore, the successful products of the Yeshivas would be enough verification of the high caliber of what is being taught. During my first term, I have visited classrooms, spoken with teachers, parents, students and administrators.
I have been so impressed, and I am so proud of each of the schools within the district. But the facts and figures speak for themselves.
While I am not here to provide hard numbers and spreadsheets of accomplishments, I can assure NYSED that the parents and the schools are devoted to these children, their education, and their future.
I will fight for and defend the rights of Yeshiva parents to send their children to the schools they choose. Prior to presenting these guidelines, NYSED leadership should have and still must communicate with Yeshiva leaders and parents to understand the needs of the Jewish religious population. NYSED should not conduct its business based on insurgent opinion articles and baseless hatred.
That is why I have called upon NYSED Commissioner Mary Ellen Elia to halt the impending plans and subsequent measures, until she truly understands the incredible services that Yeshivas provide to its students and to society as a whole.
Let us educate the Education Department to let them know that Yeshivas do not need strict guidelines to fulfill their mission of educating the souls and minds of Jewish children.