Sunday, July 07, 2013

Comparison of Haredi education in Israel and the US

The Charedi leadership has rejected the idea that the government have any control over what is learned in Haredi schools. Any government intervention/control is a gezeras shmad. Let us compare the Haredi schools in NY and those in Israel to see whether government mandates are really shmad.

The following table describes the current situation:


NY Haredi Schools
Israel Charedi Schools
Budget from the Government
No
Yes 55% of public schools
Elementary School standardized tests
Yes
No
High School Standardized tests
Yes (Regents)
No (Bagrut)
State Curriculum
Yes Instruction given to a minor elsewhere than a public school must be substantially
equivalent to the instruction given at the local public school
No
Option to opt out
No
Yes

As we can see in NY State the government provides no funding and yet, mandates a standardized curriculum and standardized acheivement tests. In Israel, on the other hand, the government provides partial funding but mandates no requirements.

The following table describes what the government is proposing in order for a school to get government funding:


NY Haredi Schools
Israel Charedi Schools
Budget from the Government
No
Yes 55% of public schools if the school teaches the state curriculum (full math,english and hebrew, 55% of the rest), otherwise 30% funding
Elementary School standardized tests
Yes
Yes
High School Standardized tests
Yes (Regents)
No (Bagrut)
State Curriculum
Yes Instruction given to a minor elsewhere than a public school must be substantially
equivalent to the instruction given at the local public school
Partial
Option to opt out
No
Yes, any Haredi school that doesn't take government funding doesn't need to fulfill any government requirements.

What is fascinating is that there is much more government control/intervention in the US then what is being proposed in Israel let alone what exists now. Yet no one is calling teh US government evil and shmad.
Source for NY State Data: http://www2.ed.gov/admins/comm/choice/regprivschl/regprivschl.pdf

13 comments:

Mississippi Fred MacDowell said...

This isn't really a clear picture of Chareidi yeshivos in the United States. Plenty of Chareidi yeshivos (especially Chassidish, but even - increasingly - yeshivish) offer very little of the secular education they supposedly have to give, and in many cases almost none at all.

A teacher in the Mirrer yeshiva recently told me that the secular studies in the mesivta is now, and has been for a number of years, optional and entirely at the discretion of the individual bochurim if they want to opt in or out. Things are bad in the US too.

bluke said...

That is true de facto, however the law is on the books that everyone must learn secular studies, the government is simply not enforcing the law because the charedi population is such a small minority in the larger scheme of things.

Kevin in Chicago said...

I question your last sentence. I believe that at least in some states, these matters are left to county authorities, and in individual counties, Chareidim can be quite powerful. I don't know, but I doubt that non-compliance by Chareidi schools is overlooked because Chareidim are an insignificant minority; I rather suspect they are overlooked because Chareidim are politically a very significant minority in certain counties or school districts.

bluke said...

Kevin,

You may be right but it doesn't change the facts that the law is on the books.

Berel said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Berel said...

Berel said...
(1)The American BOE has teaching needed information as it's only focus.I lived in EY for three years and very clearly remember to Minister of Education (S.A) talking about teaching children to be critical and skeptical of Torah.

(2)Yesh Atid very clearly states on it's Hebrew (not English of course...)website that it's ultimate goal is to abolish private schools (i.e. Yeshivos) as much as possible and to stop all funding.

(3)The US gives about $70,000 a year to Kollel Yengerleit with a few children under through social programs.

(4)Most importantly the US and the other countries in the civilized world recognize Yeshivos as being institutes of higher learning both in relation to funding and ability to give degrees/non specialized college credits. Israel always rejects out of hand the repeated Charedi requests that they do the same. (In relation to non specialized degrees & credits -funding is too much to ask for and was never a consideration...)

WHY NOT!?!?!?

Full disclosure:If the US was like Israel and didn't accept Yeshiva credits I and most/hundreds of people I know would be collecting the $70,000 in benefits instead of working.

But Lipman claims he wants Israeli to be like American Chareidim...

bluke said...

Berel,
The Yeshivas in Israel would never agree to be recognized as degree granting programs. The Yeshiva is a place to learn Torah Lishma only, any change in the structure of a Yeshiva is prohibited.

BMG offers the following degrees: Bachelor's B.T.S. Talmudic Studies
Master's M.R.T.S. Rabbinic & Talmudic Studies
Prof. Post-Doc. Grad.Cert. Advanced Graduate Talmudic Diploma
Grad.Cert. Graduate Talmudic Diploma

Can you imagine Ponovezh, Chevron, Mir offering bachelors and masters degrees????

bluke said...

Berel,

The US doesn't give any money to kollel students, the US has various social programs that the yungeleit exploit to get by. That is a huge difference.

The other huge difference is that the number of people in Kollel is US minuscule as a percentage of the population and therefore is irrelevant to government policy.

Berel said...

If the government allowed Yeshivos to give degrees many would.I definitely can see Mir & Chevron giving degrees under limited circumstances.A mere twenty years the American Yeshivos also felt that Yeshivos are only for Torah Lishmoh and made it extremely difficult to get degrees from them.Today times have changed.

My point about programs was only that Israel should not be regraded as generous to it's citizens in comparison to the the US.If the US gave so little in general they would also be under more pressure to support private schools.

bluke said...

In other words the Yeshivas will sell their souls for a little money.

Berel said...

No.The Yeshivos are still only for Torah Lishmo. However external situations changed. The ideal of not giving credits to those who already left was reevaluated.This is a classic question of "Mi Nidcheh M'Pney Mi".

I wanted to respond to your comments above but seeing you accuse the Yeshivos of selling their souls for money makes me unable to comment on this blog for a while.

I'm confident you won't miss me.

All the best

bluke said...

Please explain to me how having the Yeshivas grant academic degrees is permissible in the Charedi worldview. It is clear that this is being done solely for money

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