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Dec 10, 2008

It takes chutzpah

How ironic is it that the Eida Haredis planned a hafgana for yesterday protesting the Education Ministry's increased involvement in the Haredi educational system, "forcing" the liba (core curriculum) upon it, and damaging the purity of the Haredi educational system, and then on the same day of the hafgana, results are released for the exams, national and international, of Israel's students.

What did the results show? That the average score of 8th grade children in mathematics was a 44 in israel. Among the lowest in the world. Science and technology tests averaged scores of 56.

So while the whole general educational system is failing, the Education Ministry still feels obligated to force its "successful" methods, curriculum and direction upon those who want to control their own education.

Don't get me wrong - the haredi system has plenty of failings, and I am not defending them.But when the general system is such a failure, it takes some special chutzpah to then try to force that system upon others.


  1. and of course yuli tamir's reaction is that it is the teachers' fault. it has nothing to do with oversized classrooms, short school days, low teacher wages, etc. she should admit her failures and step down. let someone who has some ideas be take charge of education.

    when we made aliyah - my wife, who has a masters in eduction, teaching certification, and real experience - realized that she cannot possibly teach in the school system here. child care would have cost more than should would have earned! you get what you pay for - if we want good teachers we have to make it worth their while!

  2. Sorry, one has nothing to do with the other. While test scores might very well be in the toilet, the majority or even a largish group of the Israeli population is not impoverished as a direct result of the Israeli school system. The same cannot be said of the charedi population and its school system.

    The Israeli school system is by no means a picnic and I agree with anon, there are many many failings. But the charedi system and its insistence on blocking out all secular studies, cannot go on as it is now.

  3. First of all, making the chareidi public institute a core curriculum is not forcing "others" to do something. Like it or not, they are Israelis as well, who should be paying taxes, and certainly do get all the benefits of the state (besides Satmer and other similar groups).

    Secondly, the survey was not specific as to which groups did better on the exams. It could be that failing schools are concentrated in geographical areas or among demographic groups, but the system as a whole may be fine. (OK, it's not fine, but I'm sure the scores were significantly lower among the Arab sector, which represents a disproportionate number of school-age children.)

    Thirdly, when chareidim are exposed to math and science curriculums, they tend to do very well. No one is forcing a broken system on them. Rather (and this is a key point), the state is requiring the existing chareidi educational system to teach certain subjects. (Maybe they figure this is an easy way to bring up the national average.)

  4. as I said, this discussion is not from the viewpoint of the haredi school system - yes they have a lot of problems and a lot to improve.
    but when the system is broken, that system should not be forced no others (who until now have not been forced to follow it). At least wait until you fix the system before forcing others to adopt it.

    BTW, the score is a national average. That means those communities that performed at the lowest end, would be much lower than 44 in math. The average Israeli student is failing miserably.

  5. Rafi, you're being ridiculous here. Sure, the Israeli educational system is poor, but it's still light-years ahead of NOT HAVING AN EDUCATIONAL SYSTEM AT ALL!!!

  6. At least wait until you fix the system before forcing others to adopt it.

    Right, until we have all the answers to modern medical problems, we shouldn't implement modern medicine in third world countries. We'll just let them die in infancy until we've got our system perfect.

  7. but they have a system. it just does not include secular studies.

  8. a 44 average, and going down (compared to the numbers 5 years ago) is far from "not a perfect system"

  9. Rafi, et. al,

    As I said, the chareidim are not being forced to adopt the system (i.e., methodology, schdules, etc.), but rather a curriculum. A goof system (which the chareidi system may be) should be able to teach any subject.

  10. but they have a system. it just does not include secular studies.

    A system that does not prepare its students with the qualifications, knowledge, skills or desire to work, is so sorely deficient as to make its replacement, even by the Israeli system, infinitely desirable.

  11. bc the american public school system is doing so well. American kids also score very very poorly, while private Jewish schools consistently score well (talking about the American yeshiva system)

    I think this has to do with an overall degradation in the culture. no respect for authority, no respect for teachers, no expectations from parents. Liberal thinking run amok - let's not demand high achievement bc we don't want to hurt any poor underachieving student's feelings.

    At least in this regard, there are SOME standards in the frum world. Don't get me wrong, there are plenty of problems in the frum world, and the haredi schools should teach basic life skills (please pple! learn how to manage a checkbook, learn to read and write in the language of the country you are living in), but this is a result of the culture at large, be it in Israel or the US.

  12. B"H

    I have no doubt I will be accused of being a conspiracy theory addict over this comment.

    However, I will remind everyone that conspiracies are supposed to be secret.

    This isn't.

    This Israeli gov't is desparately trying to indoctrinate religious Jews into its "society." It has but completely tackled the religious zionist community.

    Now it fears the increasing population of Haredim. It's last ditch attempt to encourage goyim {from the Ukraine, etc.} to vote isn't keeping up with Haredi birthrates. Each year they add voters to the ranks.

    1/2 of all seven year olds in Israel are DL or Haredi.

    The left/Erev Rav is getting nervous.

    Stay tuned for more drastic measures.


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