The chancellor of Regents board says no timetable for state regulations on what private schools must teach, despite a New York City investigation findings that some Yeshivas fall short on academics. (The Journal News)
“Even as a New York City investigation has refocused concerns that some ultra-Orthodox yeshivas do not meet standards for academic instruction, the state is putting off possible action on proposed rules for aggressively monitoring private schools.
A long-delayed report from the New York City Department of Education, released Thursday, found that only two of 28 yeshivas visited by city officials since 2015 complied with a state law that requires private school instruction to be “substantially equivalent” to what public schools teach. Nine schools were found to be moving toward substantial equivalency
New York City is home to about 275 yeshivas, but the probe focused on yeshivas that were targeted in complaints filed in 2015 by the advocacy group Young Advocates for Fair Education, or YAFFED.
Meanwhile, Betty Rosa, the chancellor of the state Board of Regents, told The Journal News/lohud on Thursday that there is no timetable for the Regents to act on proposed state regulations that would clarify what private schools must teach and take steps to tighten enforcement.
The board was expected to act on the regulations during the fall, but its members said little about what became perhaps the most controversial issue in New York education.
“There is a lot of work going on around it,” Rosa said. “We are trying to make sure we have enough information before we advance our final decision around this.”
Former state Education Commissioner MaryEllen Elia, who initiated a state review of the substantial equivalency law that drew extensive protests from private schools, released the proposed regulations on July 3. The regulations would most impact the New York City and East Ramapo school systems, which would have to inspect large numbers of yeshivas within their boarders on an ongoing basis.
Rosa said that the Education Department is still talking to various groups and stakeholders about the regulations and reviewing public comments. About 140,000 emailed comments were received during a public comment period that ended Sept. 3.
Naftuli Moster Director of Young Advocates for Fair Education
Naftuli Moster of New City, executive director of YAFFED, has been the leading voice calling for robust academic instruction in all yeshivas. He has criticized ultra-Orthodox groups, like the advocacy group Agudath Israel, for preventing such instruction in the most traditional yeshivas. Orthodox groups and advocates, in turn, have lashed out at him for threatening their way of life.
When the state’s first attempt to update its rules for private school instruction was struck down by the state Supreme Court in April, YAFFED and other groups called for the Board of Regents to adopt emergency regulations that would provide immediate oversight of private schools.”
Click here for the complete Journal News coverage.