Married and Navigating Jewish Life

Blogging about marriage and relationships

Agudath Yisroel opposes mandatory background checks for Day Care Centers. Why? Because “Who is fit to be a teacher? How many students can there be in the classroom? Things that go to the autonomy of the educational experience, which to us in the religious community is a matter of religious freedom.”

with 14 comments

NY Sun has the original article but Hat Tip to Failed Messiah posted it up and got my attention.

Guess what people, do you know how many Jewish Schools have absolutely no regard of any State Regulations unless they get a visit from an inspector from one of the Governmental Agencies?

Or how many Day Cares are running that are unlicensed?

Guess what, Jews shouldn’t be above the law and they shouldn’t use ‘religous grounds’ as the reason to get a law that should of been enacted 100 years ago from being created and put into effect.

What is the law about? It makes sure that people who have criminal histories cannot work in day care centers, ensures that day care centers abide by not overcrowding the classrooms with too many children, and to make sure that these places are safe enviroments for the nuturing of those young minds.

How can you say that there is a religious perogative concerning how many children should be in a classroom and that people don’t need to be fingerprinted because they can be trusted.

Well tell that to the playgroups, day care centers, and schools who have suffered at the hands of child molestors. Tell that to those same places who stuff more and more children into their classrooms just so they can collect tuition fees because they want to bring in more money.

If the religious schools will not regulate themselves then the Government needs to regulate them. We are waiting for the day that a law concerning elementary and high schools is made just like the one they want to make concerning day care centers.

Bottom Line: Poor Educational Standards, Overcrowding, and Criminals need to be kept from causing issues in our communities and it starts in the schools.


Written by frombrooklyn

May 1, 2007 at 1:12 PM

14 Responses

Subscribe to comments with RSS.

  1. You’ll notice btw, that it is the Department of Health and not the Board of Education that is requesting this proposal.


    May 1, 2007 at 7:33 PM

  2. Well I guess I have to chime my two cents in. I used to work for the office within the NY state education Dept that handled all issues pertaining to non-public schools- including lobbying issues as well. A school in NY state can operate without any license of any sort- if they want tax free status that is a different story. Then they need to become a corporation of proprietorship.

    With regards to the comment above- the current commissioner of education does not support non-public schools to the tune that the previous one did. High schools need to get inspected only if they wish to be registered by the State of NY which means they can give a high school diploma.

    The reason why agudath Israel opposes this issue is because if this becomes law- 75% of the teachers in the system will have to go and get a real college education and be NY state certified. As of now- “fit to be a teacher” is very relative- I have visited schools where the folks teaching were not even high school grads.

    Do you know how expensive it will be to get certified teachers and do back round checks on every one. Oh and seperation of church and state is probably the biggest issue.


    May 3, 2007 at 2:43 PM

  3. Jews shouldn’t be above the law.

    We shouldn’t have teachers in our Jewish Schools who cannot meet the requirements put before the State.

    It isn’t a seperation issue, its the fact that Yeshivas would actually have to clean up their acts and come clean with all the schemes and problems that they have.


    May 3, 2007 at 3:21 PM

  4. do they want all teachers including rebbeim and morahs to have college degrees or only the secular studies teachers.
    if it includes rebbeim and morahs then i do not support that provision. what does the state know about who is educationally qualified to teach our students their limuda kodesh- background checks yes but to say who is educationally qualified absolutely not


    May 4, 2007 at 12:10 AM

  5. The issue is only about background checks.

    BTW they should regulate the secular studies…it isn’t religous and private schools should be held to the same standards as public schools or lose their right to give out graduation degrees for Elementary and High School for Secular Studies – because why should a Yeshiva Certificate mean the same as a Public School Certificate if our Yeshiva students did not learn the same materials or didn’t even take the tests properly?


    May 4, 2007 at 2:05 AM

  6. When I was a kid we used to get all excited when “inspection day” came around. “The inspector’s here!” the rebbi would hiss, and even though we had to be utterly silent when walking on the steps in single file (and woe betide the poor slob who took his hand off the railing while walking down the steps- I did that once and got such a beating from Rebbi that my head was ringing two days later!) it was worth it because we got a choice between fruit juice or milk and because we got fruit for desert. The lunch was usually of a slightly higher quality, too.

    Okay, now I’m hungry.

    Chainik Hocker

    May 6, 2007 at 10:54 PM

  7. frumbutwithit:

    “I have visited schools where the folks teaching were not even high school grads.”

    i at least had a high school diploma, but when i was still a college sophmore i taught english and math in satmar yeshiva to third-graders. i could hardly add and subtract myself, forget about pedagogy.


    “Jews shouldn’t be above the law.”

    i read the nyt article quicly, but from what i remember this was not just directed against jewish schools.

    but no, they should not be above the law.

    “The issue is only about background checks.”

    it about other things as well, like building codes, toilet-to-child ratio, etc.

    “why should a Yeshiva Certificate mean the same as a Public School Certificate if our Yeshiva students did not learn the same materials or didn’t even take the tests properly?”

    i though a regents diploma means that a certain curriculum was completed.

    personally i am more bothered that the jewish preschools don’t accomadate families that have 2 working parents. the hours are usually two short. and what is with this business of ending at 12 on fridays and having vacation three days before and three days after every holiday?

    ari kinsberg

    May 8, 2007 at 7:24 AM

  8. I was talking about the education side. Building codes need to be enforced. Proper health and nutrition need to be enforced. Having background checks to prevent criminals from working in any school is not against the law or against the seperation of Religion and State. That is what I was focusing on.

    And yes, supposedly the Yeshivas have to teach certain subjects to get elementary/jr high/hs certification from the State however many Yeshivas do not teach all the required topics and then either 1) cheat for the students 2) give them the answers for those topics they didn’t learn or 3) tell them to just guess and be quiet at their seat while they take the state exams. Of course there really isn’t anyone to check up on the private schools in NY, which there should be, because getting a license to run a school from the Department of Education of the State should make them actually to have to hold up to the standards of the State and therefore somehow they should be inspected.

    Preschools, thats another issue, take it up with the preschool you send your kids to. Of course remember the women who work there have lives as well and need to go home and take care of their own families and most schools let the kids out at 12/12:30 anyway so why complain about preschools who do the same?


    May 8, 2007 at 12:28 PM

  9. “cheat for the students”

    never heard that one before

    “most schools let the kids out at 12/12:30 anyway so why complain about preschools who do the same?”

    so i won’t stop complaining when my kid finishes preschool and starts regular school.

    ari kinsberg

    May 9, 2007 at 7:37 AM

  10. Of course you haven’t, unless you are on the Admin Side of the School you won’t see it happen, the Yeshivas where certain topics aren’t taught have to regularly cheat/help the students on tests with those topics because they refuse to teach them…which we believe the State should be stepping in and doing something about.

    You can go ahead and keep complaining but it won’t do anything, and you have to realize that teachers also need time to prepare and get ready for Shabbas…and why should they have to work so your life is easier? Especially due to the fact that in many preschools and yeshivas women teachers are lucky if they start out at more than 6k a year…the average yeshiva teacher only brings home between 20 to 30 a year unless they have been working there a really really long time.


    May 9, 2007 at 12:18 PM

  11. “You can go ahead and keep complaining but it won’t do anything”

    it makes me feel better 🙂

    “you have to realize that teachers also need time to prepare and get ready for Shabbas”

    i’m not sure what you mean by “also.” most people i know don’t have the luxury of leaving work at noon on erev shabbat. of course there is a tradeoff in the salary differential, but some pre-school teacher probably choose the profession specifically because of the flexible hours.

    regarding the low salaries for yeshivah teachers, this is a real shanda that says something about our priorities.

    ari kinsberg

    May 10, 2007 at 4:57 AM

  12. Was assuming you were complaining about schools letting out ‘early’ on Shabbas because it disrupts your own plans for getting ready for Shabbas and having to figure out how to have your children watched depending on their age.

    Unless you are a teacher, you cannot really understand the concept of actually how much work a teacher puts into their students and their teaching inside the classroom.


    May 10, 2007 at 12:04 PM

  13. I like how everyone guesses at what this might mean for Yeshivos, instead of finding out. The DOH is very intrusive. They expect all teachers, including rebbeim to have degrees — from select colleges they choose, with courses they choose. Dr. Frieden, the commissioner of the DOH, is out to try and change Chinuch — not keep our kids safe. With all the DOH monitoring, with all the standards you all think that will help our Yeshivos already in place in public schools, what is the safety rate there? Are the children learning better because their teacher (who might be on pot, might be a molester — the head of the Board of Regents of NYS was arrested for child pornography), got a piece of paper from some liberal-minded college giving them the status of “exalted” teacher. I would rather have my children taught by some high-school dropout who has morals than the scum of the earth that currently staffs most of the public schools.


    May 16, 2007 at 3:26 PM

  14. Anon,

    I only put your comment up to give people a laugh.

    Do you think pointing out that there are perverts and criminals in the Public School System and in the Government would counteract the fact that there should be regulations for even private schools? Are you forgetting about the molestors in Jewish Schools who are being protected by the Menahels and Principals and the Beis Dins who ignore the problems?

    If you wish to run a school then you should accept the same laws as every school in the State.

    And everyone is forgetting that this is for day cares, not schools yet. We wish it was for the schools as well.

    Amazing that you think that Jewish Private Schools should not be forced to hire people who 1) are ensured that they are not criminals 2) if they do criminal activity they would be removed from the school and 3) would have the education required to properly teach the children secular subjects (there is no way that ‘proper credentials’ could be applied to Hebrew Subjects due to the religious nature of it but secular subjects is another story)

    Get your facts and ideas straight before you ramble off.


    May 16, 2007 at 3:44 PM

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: