Friday, February 16, 2007

The School Dilemma

It’s that time of year again.

The girl and her parents wait anxiously for that letter. Will she be accepted to the school of their choice or not? Will she be able to attend the school that her friends are going to and/or that is more suitable for her, or will she have to settle for something less? In some communities after everyone receives their letter, there are girls left over with no school to attend to at all. The girl and her parents are acutely aware of this awful possibility and nervously hope and pray that she was accepted to the school that she applied for.

The principal sits and pores over hundreds of applications. There are so many more of them than available slots. How can she choose one wonderful girl over the other, one beautiful family over the other?

Each party is agonizing over their respective dilemma.

Finally the time has come. The principal drops the envelopes into the mailbox with a heavy heart, knowing full well that many excellent girls will soon be receiving that dreaded letter. It was a decision made with compassion, but also with practicality. The school simply can not accommodate all of its applicants.

The girl and her parents sit in silence after reading the letter informing them that their daughter was not accepted and must seek a different school for next year. Upset, disappointed, and confused, are only some of the emotions being felt in that home. How can she face her friends who were accepted to that school? Will she have a school to attend to at all next year? Where should they turn? What should they do?

These are true-life descriptions, and anyone who has gone through them can empathize and understand.

A proposal is being floated that every community should arrange for a computerized system, in which each applicant can list the schools of their choice in their order of preference. After all applications are submitted, the computer then automatically generates which applicant should go where.

In my opinion this proposal is not in the best interests of the schools nor their students.

Every school has its unique and distinctive flavor. One may have a more Chassidish touch, while another a more Litvish one. One may be Yeshivish while another Modern Orthodox. One may be simpler while another more affluent. The beauty of our community is in its choices. Every family can find a school appropriate for them and their Hashkafos.

Removing the freedom of choice from the schools will allow for short-term satisfaction, but in the long run will alter the distinctive character of every school. Each school will lose its unique identity, in turn hurting the very students and their parents who fostered this system unto the schools.

I would like to suggest a more practical solution.

All school principals of every community should form a committee to deal specifically with this issue. Before any one school sends out its letters, all the representatives should meet to figure out how every single applicant to every single school will have a place. If any one principal feels a specific girl made a wrong choice by applying to her school, some other more suitable school would have to accept her. Each school would be helping the other, while every girl would have a school to attend. Only then will all schools simultaneously send out their letters.

Granted, there will be some girls and parents who will feel that the decision was erroneous and their daughter should have been accepted to the original school that she applied for, but to make everyone happy is simply impossible. At least now every girl will be guaranteed a place, and it will be as close as possible to her individual needs.

From my understanding, such a system is more or less in place in Monsey, NY, and it’s high time that some other communities implement such a system or some other workable one.


Anonymous said...

All the ideas and proposals can only work after one necessari ingredient is met . That is that there are more than enough schools for every student .Of course there will always be problem kids who need to be dealt with ,which the schools will . But so long as the supply of schholls is always lagging behind the demand of applicants ,no solution or proposals will take care of what is really the core problem,lack of space .

Anonymous said...

Lack of space comes from the lack of understanding by parents that it is really their problem to educate their kids and the school is only their shliach . If there are not enough shluchim the parents must see to it that there are or teach their own kids .

Anonymous said...

As usual the people who actually do something for the Klal quietly and without fanfare are the ones who get blamed for all the problems while the so called "askonim " who just tell others what to do are busy doing nothing .It is about time that people realize that the people who make schools in lakewood or elsewhere are not responsible for the towns' crazy growth and can not be expected to keep opening up classes like extra shifts on the assembly lines in factories . It is about time that the Askonim really did something like organizing new schools ,rather than just blame others .

Anonymous said...

This problem is just going to get worse. Until people change their attitude about tuition and treat tuition as coming ahead of vacations, summer camps, $15,000 a year seminary and many other expenses etc., we will always be struggling to finance new schools. There is a certain attitude that a tution break is a right of everyone that is middle or lower income, and somehow the school administration is the responsible party. While I dont argue the fact that needy people should get tution breaks, it is the attitude that is wrong.

If a parent would look at it as if he is definitely required to pay his full share and asking for a tuition reduction is the equivalent of asking the school to go out and collect Tzedokoh for your needs, then I think people would think twice about their lifestyles and rearrange their priorities. I do not minimize the need for a well deserved summer vacation or much needed camps or seminary, but the order of priorities should be rent, food, utilities and Tuition before anything else.

Sephardi said...

I don't live in Lakewood, so I am not familiar with the dynamics of your community. However, ever year this subject comes up and I always say that a little more bureacracy could help the Yeshiva/Day School population.

I like your solution and have thought of a very similiar one.

I really think the application process that forces each family to pay multiple schools for applications is unjust (it essentially punishes those who have to apply to multiple schools in hopes of getting a spot and if they don't the families get punished again when they need to pay a late application fee).

In addition, each school processing their own applications initially (assuming real processing goes on) is inefficient.

Cooperation between schools would only be to our benefit. Who knows, maybe be sharing resources to ensure every student is placed, we might come to the point where we can share resources for other things (substitute lists, accounting, procurement, etc).

As for schools being filled to capacity, I think that solutions should be explored that are "revolutionary." There are public schools out there which are currently running a morning and afternoon kindergarten. Unfortunately the long school day makes such simple a solution unworkable, but one has to wonder if there are other less simple solutions which would allow for full utilization of facilities in the community that would help accomodate all students.


concerned school bookkeeper said...

Anon February 16, 2007 12:34

I agree. But the problem is also on the other side, the schools. They let "wants" and issues set the budget not the other way around. I believe the schools should set the budget to what most parents can afford. Then prioritize "wants" and issues. The least important should be cut. Under strict budgets people learn very fast how to get things done cheaper. And usually better quality because there is more focus & discussions on each item in the budget.

So a school should set the budget for example $2,000 times students the school has. Then it will be easy to collect only for the 10-20% who can't afford it. Then the administration will have more focus on satisfying more families.

Anonymous said...

At 2,00 a student you can just about pay for the secretaries and half your mortgage . There is no money left for any payroll . You are out of touch with reality . Its like saying lets all of us set a budget of 40 a week for food and 400 a month for housing and everyone will learn how to manage .

socialworker/frustrated mom said...

Sounds like a great suggestion but as said before there is still limited space since there are not enough schools.

concerned school bookkeeper said...

Anon February 17, 2007 9:06

If you have a class of 25 x $2,000 = $50,000. What in that classroom doesn't fit in this budget? Teacher, books, copies, some telephone calls for secretary, chalk?

Maybe raise the budget somewhat, but why does it cost $125,000 per class? Were does the money go to?

Anonymous said...

Are you on the 60s or 70's? Call any high school and see if you can pay the payroll of both the Hebrew and english staff for 50,000 per class . Then add the cost of Hebrew Principal ,English principal, Secretaries ,Insurance (very expensive for a school ) , mortgage on your building , books ,supplies , Heat ,air conditioning ,electricity ,water sewer ,cleaning crew ,cleaning supplies , building repairs ,replacement of desks lockers etc,guidance counselors,GO coordinators ,bookeeper ,school administrator ,fund raiser and a myriad of other thimgs .If you can do all that for $50,000 or even $ 100,000 per class and find quality staff and pay the payroll on time then I know a few schools that will probably hire you at a six figure plus salary .

Anonymous said...

I dont think you would want your child going to a high school that budgets 50,000 or even 65,000 per class . There might be about 5,000 per class left over for teachers salaries and I'm not sure what kind of talent you can hire for that money today . Even the Polish or Mexican cleaning ladies get about double that .

Anonymous said...

We live in a capitalistic society governed by the laws of supply and demand . If it was economically feasible to run a good high school for 2,000 or 3,000 a student ,there would be hundreds of people opening schools and earning themselves a parnosa while at it .

Anonymous said...

Its amazing . People dont question the cost of cars ,vacations,summer camps ,bungalows ,etc . But for their most precious possesionns ,their children ,they are ready to make do with 50,000 per class for which after principals ,office staff and building expenses ,you couldnt even hire a 12 year old to teach .

shmaya gestetner said...

worthy topic, thank you. your solution is unfortunately very unrealistic.
i don't think the girls principals are walking to the mail boxes with heavy hearts. i know some people who were insulted and belittled by our girl school principals. there is no excuse to harrass people in such a manner.
we all have suggestions, but our girls schools are not comunnal for us to discuss. as mentioned, many of them are privately held corporations who do whatever the ----- they want.
our leaders should have never allowed schools to be open by private individuals. it simply does not represent the best of our peoples interest.
i hope for change.
hugs and love,

p.s. don't be afraid to write the word lakewood in your posts

Simcha sharfman said...

Open your own school and then talk.

Anonymous said...

If you have a school and you collect from the community,then it should be a community school, not your private domain.If you do the whole support, then it should be the same ,but it isn't as the person will feel it's his business.
Tuition should definitly be cheaper.Full tuition in my girls former high school is 13,000.Explain me why it costs that much per child.The seminaries have food and board and they charge that amt.Why should a school have such a huge budget?
(I was tired arguing for a deduction and switched schools)
If they want to see how much I own and know how every penny is spent, then they should open the books to the parents and show us their budget.

Anonymous said...

Sarah Yarok said...
Good afternoon, Rebbetzin H.
Ah, good afternoon, Rabbi Goodheart. Please have a seat here in my office, I’m sorry there’s not much room to move, you see many the supplies for student activities had to be moved here.
Well, Rebbetzin, you are surely wondering what brings me here today.
No, actually, I think I can guess, I am afraid.
Ahem, yes, well, as you have surmised, I am here on behalf of the Committee to Keep Everyone in Town Happy. As you know, it’s our job to make sure no student is left without a school acceptance, even if that student is not really suited to any local school and would be much better off going elsewhere.
Yes, and how can I help you, Rabbi Goodheart?
Well, I am here to give you the list of your assigned risk pool.
My what?
You know, like the auto insurance companies have. We assign a group of students to every school. We subscribe to the motto of our revered president, “No child left behind” – I am sure you are familiar with it? After all, 97.63 percent of our community voted for President Bush.
Really, that many?
Yes, we are still trying to uncover exactly who the other 2.37 percent are. We are certain it was just a misunderstanding, after all, our City Council Comprised of Important People strongly recommended voting for the President, why would anyone do otherwise?
Oh, of course, I see.
Yes, well, Rebbetzin, I have here a list of 20 additional students we’d like you to accept.
20? 20? Look, Rabbi Goodheart, I ‘m always happy to help out the community, even if it’s highly detrimental to my school. After all, we do have to be community-minded. It’s just that I really don’t know where I could possibly put another 20 students.
Can’t you use your library, Rebbetzin?
We did that last year when you asked us to take 20 more students.
Oh, I see. What about that extra room you designed for students to work on activities?
Look around, Rabbi. That’s why we have these piles of costumes and scenery in my office. And some supplies are still in that room, and let me tell you, the teachers don’t appreciate it too much when they are interrupted because we need supplies!
Oh, I see. Well, perhaps you need to build on more classrooms?
That would be wonderful. There are just a few problems. You see, our parents dug deep into their pockets to help a build this building just a few years ago. I understand that some were heard to say they might not have enough money for a Viennese table at their daughter’s wedding!
Well, that’s fine, everyone knows that the Chasunah Guidelines don’t allow for a Viennese table!
Oh, yes, of course, that must be why they were willing to give us the money instead. But, in any case, I don’t see how we can go to those same people again for enough money to build more classrooms!
Yes, I see. Well, can’t you just put more students in each class?
More, more students….uh
Rebbetzin, are you all right?
Oh, yes, sorry, Rabbi Goodheart, I was just feeling a bit faint at the thought. Do you realize as it is now the classrooms are highly overcrowded?
No, I …
Do you realize how much the students dislike being in a such a large class that some girls can’t even see the teacher, much less hear her?
No, I …
Do you realize how much teachers dislike teaching such a large class, where their voices are swallowed up by the vast number of people in the room? Do you know that five teachers had to go for voice training and submitted the bills to us?
No, I …
Do you realize that because you compelled us to add on classes to each grade, we have lost many teachers who are not able, for personal reasons, to teach so many sections?
No, I, well, why don’t you just add a new teacher for the new section?
Rabbi Goodheart, you can’t be serious. What if one teacher is easier than another, or one teacher is more popular? We can’t have some students being jealous of the others, can we?
No, no of course not.
We can’t have students who are not happy, can we?
No, no, of course not.
We can’t have students who might not succeed because their situation is NOT FAIR?
NO, no, of course not. But, look, Rebbetzin, you are such a creative administrator and educator, I am sure you can solve this issue. I just thought we could think about some more options for finding space for another class. Now this office we’re sitting in here, it looks quite spacious…er, I suppose it would be without all these costumes.
Rabbi Goodheart, you don’t mean that I should not have an office? Anyhow, where would I put the costumes?
No, no, of course not, but perhaps there’s another office you could use.
No, I really don’t know of any.
Oh, I see. Well, you know what! I notice that you have very spacious hallways, which, of course, are not in use while classes are in session. Why couldn’t you hold a class in the hallway?
Rabbi Goodheart, our studies show that an average of 5.6 students need to leave a classroom for personal reasons while class is in session. Obviously, they need to walk through the hallway. I fear that would be very disruptive.
I see. Well, can’t you simply give another minute or two between classes for students’ personal needs?
Now, Rabbi, we can’t really interfere with students’ personal needs. They would not be happy and you know we want to make sure that they are happy.
Yes, yes, of course. But….
Also, our studies show that 82.6 percent of the time, a student needs to leave the room to rinse her contact lens. That obviously can’t wait until class is over.
No, no, of course not. Ah, but why don’t we install a sink in the back of each classroom? Then each girl could use the sink…
No, I’m afraid you are not very familiar with our girls and our teachers, Rabbi Goodheart. First, the noise of water running would prove very distracting to students and teachers alike. And then, there would be far too tempting an availability of water in case some girls needed to cool off, or wanted to have a water fight….
Yes, yes, I see. Hm. I know. I have it, I have a solution. All you have to do is prohibit your students from coming to school wearing contact lenses, and all these trivial problems will be solved!
(Rebbetzin faints).

2/16/2007 1:22 PM

Rafi G said...

sounds like a reasonable solution to me. is it realistic though? I have no idea if it is or is not, but with so many girls and numerous schools, it sounds like if not managed properly it could make things worse....

It's All Good Now said...

A large part of the problem lies in the fact that schools have become extremely selective, opting only for the cream of the crop (and each school has their own interpretation of what that term means). Therefore, children who are not from the most beautiful families and/or do not score in the top 95% of their class AND who don't have money to line the school's coffers, those children have a very hard time getting into a school or yeshiva, even though the school/yeshiva they applied to would be perfect for them based on the social/religious factor. If a child is not an A+++ student in all the columns of life, or if the child is not a "special" child (read: the school is eligibile for programs and can charge the parent exorbitant fees) then the kid is faced with an acceptance problem.

Intimidated Accountant said...

Anon 10:29

$2,000 is probably not possible. But teachers for girl schools get bubkes on average $20,000 annually. Some oskonim try to get to the bottom of these budgets. But there is a lot of smoke screens. And when they get close, the intimidation starts, and they have to back off. People are very sensitive and weak when their child’s or grandchild’s future seems threatened.

Because schools became private businesses (like all our "Public Institutions" Yeshivas, Shuls, Hechshers, Beth Dins etc.) it is neither a business where the customer is always right, nor a Public Institution where the "public good" is the main concern.

The "boss" has the luxury to have it both ways. Board members are just puppets. And parents are being pushed around like children in school. They are even told how to run their house.

Anonymous said...

Please tell me which High school you daughter goes to that pays its full staff of al the Hebrew ,English and extracurricular teachers 20,000 per class . The real cost for all the 15 or so teachers per class is probably more than TRIPLE that ,not including the principals,assistant principals ,secretaries ,office expenses etc cleaning payroll ,bookkeeping and administrator and mortgage . Why dont you change the system and make a high school where you pay your teachers $20,000 in total per class . Then you will be able to charge 3,000 full tuition and make a nice salary for yourself while you are at it .

principle said...

How dare you beshmootz schools like that! You need to lose your license. You are an accountant how dare you get involved in chinech. My job is to bring up erlicher children like our bubbas. Yes a lot of things parents do effect your child and other children in the school. I can’t let it become hefker. Certain parents need oversight and adjustment. But I don't get involved how to run your house! The truth is what should I expect from a blog. I was told this blog is erlich.

megapixel said...

ift, i believe part of your plan has been done. as per agreement between all lakewood high schools, this years crop of eighth graders will not be getting acceptance letters until every girl has a place.this is good cuz at least the girls self esteem wont suffer while all their friends are busy chattering away about their high school, and they have nothing to talk about. the kids from modest homes whose parents dont have big mouthpieces/connections suffer the most.
I guess they wont be able to buy school supplies and uniforms till sometime in sept!
also i heard that for next year, there are 80 more students than slots!!
so that is 2 new high schools that need to open up to accomodate these girls.
I also have a (maybe) solution to the budget problem.
the school that just closed down had 16 teachers one for each subject, i guess- for one class of 16 girls.
if each teacher could handle three or four subjects, they could cut it down to 5-6 teachers, they would not have to pay them as much per period. so the main expense, salaries, would go down dramatically.
what do you think?

Proud Parent said...

15 teachers per class???!!!!! are they being taught something I don't know. Hernur! our daughter is becoming a doctor! no wonder we pay college lever tuition. It was all worth it!

megapixel said...

also maybe be willing to hire young talent, like single girls just out of seminary? they dont get paid as much. some people are just born teachers.

principle said...

megapixel, then you will make them principle... budget shmudget why is that the most important? chinuch is the most important!

Anonymous said...

Anyone can tell from your poor spelling abilities and inferior logical reasoning that you are a high school student. Why don't you do the rest of us a favor and just call yourself anonymous.

Anonymous said...

I dont get it . Why dont all the accountants and other money savers band together and form a school where there only four teachers per class and then hire young teachers who are willing to work for cheap . Then you can lower the tuitions and have a great school where everybody will run to apply because the tuition is lower than everybody else . Its a brilliant idea .

Anonymous said...

Teachers get paid by the period taught . It doesnt matter if they teach 1 period or 4 the cost per period is the same . By the way when you figure the time spent preparing ,marking tests ,talking to parents etc and babysitting the teacher probably makes as much as a cleaning lady .

Anonymous said...

Proud parent

I believe the average High School tuition in Lakewood is well below $,4000 . Even the tiny minority that is full tuition is only $ 5,000 . That is hardly college level tuition .

By the way if you feel the schools are overteaching why dont you start a school with less subjects for parents that dont want what the schools are teaching . Its a free country . Im sdure there must be hundreds of other parents like you that feel the same way . This way you could all get reduced tuition with so many teachers not needed .Your kids will also be able to come home 3 hours earlier everyday and help your wife cook bake and clean the house so you might not need a cleaning lady and save mone there too .

Anonymous said...

While they are at opening up the 2 new schools for next year they should also open up another 2 for the following year . I am sure that in the next couple of years the amount of 8th graders will probably be increasing by close to 100 over this year and within the next 5 or 6 years it will probably increase by 200 or more I dont think people want to realize that Lakewoods spiraling growth comes with a price tag .

Anonymous said...

Proud Parent

In addition to what the other poster said ,if you cut down the teachers and subjects ,your kids will know a lot less and won't have the interest in going to seminary . Then you are really going to save some big bucks . That together with your tuition savings and the savings from firing your cleaning lady and now youm ight really be able to afford that summer vacation or new car .

Anonymous said...

Then he will truly be a "PROUD PARENT "

rabbi reinman said...

great topic

Anonymous said...

I don't get it. The girls don't have careers anyway. Why can't we have one teacher per class to teach how to cook, take out the garbage, raise children, and yente a little bit.

For the girls who want a learner husband we'll teach them some Special Ed and how to limit their husbands snoozing and schmoozing.

Anonymous said...


What do you have against cutting some slack? Don't be so uptight. I hope you are not doing some oversight on me. Oy Vey when you adjust me will my in-laws know everything?

Look what I found on the terrible internet said...

Two-year community colleges remained an educational bargain, however. In some states, such as California, community college tuition actually dropped this year. On average, tuition at the nation's commuter schools rose an average of only 4.1 percent this year, to $2,300. That means even students who don't receive any financial aid but live at home and attend a community college could finish their freshman and sophomore years for as little as $8,000, including textbooks and transportation to and from classes, the College Board estimated.

Anonymous said...

I believe a new High School is forming in Lakewood . It will be meeting in peoples basements to save on building expenses . The curriculum will be a little Parsha and cooking and sewing and basic math and reading . Hours are 9-1:30 Mon thru Thursday .Full tuition is $ 2,400 and reduced tuition is $ 1,600 .

Please register ASAP as space is very limited and the demand is extremely high .

Anonymous said...

I heard that because of this new High School that is opening up ,some of the existing schools are going down in size as they are going to lose their students to the new School .

Grickmeyer said...

Excuse me Ladies & Gentlemen, Where dom you get a figure of 2 or 3000 for tuition. My Girls are $4000 a year and my boys are 5000 a year. (And by the way, the schools deserve every penny of it. They do a great job.)

Anonymous said...

You didnt understand them . They are questioning why tuitions are not lower in the 2 or 3,000 range and asking why dont we just cut out half the subjects and hire young cheap teachers for the rest so they can save on tuition .

pea soup said...

considering that my cleaning lady now charges ten dollars an hour...

the mashgiach just made an announcement that every Lakewood couple could only have one baby every three years. this is the simple solution to the problem.

shmaya gestetner said...

i hope you are still reading this from your undisclosed location in central-asia. you had a small following of inteligent and not-so-inteligent commenters, but with the right topic, you opened a forum for individuals way beyond your control. i think this will be my last comment on your blog.

hugs and love forever,

p.s. keep in touch, my cell # is 514-702-4298

Anonymous said...

Shmaya! Please don't go we need you!

What got you so upset? We will do tshuva.

We need you and love you!!!!!!

Independent Frum Thinker said...

Dear readers,

Before I attempt to respond to you all personally, I feel the need to clarify some things.

1 - This post was not specifically about Lakewood. This problem exists in many other communities, both here and in Eretz Yisroel. I also had Seminaries in mind while writing this post. From the firestorm of comments regarding Lakewood, it is abundantly clear that the problem may be more pronounced there. However, I specifically wrote my post in a general way, to include any community that has this issue.

2 – As the readers of this blog are aware, my posts are not intended as attacks on any individual or on any group on a personal level. I was meticulously careful while writing this post to describe the tortuous dilemma that many principals go through. I have the greatest respect for Rabbeim and teachers, as is evidenced by my previous post on the subject. Principals too are often enough human beings with real human feelings, something many of the commenters seem to disagree with. When I described the agony of the principal in my post, it wasn’t just hyperbole. It was something I personally witnessed. While there be those who have only their self-interests in mind, many are regular people like you and I.

With this being said, let us now discuss the issue respectfully and intelligently.

Independent Frum Thinker said...

Anonymous Feb 16, 12:26 –
True, but the problem can be minimized through my suggestion of cooperation between schools.

Anonymous Feb 16, 12:29 –
Very good point.

Anonymous Feb 16, 12:32 –
I agree with the spirit of your comment. However, I’m not convinced it is the Askonim’s responsibility. If Askonim are failing in their duties, let new ones rise to the fore.

Anonymous Feb 16, 12:34 –
You definitely make a very good point. Tuition should come before a lot of other “necessities”, which would give the schools more freedom to expand. However, my post was also regarding communities where lack of space is not an issue. Even in these places some students are left to slip between the cracks.

Sephardi –
Great comment.
I agree with you that cooperation between schools would be beneficial in economic terms too.
As for the application process which you lable unjust; I totally agree with that and have written a post on this matter a few months back. It is unfair, unjust, unethical, and immoral.

Concerned school bookkeeper –
I agree with you in theory, that every school should set their needs according to the budget of the parent body, however $2,000 sounds a little to low.

Anonymous Feb 17, 9:06 –
True, $2,000 is a bit low. But his/her point still holds true. Schools should set their “needs” based on the money coming in from tuition and not the other way around.

We can still solve one problem.

Anonymous Feb 17, 10:50 –
Not necessarily. Perhaps it is feasible, but it may also be feasible to run a school at a higher budget to bring in larger salaries. Capitalism would then demand for more money to be made.

Anonymous Feb 17, 11:09 –
Good point. Children are our most precious gifts. However, apparently they feel that more oversight is still needed.

Shmaya –
I’m sorry for disappointing one of my favorite readers.
You may be right that some schools run as corporations, with each principal doing whatever suits them best, but my description of a principal walking to the mailbox with a heavy heart, it a true-life description which I personally witnessed.
Either way, a public outcry is necessary to bring awareness to this issue, otherwise things will never change. And if that means Rabbanim forcing school administrators to follow certain guidelines, so be it.
As for my not mentioning of Lakewood; as I explained earlier, I did not have Lakewood exclusively in mind while writing this post. But from the comments it is clear the problem in Lakewood is quite serious.

Simcha Sharfman –
Are you the Simcha Sharfman whose name surfaces occasionally in various Frum publications? If it is, I am greatly disappointed. Your letters are usually intelligent and on-the-mark. Writing “open a school and then talk” is simply immature.
Firstly, who said I don’t run a school, or at least am intimately involved in one?
Secondly, can a person not raise awareness to an issue without being personally involved? If a teenager pointed out that you are driving recklessly, would you say “first get a license and then talk”? I certainly hope not. And besides, I’m not speaking against schools. If you read my post you would have seen how I describe the sincerity of at least some principals.

Anonymous Feb 18, 1:06 –
And tuition that high sounds suspicious.

Anonymous Feb 18, 1:50 –
Thank you for sharing your viewpoint.
I think you should consider a career in playwriting. :)

Rafi G –
It would definitely help things out a lot.

Interesting viewpoint, but I think my suggestion would still help things.

Intimidated Accountant –
Wow, interesting information.
It would make sense to have some sort of public oversight.
Are you really an accountant? And have you really been intimidated?

Principal –
This blog is Ehrlich. Have you read my posts? Taking one or two comments to negatively classify the whole blog is making yourself guilty of the same “Bashmootzing” that you accuse the accountant of.
This blog is for sincere people to discuss things sincerely. That accountant has the right to express himself, as do you. And besides, I think you are getting carried away. I don’t think he was trying to malign you. He was only pointing out how intimidation sets in when people start analyzing the books, something he apparently knows from personal experience. Why assume he was referring to you or your school? Perhaps you are the Ehrliche principal I describe in my post?

Megapixel –
Thanks for sharing the good news. B”H cooperation is beginning for the good of the girls and the schools.
As for your suggestion to have teachers teach multiple subjects; I agree in principle, but I’m not sure they are all talented enough to properly prepare and teach three or four subjects. If it would be possible, it would certainly go a long way.
Having only young teachers is not such a good idea. Experienced teachers are usually much better.

Proud parent –
You’d be surprised.

Principal –
Agreed. I think that suggestion isn’t so good, but her first one is definitely food for thought. What do you think?

Anonymous Feb 18, 3:36 –
Not necessarily. If a teacher could multi-task and teach four subjects, she would probably get three times the pay not four. After all, travel time is the same, there are the same parents to speak to, etc.

Anonymous Feb 18, 3:46 –
“Proud parent” may not be living in Lakewood. Please don’t minimize his/her issue because you thankfully don’t have it.

Anonymous Feb 18, 4:00 –
Very true.

Rabbi Reinman –
Thank you.

Anonymous Feb 18, 5:25 –
I must repudiate your characterization of out most precious commodity – our Kollel Yungeleit – as snoozers and shmoozers. Please don’t blacken holy and good people by the actions of a few.

Look what I found etc. –
Very interesting! Thank you for sharing.

Grickmeyer –
Rabbeim and teachers rightfully deserve their salaries and more. Please read my post and comments on appreciating Rabbeim.

Pea soup –
I assume you are joking. However, having large families in fundamental to our Frum tradition. Please don’t make light of it.

Shmaya –
Please don’t give up!!!! We need you here!

Anonymous Feb 18, 9:42 –
Yes, absolutely. We need him and love him!

Independent Frum Thinker said...

And now dear readers,
Please keep the comments intelligent and respectful. There is no need for sarcastic comments. Let’s continue discussing this politely.

pea soup said...

ift- of course i was joking!! the mashgiach never said that.
I am trying to point out in a twisted way that we are so messed up. when a baby is born we are all so excited. Mazel tov, Mazel tov!! then when she is 5 years old, and needs to get into a school, all of a sudden she becomes a problem, trying to find a school for her...but at least she doesnt know about it. her parents deal with it. then when it comes to high school at such a delicate age for the self esteem, she becomes a real problem!! no one wants her, and schools are negotiating about who has to take her. (I am not talking about problem girls here)
I can just picture it - 4 school directors sitting around a table, negotiating... I will trade one bum for two dummies. or one rich girl for two poor shleppers...

BarbaraFromCalifornia said...

Well, what I can gather from your writing is that you are a person with a good mind, who sees many different sides of the issue.

I remember when my children were applying to college, and waiting for the acceptance/rejection.

Thankfully, they were able to both go where they wanted.

Good luck.

Kollel Wife said...

IFT, I agree with not belittling Kollel Yungeleit. And thank you for pointing that out. I also don't appreciate his/her belittling of none career wives.

But Anon 5:25s main point may have been that learner husbands do NOT snooze and shmooze partly thanks to their wives & in laws who encourage their husbands to limit snoozing and shmoozing.

The schools can teach that directly without the runaway budgets that serves no purpose for this world or the next. The only purpose it serves is image. After reading this blog it seems that some go even further and use the "image" weapon to manipulate parents and Oskanim.

Anonymous said...

Don't know what planet you guys inhabit, I was paying $7500 16 years ago for high school. What you need is a Jewish public school. NYC is opening one for Arabs in september

Anonymous said...

$7500 16 years ago??? That was Yale or Harvard.

Anonymous said...

No any out of town community like Long Island or such or Manhattan charges about 15,000 today

The Dreamer said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
The Dreamer said...

I don't have time to read all the comments, but I just wanted to compliment you on your beautifully written post.

I like your idea of the principals getting together. It's been mentioned many a time, but nobody seems to be doing much about it.

It's high time our schools implemented such practices. Anyone know anyone in the higher ups to suggest this idea to?

shmaya gestetner said...

hi ift and annonymus,
i'm sorry, i didn't mean to make it sound like i'm above any other anybody else or their comments. but,,, 1: i get very frustrated by the way some people think and 2: there were b"h so many new people on this topic that i felt a little lost. (i always went to small yeshivas).*
thanks for reciprocating my love.
i posted my number on an earlier comment.
kisses to all,

p.s. *3: i've been very busy at work and don't have time to read all the comments.

Anonymous said...

i think i need to move to lakewood for this "cheap 4-5g tuitions" in brooklyn we pay like 7-9g per child not high school either

Independent Frum Thinker said...

Pea soup –
The theoretical situation you describe is not pretty. Let’s hope that in real life things are not that bad.

BarbaraFromCalifornia –
Thank you for the compliment.
I’m glad both your children were accepted to their first choice.

Kollel Wife –
If that was his point, fine. Wives (and in-laws) who encourage their husband’s learning deserve our greatest respect.
As for your point about runaway budgets; if you’re correct in assuming that some subjects are taught simply for image, then that is a problem which should be dealt with.

Anonymous Feb 19, 1:38 –
Interesting idea. But if it is a public school, can they teach religious subjects? What about keeping the school exclusively religious?

The Dreamer –
Thank you for the compliment.
I guess who never knows “higher-ups” should have them read this blog. :)

Shmaya –
Are you really back with us? I hope the answer is yes.
I understand your feelings. Frankly, I was overwhelmed myself….and I learned in big Yeshivos. :)
Did you get to read both of my responses to your comments?
Hope to hear more from you.

Anonymous Feb 19, 10:02 –
Tuition in Lakewood is cheaper than elsewhere. However, a kollel family or Rebbe pays the same as everyone else, since there are so many of them in Lkwd. Outside of Lkwd the average tuition is higher, but Kollel families and Rabbeim receive a bigger break.

chaverah said...

wow, i can't seem to focus on all your points of how to improve this situation. All i know is there should be a way to improve.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous Feb 19, 10:02 –
Tuition in Lakewood is cheaper than elsewhere. However, a kollel family or Rebbe pays the same as everyone else, since there are so many of them in Lkwd. Outside of Lkwd the average tuition is higher, but Kollel families and Rabbeim receive a bigger break.

February 20, 2007 12:36:00 AM EST

Rabbeim and Kollel fellows do pay less in Lakewood too . High School tuition is about 4,800 to 5,000 for full tuition even if you are a millionaire while a kollel fellow or Rebbi probably pays about 3,000 or 3,300 and if you have 2 kids its even less than that .

Anonymous said...

What if you live in a community where all of the High schools are basically one flavor of Hashkofah ? They were created when Lakewood was a yeshivishe town and each would like to, rightly so ,under their original mandate , retain that flavor and clientele . Now as there are more and more kids and families who dont necessary have 100% of the same flavor and ideals who are being pushed into these schools ,the flavor of these schools is starting to change from their intent of the founders and original parent bodies . Is it then not the right and obligation of those schools to resist being forced to change their flavor by taking students that dont fit their ideals totally ,which in turn influences the others ?

In New York there are enough types of schools for every choice but in a relatively young and new town like Lakewood they dont exist .So saying that the schools are bad in resisting entry to a type of student body that if unchecked ,within a few years will change the entire Hashkofah of the school is not correct .

Help!! said...

Anon 2:50

You seem nice and mean well. But,

Your logic only makes sense if you are culturally Hindu, Evangelical, etc.

But Kol Yisrael Araivim Ze Loze. You can't discount people due to your preferred flavors. If you want to preserve your flavors a solution MUST be provided IN ADVANCE.

Unfortunately our flavors have become more important than simple Yiras Shaymayim. Which is probably opukarses. As Kolel Wife stated we are concerned with image not Hashem.

We need to stop sliding down this slippery slope.

Fan said...

IFT, You hit 10,000 on your meter, Mazal Tov!

Fasten your seat belt, and keep up your amazing work!

Anonymous said...

Im sorry but I disagree with you . Flavors means that parents have the right to send their kids to schools where basically everybody shares their philosophy about styles of dress ,Tznius ,outlook on marrying bnei Torah vs Balhabatim , and so on . I dont think it is fair to say that someone who wants to send their kids to Tomer Devorah High school or even Bais Yaakov has to find out that he really is getting the student body and hashkofas of Prospect Park or something similar . While they are all beutiful ehriche yidishe daughters ,it is not right to take away from someone the ability to have his daughters grow up in the seviva that he really wants ,especially if the school was founded with the intent to provide that seviva .To say otherwise is not being intellectually honest with yourself .

Anonymous said...

I also agree that A SOLUTION MUST BE PROVIDED IN ADVANCE . But I disagree on who must provide it . If all the schools in town were founded to provide a style of chinuch and certain parents lifestyle does not really fit in with that style ,then THESE NEW PARENTS must provide their style by opening a NEW school .They do not have the right to say that they want the old schools to become more modern .

Lvnsm27 said...

I just want to commend you on thinking about and mentioning a solution that people can discuss. Great work

Help!! said...

Anon 3:58

Tomer Devorah and Prospect Park is fair enough, they won’t apply to each others schools anyway.

But separating Bnei Torah vs. Balhabatim is a sick philosophy based on image not Yiras Shamayim.

Practically it is also going to backfire. How do you expect the Balhabatim to support the Bnei Torah if you denigrate them?

I guess we are going to be slipping sliding.

Anonymous said...

You did not understand the post . I did not say in any way shape or form to seperate Bnai Torah from Balhabatim . I said that some schools are comprised of girls whose Hashkafah from the home is that girls strive to marry Bnei Torah and should be moser nefesh for learning . If There are many girls from families that do not share that hashkofoh it can influence the girls in a way that the parents did not anticipate when sending to the school . This hashkofoh can be shared by Kollel yungeleit and Balhabatim alike and there was no insinuation of any kind to segregate a school based on profession of the fathers as you erroneoulsly deduced .

Anonymous said...

You say that Tomer Devorah and Prospect wont apply to each others schools . You are correct .But in a town like Lakewood where all the schools are basically the same type and because of lack of space ,the schools are forced to accept Prospect types when their Hashkafah is closer to Tomer Devorah , just because there is no other space for those girls ,then that is wrong . Do you agree that even if space becomes tight in Brooklyn ,that Tomer Devorah should not start having to take Prospect type girls ?

Anonymous said...

I dont believe anyone will say that Satmar has to take regular yeshivishe kids in their schools even if space is tight .They are entitled to shelter their kids if they choose . So too are yeshivishe parents entitled to make their own school to shelter their kids from what they consider outside influences

Anonymous said...

":Tznius ,outlook on marrying bnei Torah vs Balhabatim , and so on "

He said outlook on marrying Bnei Torah ,not seperating Bnai torah .

It looks like you have an axe to grind with yeshivaleit that you jump to such hasty conclusions

Anonymous said...

Where's Shmaya?
This is a bit out of control. I hope the schools get a copy of all this so they get an idea of what is going on in peoples lives bec. of their policies.

Anonymous said...

It is the same if you separate girls based on whom they aspire to marry. Are we going to setup lie detectors? Or are we going to rely on secret police? Does a girl have the option to change her mind?

There are schools in Brooklyn who already started to discriminate against Balhabatim fathers.

Please stop splitting hairs or flavors. Just admit what your attitude is. Some of you are wrapped up in your "learning" status, and instead of it humbling you; you use it to step on people to raise your image. What a shame.

Anonymous said...

You are totally off base .Any group of parents can make a school to suit their needs . If they want to exclude children from homes with televisions because they are too open minded ,that is certainly their right . If they want to preach a certain hashkofah about dedicating your life to torah being the ikar ,and they feel that kids from homes that do not suscribe to that hashkofah are detrimental to the school ,that is their right . If they have hashkofas as to what type of clothing is appropriate to be worn by daughters of bnei torah and they want to exclude girls from homes where the mothers do not agree or share those hashkofos ,they certainly have the right to do so .

Anonymous said...

This is not splitting hairs . A frum Bais Yaakov school is not onlya bout academics but about Tznius and Hashkofah . How can a school operate if a third of their student and parent body does not share the same goals and aspirations for tznius and Hashkofah . Conflict between what is taught in school and what is seen at home is a recipe for destruction of the school .

Independent Frum Thinker said...

Chaverah –
Absolutely, and that is what I’m trying to do.

Anonymous Feb 20, 1:45 –
Perhaps you are right that in some schools a Kollel family or Rebbe gets a break, but I know for a fact that that is not the case with all schools. Either way, this isn’t the point of my post.

Anonymous Feb 20, 2:50, Anonymous Feb 20, 3:58, 4:01, Help!!, etc. –
Schools have the right to retain their unique character, as I wrote in my post. True, newer parents moving in to an existing framework should start new schools instead of changing the character of existing ones. However, not everything is as clear-cut as Prospect vs. Tomer Devorah. There is a lot of middle ground which could work for both. It takes a lot of sensitivity and thoughtfulness, on the part of both parents and principals, to retain each school’s unique character without unnecessary labeling and discriminating. In other words, we must learn to differentiate between real Chinuch differences and imaginary “image” ones.

Fan –
Thank you very much. Enjoy the ride!

Lvnsm27 –
Thank you. Hopefully, something productive can come from all this.

Anonymous Feb 20, 7:28 –
Maybe you should make printouts and forward it to the schools, with my prior agreement of course.
As for Shmaya; I really hope he comes back.

Anonymous Feb 20, 8:35 –
I can not speak for others commenting here, but denigrating working people is absolutely wrong. However, one should still be able to respect Kollel families for their choices and sacrifices. I fail to see why one can’t walk the golden mean, and see the good in everyone.

Anonymous said...

Once you agree that are are different tracks like Tomer Devorah and Prospect types that do not necessarily mix well together ,then who are you to determine what is acceptable and what is not ? Just because you dont like the difference doesnt mean it is not valid . Only the parent body and founders of the school have the right what is a valid enough of a difference in haskofah to exclude ,not you . You are obviously biased based on your personal hashkofas ,which doesnt necessary mean its the only right one .

Anonymous said...

Nobody is denigrating working people in any which way . But a school that works hard to inculcate a haskofah of mesiras nefesh for Torah learning which in todays society starts out as hoping to marry a Torah Scholar and being mistapek bemuot for as long as possible so he can learn ,should not have to have kids from homes that dont subscrobe to that and where those kids attitudes will influence the others that carrers and comfortoble parnosa take precedence over Torah Learning . Nothing wrong with that either but parents who send their kids to a school with the understanding that their peers will not influence them negatively in important life decisions ,should be allowed that option .

Independent Frum Thinker said...

Anonymous Feb 20, 11:47 -
I assume you are talking to a previous commenter, and not me.
In my post I take no stands whatsoever. I only suggest that principals work together to sort things out. On the contrary, I made very clear the need to preserve each schools unique character.

Independent Frum Thinker said...

Anonymous Feb 20, 11:56 -

Anonymous said...

Yes I was taking to commenter that talked about splitting hairs . who seems to think that as long as he doesnt see a big enough difference in Hashkofah then no parent body of a school has a right to determine otherwise for their own children .

Anonymous said...

The points being made is that in certain communities like Lakewood there may be limitations to what the principals can do . Firsta lack of space . Second since there are not really any modern schools like in New york ,it may not always be possible to both place everybody and still retain the unique character of each school .

Anonymous said...

The Lakewood schools were all founded about 15-25 years ago when the Town was exclusively very Yeshivish and had 1,000 families by parents who wanted that type of chinuch and mesorah .The newer element in town really has no right to gripe that those schools dont want to accept kids who will inevitably change their character .

Independent Frum Thinker said...

Anonymous Feb 21, 12:03 –
Obviously, the school and parent body make that decision.
However, in all fairness sometimes the criteria include unbalanced ideas. I can personally attest to Ehrliche beautiful working families being turned down, while another Yeshivishe family gets accepted although the wife dresses completely inappropriately etc. The school and the parent body have the right to set the criteria, but it should be fair, balanced, and consistent.

Anonymous Feb 21, 12:06 –
True. But as I wrote a number of times earlier, the post was not exclusively about Lakewood. It is a problem in many communities and also Seminaries.

Anonymous Feb 21, 12:12 –
True, and that was clarified earlier.

Independent Frum Thinker said...

Attention all anonymous commenters –

Please try to use a specific name for yourself, as the deluge of anonymous comments makes it hard for everyone to follow who is saying what to whom. It could be a first name or a nickname, as long as it is consistent.

Thank you for your cooperation.

Anonymous said...

IFT said
Anonymous Feb 21, 12:03 –
Obviously, the school and parent body make that decision.
However, in all fairness sometimes the criteria include unbalanced ideas. I can personally attest to Ehrliche beautiful working families being turned down, while another Yeshivishe family gets accepted although the wife dresses completely inappropriately etc. The school and the parent body have the right to set the criteria, but it should be fair, balanced, and consistent

True there are mistakes made but remember that people are human . A friend of mine spoke to an administrator who said that his school inevitably makes 2 or 3 mistakes a year out of many families who they may have gotten the wrong iimpression of or gotten bad information about .But when decisions have to be made in a relatively short time there will always be a small element of error . Naturally it is always the 1 or 2 mistakes that everybody hears about and then calls the schools all kinds of names ,forgetting that they were on target for 95% or more of their selection which fits a relatively defined criteria of what they feel their student body should represent .

Anonymous said...

I used to be more open to schools accepting people from a wider backround.But after the blog world has shown me how strong 'sinas am haratzim l'talmidey chachomim' is even Lakewood, there really is no choice other then to be ultra careful about backrounds and wary of certaim (not most chas v'sholom) balle batim.

megapixel said...

wait just a minute:
who is this shmaya that everyone is begging for?

Stop labeling said...

Anon 11:42

There are very few people today who have sinas talmidey chachomim. The ones who do don’t apply to our schools. Some people are appalled that some talmidey chachomim are transcending due to being preoccupied with image, vs. good old fashioned yiras shamayim.

Segregating erliche balle batim from Kollel families is just the symptom. This in itself that you label them am haratzim is very unfortunate. Why? Because they are a threat to your image? These people are only a threat to your image, if image is your primary concern. Why aren’t you accepting a little muser vs. counter attack? I must admit you weren’t openly counter attacking, but the message between your lines “how strong 'sinas am haratzim l'talmidey chachomim' is” can be very destructive in the wrong hands.

Once preoccupied with image, it is very hard to unravel yourself. "Haboirayoch Ocher Hakovod, Hokovod Boirayach Meemenu", How can a person be so foolish? Why doesn't he stop running after it? Because it is almost impossible to unravel or admit it to yourself.

All of you pro segregators. Have pity on your next generations, they will see it for what it is, "empty image", so unravel yourselves before it is too late. Learn then teach them some old fashioned yiras shamayim.

Anonymous said...

To the last commenter .I am NOt the one who posted about "sinas talmidei etc... I dont know you so you may or not be well meaning . You probably dont have any experience with schools . If you did you would know that if you well meaningly open your school to an element that does not conform to your standards ,within a couple of years ,your student body will be very different from the Ruach you intended to have . Being well meaning does not mean being naive or being suicidal . It is an adminstrators Achrayus to protect the well being of his students while at the same time balancing and tryin as much as possible to help the klal in taking in students . But only a fool will say that he has to take in students even if it will be openly detrimental to the well being of his school .Only the school can determine the fine line of where they can accomodate and do the chesed and where it starts to become self destructive . I can give you several examples of well meaning people who didnt balance that line well and their naivette destroyed their schools so that now nobody can benefit from it .

Anonymous said...

Every school has its unique and distinctive flavor. One may have a more Chassidish touch, while another a more Litvish one. One may be Yeshivish while another Modern Orthodox. One may be simpler while another more affluent. The beauty of our community is in its choices. Every family can find a school appropriate for them and their Hashkafos END of Quote

Could you please give us your opinion of how to deal with a large community where there only a few schools and they are all intended to be basically the same Hashkafah . How do you accomodate newer people moving in that in the schools opinion ,do not conform to their Haskofahs totally . In that case ,NOT every family can find a school appropriate for them as you stated . Even if the new parents are OK in going to the scholls ,but what if the old schools are not OK with the new style parents ? Opinion please

Stop labeling said...

Anon 1:48, I agree. Schools need to be protected from sliding with the wrong crowd. Tamir Devorah can slide into Prospect Park in 2 generations, if the controls are removed.

I'm just very concerned when we start segregating for image & appearance purposes. i.e. segregating Kollel families from erliche bal habatim. Ironically I'm more concerned for the Kollel families.

Institutionalizing our “concern for image & appearance” is the worst thing for our society in the long term.

Anonymous said...

You are wrong It wont take 2 generations for a school to lose its identity only about 3 to 5 years .

As far as segregating for image that may be your impression and you are entitled to it .But the schools that I am familiar with segregate only by where they feel a certain student or family hashkofah is inconsistent with their goals for the schools . As a previous poster said ,schools are human and make mistakes like the rest of us ,but as long they are out there trying their best ,they are entitled to a few mistakes every year . To an outsider it may seem like segregating based on image but believe me 95 % of the time there is a lot more than just image .

stop labeling said...

Anon 5:04, well well,

1) I wrote 2 generations from Tamir Devorah to Prospect Park, not "lose its identity" is your "impression" I wrote differently?

2)You wrote "where they FEEL a certain student or family hashkofah is inconsistent" Who's FEELING counts?

Can you put ALL the goals unambiguously in writing? Can you put ALL the rules unambiguously in writing?

The answer is you can't. Because lots of rules are based on image (feelings), which is a moving target, and full of hypocrisy. As IFT wrote "I can personally attest to Ehrliche beautiful working families being turned down, while another Yeshivishe family gets accepted although the wife dresses completely inappropriately etc." (I'm NOT claiming IFT agrees with me in any way)

This proves it is not my impression, it is fact. I hope your opinion will change early enough, before too much institutional damage is inflicted on our society.

Anonymous said...

This post was about High Schools if I read it correctly .I challenge anybody to find me a frum High school anywhere that is not composed of at least 50 % or mor Balebatim . By the time kids go to High School people are married at least 15 years and some 20 or more . The reality is that the vast majority of FRUM married men that are married 15 to 25 years in the United States are NOT Kollel Yungeleit . This segregation theory is just a fantasy by someone who has an axe to grind against either a school he got rejected by or Kollel yungeleit in general . Facts don't lie

Anonymous said...

It is interesting how you entrust your precious daughters to a school administrator and let his feelings decide their chinuch goals but his feelings are worthless when he decides which 25 out of 100 applicants he should take to protect those already in the school ..

You definitely have the right to make your own school to be more inclusive if you feel any school is constantly mistaken in their "feelings of who to accept .If the public would not be derelict in their responsibility to see that there more seats than students ,then the administrators wouldnt have the luxury of being so picky .Before the poulation explosion that caused a shortaghe in schools ,somehow everybody was placed . Believe me if there were an abundance of schools ,the schools would not be so picky and would be fighting over which girls to take ,not the other way around .Open your wallet and open schools and the problem will basically disappear .

Mathematician said...

Anon 5:04 stop labeling is correct. Mathematically you can't be accurate 95% of the time unless you have the rules unambiguously in writing. If you don't have it in writing you are at best 65% accurate. The other inquiries I’ll leave up to you social scientists to figure out.

Anonymous said...

2 more comments please and we will hit a new milestone on IFT, 100 comments!

Anonymous said...

wow this must be a hot topic

Great! said...

I broke the record of 100 comments on IFT!

Anonymous said...

I dont get it . I am familiar with several High schools and in none have I seen empty desks with signs on the " Reserved for Kollel or reserved for yeshivish "etc What I have seen is overcrowded classrooms and schools with more parallel classes than a good school can handle . If class sizes were 17 and we were exluding 8 kids per class based on any citeria ,then I understand this debate . But in the absence of that ,all the inclusion of anybody means is that someone else will be excluded . It is usually the folks who whine the loudest ,who give the least to our very poorly funded school system that is on the verge of collapse due to lack of interest and funding from our society .

Anonymous said...

to Mathematician .

Please explain the following .If you are a principal and ypu have one available seat with 15 kids vying for the spot ,would you give it to the most chutzpedik,least tzniusdik and most disruptive class disturbing kid who also comes from a home where the parents constantly talk about how wrong the Kollel system is and that we are making mistakes by educating our kids to marry Torah scholars , that needs the most attention in and out of class and also gets the lowest marks ? With the exception of actual grades ,the other criteria are something that can not "be defined by rules unambiguosly in writing " to quote your words .They can only be determined by a seasoned mechanech or mechaneches in a personal interview and research .Yes they might be feelings or subjective but when faced with such decisions they are the only way to decide .

mathematician said...

Anon 8:19, sorry my expertise is only math/accuracy, for the loaded stuff please try the politicians above.

stop labeling said...

Mathametician, thank you for bringing your math to the rescue.

Anon 5:38 your theory is wrong, we ARE a proud kolel family, and we checked out a few schools, and they called US if they should reserve a slot for us.

And the other shieles all you Anons have, print this post & comments then ask your kids in 20 years, they will explain it to you well.

Anonymous said...

My theory might be wrong but The facts are correct . The majority of parents in any High school are not from A Current Kollel family .

Anonymous said...

Mathematecian . The poster asked you a good question and you seem to have evaded the issue .

Anonymous said...

I think it is self evident that the decision process that a Principal goes through when filling a seat with one applicant is much more serious and thought out than when filling one seat that has 5 applicants where 4 of them must be turned down no matter what .

socialworker/frustrated mom said...

Wow over 100 comments and the post aint even about sex lol. Why in the world do you have so many darn anonymous comments I mean this is not a scandalous topic really.

Cleantopic said...

This was a clean topic with Clean posts till you came along

socialworker/frustrated mom said...

cleantopic oh come on I am kidding around give me a break.

Mathematician said...

Anon 9:19 I'm not the wizard of oz. I don't claim to know the answer to things outside my scope of expertise. Why don't you ask your surgeon, I'm sure he is also an expert in social science…

Wow! Are you guys totally ignorant of the phrase "a jack of all trades a master of none"? That must be a hard life…. It brings down efficiency to 10% at best!!!!

cook said...

If schools are so hot, let's add a meat scandal to the soup, then we'll hit 1000 posts like Vos Iz Neias.

Sociologist said...

Socialworker/frustrated mom, you are probably not ultra orthodox. If you were and talk against the status quo, you get labeled and ostracized. They are taught to be biased against people with a different point of view. To protect against defections, they mainly denigrate other life styles, instead of showing the value of their lifestyle. Which I personally greatly respect. Hence the bias. Hence your observation "so many darn anonymous comments".

suome stupid name said...

Such nonsense . 99.9% of blog comments are anonymous . Even those pickinh a name like I just did are also aninymous . It is simply fasrer and easier to click anonymous than make up some stupi name .

some stupid name said...

sorry for the spelling .Didn't review for mistakes before hitting Enter

Independent Frum Thinker said...

Anonymous Feb 21, 12:41 –
What you write makes a lot of sense. But even if they are right 95% of the time, we should always aspire for more and better. This blog is not about criticizing, it is about self-improvement.

Anonymous Feb 21, 11:42 –
Very true, and I made that very clear in my post. Schools have the right to hold on to their unique flavor. But thankfully you stress that you are not against everyone not of your type, rather you understand that one must see beyond labels too.

Megapixel –
Shmaya is one of my favorite readers and commenters. Apparently, others here like him a lot too.

Stop labeling –
Your point is well-stated. Making decisions based on image alone is shallow, wrong, and in the long run will come around to hurt us all. As I wrote in my post on the Internet, some good old-fashioned Yiras Shamaim is so desperately needed. However, one must keep a healthy balance. There are legitimate issues which some communities or individuals feel are very important to them, and they have every right to stand up for their way of life. The problem is when occasionally those issues are rooted in image and not Torah. It’s hard to walk the tightrope, but if don’t try we never will.

Feb 21, 1:48 –
I think you misunderstood him. H also agrees with what I wrote in my post that schools have the responsibility to maintain the standards of their school. He was referring to standards rooted in image and not in Torah. I think the two of you are in agreement; you are just looking at the issue from different angles.

Anonymous Feb 21, 2:32 –
Well, since you asked, here is my opinion.
If the newer people do not conform to the Hashkafos of the existing schools, they should band together and create their own schools more suited to their needs. I think it is wrong for them to water down the Hashkafos of established schools. They should either recognize that in this new place people have different standards and accept these standards upon themselves, or if they insist on maintaining their previous standards they should open their own school.

Anonymous Feb 21, 5:46 –
Good point. However, not everything is due to lack of funds. There exists a lack of motivation for people to take on the burden of opening new schools.

Mathematician –
I also think a 95% success rate is somewhat high. Though, you can’t deny his basic point that schools are trying to keep to a certain clientele.

B”H people are interested in serious matters too.
As for your comment on why so many comments are anonymous; I’d like to refer you (or any reader, for that matter) to two of my previous posts where I discus this phenomenon.

Sociologist –
Please read my two posts that I just referred to. I think it explains this phenomenon quite well.

Some stupid name –
I think there is much more to it than that. Please read those two posts.

socialworker/frustrated mom said...

I remember at least one of those posts I just didn't think this topic was controversial for most ppl to be anon.

motivated said...

Good point. However, not everything is due to lack of funds. There exists a lack of motivation for people to take on the burden of opening new schools.

But there are enough motivated people out there that if there was plenty of funding ,they would volunteer and hire the right talent to make the schools .

Independent Frum Thinker said...

That was the main point of my post on the issue of anonymity. We have become so judgmental to such a degree that people are afraid to express their opinion on almost anything. It’s truly very sad.

Motivated –
Well, as I wrote in my post on Tzedakah priorities, we have to get our Tzedakah priorities in order. If we would, we could combine the new funds with motivated people (yourself?) and starting implementing some progress.

Independent Frum Thinker said...

This post was printed in the Yated Ne'eman (March 16, 2007) on page 123.