Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Welcome to the Yeshiva Sanity Blog!

Thank you all for visiting! The purpose of this blog is to facilitate a dialogue among Bergen County Day School parents, administrators, teachers and community leaders about how to run Yeshiva day schools in a manner that will be sustainable and will provide a high quality Torah and secular education for our children.

I want to thank 200K Chump for all of his hard work in facilitating an online dialogue on these issues for the past year and a half. I often disagreed strongly with what he said but I really do credit him with changing the conversation about Yeshivas in our area. While there has always been discussion among administrators, Board Members and trustees about trying to keep the Day School model sustainable, the voices of hundreds of anonymous blogging parents really convinced school administrators to make some drastic changes. Those voices also created an atmosphere that allowed for the creation of Yeshivat He’atid. Donors reading about how dire the situation was were convinced to support the new model. Parents who otherwise would not have heard about the school were informed about what was going on and became interested.

This is not to take anything away from the hard work done by founders of He’atid who are truly doing a wonderful service to the community. Nor is it a slight against the more traditional schools, their faculty, administration or Board. While I think there are some bad apples at every school, for the most part we are all working towards the same goal.

On a personal note, I have interests in both He'atid and traditional Day Schools. I hope they all succeed and I am not planning to shill for any particular school. Some of you who know me may be able to figure out who I am from the things I say but I ask that if you do figure it out you will keep it to yourself. Emotions sometimes run high & I don’t need someone confronting me in person about something said on this blog.

I am new at blog administration and would welcome any comments and/or suggestions about how it should be moderated. If you want your comment off-line, you can email me at YeshivaDad@gmail.com.I will try to come up with new posts every week or so, as time allows. I will not allow comments that slander people by name or that are wildly off-topic. If I see a lot of name calling I will have to start deleting posts that do it, or at least take that part out of the comment. Other than that I will try to stay pretty hands-off. 

Let’s all try to be respectful of one another’s opinions and remember that we are role models to our children and we should behave in a manner that we would expect them, as B’nei and B’not Torah to act.

226 comments:

  1. I look forward to the conversation about Yeshiva tuition continuing on this blog. Thank you again to our host YeshivaDad for agreeing to take over the conversation.

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  2. Good luck YD. Also, a quick question. Why the hell do yeshivas charge extra money for certain activities related to Chanukah? Is the crazy amount of yeshiva tuition they charge not enough to cover these events? This nonsense has to stop.

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  3. Heatid is awesome. God Bless GD and his crew of people.

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  4. Schools should have no more than 3 admins. One for secular studies, one for hebrew studies and one for pre-school. Everything else is just hacks wasting chumps' money and turning our yeshivas into employment agencies. All yeshivas should and could be as leanly staffed as JFS if they wanted to be. There is a reason a proven yeshiva like JFS charges so much less than legacy schools b\c they don't have tons of admins making 6 figures running around trying to make themselves look busy.

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  5. my school growing up only had 2 admins for 550 children.

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  6. Our schools have so many admins that one of them is dedicated to handle pizza delivery on Mondays!

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  7. YD, I do hope you will be a lot more rational than Chump, who's legacy is only hatred in my book.

    As far as Heatid goes, I am confused as to why they chose the Alvo Institute for their model. Here is a quote directly from Alvo's website: "


    The Alvo Story

    Sometimes the most unlikely of partnerships lead to the most interesting innovations

    THE SCENE: It is summer 2007 on the 10th floor corner office of a non-profit in Los Angeles’ Little Tokyo. In the office sits Russ, a chill and observant project manager born and raised in Northern California known for bringing calm and order to even the most frenetic initiatives, meeting with the data team at The California Charter Schools Association about a new data project. Russ had run with the big boys at Andersen Consulting (now Accenture) doing management consulting and project management for big ol’ companies like Clorox before moving over to public education. He had recently finished a job helping The Oakland Unified School District build a data warehouse.

    Enter Rebecca, who, not so quietly, hailed from the sarcastic quarters of the East Coast, and proudly wore her reform politics and passion for public education on her sleeve. She had worked in the arena of la de dah banking at firms including Goldman Sachs and Deutsche Bank in New York City. That afternoon, she had been in midst of teaching summer school to English Learners in East Los Angeles, CA. She had just been offered a spot on the data team at CCSA."

    Are these people wierd or what?

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  8. Very mature 8:06 - calling people "weird". What are you in first grade? Are they not "cool enough" to teach by your precious legacy school?

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  9. Looks like it didn't take long for the legacy hacks to find this new blog. Too bad....

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  10. I call em as I see em. And they are wierd. I don't want people teaching my kids who are self described as "chill", or "proudly wore her reform politics and passion for public education on her sleeve". I thought heatid was supposed to be a yeshiva. I was encourgaed by the hiring of Rabbi Gralla. I was not encouraged by this. Are you so heatid blind as to not undertand that their views are probbaly antithetical to Teaneck Yeshiva views?

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  11. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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  12. For those who accuse our existing schools of waste and fat, the head of He'Atid has already admitted that is not true. In February 2009, he wrote an article in which he stated:

    "There are some in our community who believe that our yeshiva day schools operate in a wasteful manner and there is much "fat" that can be cut from operating budgets. My experience as a board member of one of our local yeshivas has taught me that quite the opposite is true. As a general rule they run extremely lean and are very conscious of every dollar spent, knowing that the financial burden on parents is already overwhelming."

    In a court of law, that's what you call an admission against interest and He'Atid's case would be doomed.

    In the court of public opinion, He'Atid must offer compelling reasons why it seeks to drain resources from and support for our existing schools when there is, by admission of its own leadershio, no waste and when the schools are not running at capacity!

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  13. "You are an idiot. These people are blended learning experts"

    First of all, thanks for the compliment.

    Second of all, who decided that they were "blended learning experts"? Themselves? Did you even review their website? I doubt it. Well, I did. Here's what they have accomplished:

    They have been in business for four years. During that time, they have the Oakland Unity High School (zero relation to heatid), Rocketship (zero relationship to heatid)and Pacific View charter School (just started this year). All these schools are public schools and they are all on the west coast. If all I had for business were three schools in the last four years, I'd be out of business.

    So, I repeat, what makes them experts as you claim? And what do they have to do with a yeshiva in New Jersey? I don't see it.

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  14. 7:59, good point about local schools trying to emulate JFS, which has managed to keep tuition at a reasonable price. Perhaps someone familiar with JFS (looking at you Avi), can clarify how JFS manages to keep costs down. What do they do differently in the classroom or the administration?

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  15. The questions about the Alvo Institute are important.

    If supposedly the point of He'Atid is to contain costs to benefit our community, why pay a for profit organization with no connection to Jewish education?

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  16. Great poll on the righthand side of the page. If anyone would take a look at local public schools they would see that they have schools with 500-600 kids with 2 administrators. Legacy hacks just want to protect their own jobs. Bottom line is that not every yeshiva needs to be a Dalton or a Horace Mann. Legacy hacks just don't get it! You can get a FINE education with only 2 principals. Plus half the stuff principals are doing are really administrative tasks that can be done by others for half the price. Just ask the teachers in your school what all the assistant principals are running around doing.

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  17. 9am maybe the jewish organazation charges more?

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  18. 8:27,

    I tried deleting the slur without deleting your entire comment. I apologize. I'm new at this. If anyone can help me with the technical stuff please email me at yeshivadad@gmail.com

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  19. 9:11 a.m. or maybe somebody in He'Atid has a connection?

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  20. ". If anyone would take a look at local public schools they would see that they have schools with 500-600 kids with 2 administrators."

    Really? Thats not true. Also, are you aware of the cost of a Teaneck public school education?

    Read this: Prepare to be shocked! (how does $22k grab you?)

    http://teaneckcauses.com/teaneck-cost-per-pupil-22942-29-higher-than-nj-state-average-no-correlation-with-student-performance/

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  21. 922 do you know of any jewish organzation that can do this instaed of alvo? hmmmmm?

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  22. im so excited for heatid, i love my bumper sticker, espcialy when i drive to my legacy school

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  23. 9:00 - Why are they paying an organization not connected to judaism. Simple. No Yeshiva has implemented their model. It has only been done in the secular world. He'Atid has been very upfront about this and has stated many times that they are looking to leverage blended learning implementations from the secular world. Quite frankly, they would look like fools if they hired some YID who has never implemented blended learning.

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  24. First, Thanks for continuing the need for this kind of forum.

    Second, perhaps look into a better commenting system, rather than the built-in Google Comments? Disqus / IntenseDebate / Livefyre? You'll still have anonymous access, but the controls are better for streamlining the discussions. Less work on your part.

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  25. I still can't believe how much more affordable heatid is than the legacy schools. GD is a miracle worker!

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  26. Yid,

    Thanks for the advice. Please email me so I can get more info. Not familiar with any of those systems. YeshivaDad@gmail.com

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  27. 9:47, so you would agree with GD that:

    "There are some in our community who believe that our yeshiva day schools operate in a wasteful manner and there is much "fat" that can be cut from operating budgets. My experience as a board member of one of our local yeshivas has taught me that quite the opposite is true. As a general rule they run extremely lean and are very conscious of every dollar spent, knowing that the financial burden on parents is already overwhelming."

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  28. School Board MemberDecember 19, 2011 at 9:53 AM

    Yeshiva Dad - I found it interesting that in your post, you say "Emotions sometimes run high & I don’t need someone confronting me in person about something said on this blog."

    I'm not sure of your views on this, but this is what Board members and admins go through all the time - people confront them about issues, and it should be a discussion where people listen to eachother's views (but you're right, sometimes the discussions are tough).

    Part of the issue that the blogs have created is that anonymity has led to a lack of awareness of what exactly popular opinion is ... do people want reduced services, do they not, why? What do people realy think the right cost-cutting measures are?

    Schools have tried to run town hall meetings, and they are sparsely attended and then people on the blogs complain about what was said. It is silly to attend a meeting and be afraid to say what you believe and then loudly complain anonymously that nobody is listening to what you are saying (and speaking with your feet by leaving the schools, sometimes).

    Do people have suggestions of how the schools should get a true sense of popular opinion of things without people fearing that expressing opinions (in a decent manner) will cause retailiation of sorts?

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  29. 9:36 -- the fallacy in what you say is that most every Jewish school HAS implemented one form of blended learning or another. The problem is that, for the most part, the majority of parents don't understand the meaning of "blended learning" as it applies to the wide array of mixed pedagogical approaches which leverage technology in some combination with frontal (formal) instruction. Hiring out to an outside agency is an affirmation that THEIR particular mix of pedagogical approaches is somehow valid (and validated) and will ensure education in the content areas we value. And as they are not affiliated with a yeshiva system, nor have they any inherent connection via their own background, that validation is absent.

    Computer based instruction is an unproven technique for students under 3rd grade, even in the secular world. Unless we are willing to say that a yeshiva classroom should be identical with other schools, then how can we say that a group with experience elsewhere can affect an adequate educational experience here? And if we say that a yeshiva classroom, aside from have a diversity of learners who need accommodation in 2 languages, have content which is even less tested in technological implementation, we are admitting that subcontracting our children's education seems short sighted.

    The studies floating around are not about elementary school students. The models in other schools are not proven in anything but the most basic standardized testing, and even then, the implementation is not necessarily something which will fly in what should be a more rounded and culturally integrated classroom.

    Blended learning MUST be part of any educational model. But it must be a tool which arises organically as a means for communicating content, not as an end goal. Current schools do need to explore the newest technologies but they also must decide if those methods and means may not be appropriate or necessary. Lecture gave way to group work but lecture still exists for a reason.

    Will competition in the market place help the end user? Sure. But it should be competition with student success in mind, not with an eye towards buzzwords or abdicating local responsibility and control.

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  30. 953, funny i thoght legacys used to say blended was bad,

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  31. The founders of He'Atid have also said that blended learning has been around forever. This is true but then why do they need consultants to teach them a "new model". I believe the issue is that blended learning doesn't really get you a better education at a lower cost. You get what you pay for and blended learning is one technique for teaching not a magic formula. No one, including the school examples highlighted by He'Atid, claims a better education at a lower cost. Perhaps that is why they need consultants to help with promotion. Since the facts don't support the claims being made, He'Atid has had to be masters of PR. More power to them in their success on the PR front so far. On the educational side there are still a lot of questions.

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  32. 10:03, your comment reflects the naivite of He'Atid supporters. It's difficult for 20 or 30 years olds with children at most in pre-k, it's difficult to know what's actually going on in our schools. That's precisely the reason you should not be accusing our schools and educators. It's a trifle arrogant, isn't it?!

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  33. 1005. If u get what u pay for are then you will have to admit Ramaz students get a better education correct? Your words not mine

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  34. Why would modern people in bergen county send to a school where the Rabbis are not modern?

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  35. The He'Atid rabbis are not modern?

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  36. Schoolboard member,

    I appreciate the increased transparency from Board Members & admins. The Q&A sessions done by schools recently have been very productive in informing people about how their dollars are being spent. I encourage more people to attend them. Please let me know when the next one will be in your school and I will be happy to publish it here so all the readers are aware of it & can attend. I'm sure you email the parents about it but frankly, I get some much garbage emailed to me from my school that I rarely check my school email account.

    I think there is a need for an anonymous online forum in addition to the live meetings some schools have been arranging. Not everyone has time to attend the meetings and some people are wary about expressing their views in public for a variety of reasons.

    I have no doubt board members and admins get confronted by parents all the time. That is the nature of their jobs and I don't envy them for it. When done in a respectful way it is a positive thing so that the board members and admins are made fully aware of what we the tuition-payers are going through and just how dire the situation really is.

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  37. 10:13,

    I think 10:12 was referring to the Rabbis of a certain legacy school. I don't think Heatid has hired Rabbis yet as far as I know and would they even hire rabbis when the oldest grade is going to be first grade?

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  38. "Do people have suggestions of how the schools should get a true sense of popular opinion of things without people fearing that expressing opinions (in a decent manner) will cause retailiation of sorts?"

    -Perhaps they can send out surveys to all the parents. Put a number on each survey so they can make sure there are no duplicates and parents wont have to put their names on them?

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  39. 10:03 -- I don't know why you find that funny. It certainly is inaccurate. What you might have heard is the reduction of "blended learning" to the notion of "computer instruction alone" and the legacy schools happen to think that that's a bad idea.

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  40. YD,

    Many schools have run anonymous surveys of parents and the results are generally very supportive of the school. In fact, the results seem to argue that the population of people who are unhappy and post anonymously is very small compared to the vast majority who are very happy with the current schools. I understand that not everyone is happy but it would seem that anonymous blogging only amplifies the voices of the unhappy and drowns out the voices of those that are happy and likely don't even bother to comment. Maybe this is why He'Atid has not hit its target for registration. Given the posts and comments on Chump's blog I would have expected there to be a run on the schools (remember the comments about 'you better register right now or there won't be a spot'?). Now it seems like there is plenty of room and there is even concern that many people are double registering.

    I'm not saying that everyone wouldn't like to pay less and get more. I just don't believe that there are as many dissatisfied and argumentative people out there as Chump's blog would imply.

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  41. I am curious as to what resources He'atid is draining? People who are sending there are not satisfied with what we have now - whether for financial or educaitonal reasons. They were not giving this money to other schools. The big donor certainly is not interested in funding the models of the other schools.
    The fact is that the models of the current yeshivas do not lend themselves to substantial cost cutting.
    To answer those who have criticized the alvo institute - they are providing feedback and training for the model - specifically the secular part. Clearly the school is working with YU, companies in Israel, rebeiim, for the Judaic side. To say that a secular company cannot help enhance schools is ridiculous.
    It is amazing to me that people are so scared of something new and different that really might make a difference in the community. He'atid has blended learning - like all the schools - difference is that their structure lends itself to cost cutting. Difference also is that they are applying it across the board, not just to a math class. For those who say there is no proof that it works in grades below 3rd - there was no proof we could fly till the first airplane worked. That aside, in K, for instance, the amount of time that kids will be on the computer is about 1 hour a day. That leaves about 7 more hours. You can't tell me this is SO different from current models - or that somehow it will be so detrimental.
    What is most frustrating is that people who talk abotu He'atid's model generally have no idea what the model really is. Go to the next open house/ parlor meeting, speak to a board member, talk to Rabbi Gralla - then have an intelligent conversation about the school.

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  42. 10:42, then why the need for a new school when existing schools are not at capacity?

    In an economic downturn, normal economic principles dictate that there be consolidation not expansion. If the operating concern is communal costs, why is the community tolerating new schools, new shul and new anything? We should be conserving what we have not spreading ourselves thin.

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  43. 10:46 - what about the people who cannot afford tuition at the existing schools? are you really asking a serious question? The tuition for existing schools is going up and up -Scholarship is important - but if people can afford to pay their own tuition at a school - how about I send my tzedakah dollars to tomchei shabbos so people can eat?
    or - how about those existing schools which are not closed merge? why do we need the 5 or 6 we have now?
    Come up with a solution how everyone can currently afford a jewish education and then we can talk about why we dont need another school.

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  44. should read - how about those existing schools which are not full merge?

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  45. also -while the idea of scholarship is nice and important -did you ever think that many people want to be able to pay by themselves for their children's education? many people do not want to have to ask for a scholarship? What options are the existing five schools giving them?

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  46. 10:42, a couple of comments:

    1. what resources? Well, I could answer that the initial start up costs and donations which could have gone elsewhere now won't. you could counter by saying that if there was no he'atid, this money simply would not have been spent on anything. this may be the case. But my personal experience with people being solicited is that they are taking money that they set aside for some sort of donation and allocating it to he'atid instead of elsewhere.

    about the notion of innovation, you said "there was no proof we could fly till the first airplane worked." True. And that's why the people who flew at the beginning were the inventors who risked their own futures. Would it be sound business to ask for others to put their future at risk before there was a proven product? Maybe some parents are ok letting their kids be the trail blazers and if that's the case, then great. But to market this as a proven thing when it isn't is dishonest.

    And, yes, I read the documentation, posed the questions and went through the prezi with a fine toothed comb. So when I say that there are things that don't seem to work, it is out of knowledge, not ignorance.

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  47. We probably don't need 5 schools right now. Proposing a merger or some joint venture operations actually makes a lot of sense. Wasn't that part of the NNJKIDS mandate? It made sense until we got all sidertracked with these other ideas that do not have full communal support and are really about individuals taking matters into their own hands at the expense of the rest of the community.

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  48. Regarding the Yeshiva classroom being different, can someone explain to me how science, social studies, reading/English, and arithmetic/math are different in a Yeshiva classroom than in a secular classroom?

    Regarding differences in "levels" of students... sure they are different, all kids are different, but how is a classroom comprised of upper middle class white Jewish kids of ashkenazi descent with two university educated parents a more diverse student body than a public school that generally has a mixture of ESOL kids, first/second generation immigrants, blue collar middle class families, and university educated families?

    Why is teaching Hebrew as a language fundamentally different than teaching English in an ESOL environment, or Spanish/French to English speaking Americans?

    At the early elementary school level, what is actually so unique in the Judaic instruction? Perhaps it's different in Bergen County, but in Miami, at the lower elementary school grades, it's a LOT of art projects and Parsha, and while the content of our religious instruction is unique (Parsha w/ Midrashim and some formation from commentaries), the methodology could borrow from how you teach "Bible Stories" to gentile kids in a Sunday School/after school catechism format. The content is different, but we're not exactly the only Americans trying to teach our children the stories in Bereshit, even if our details are different because we're using Midrashim and they're using a bad translation of the original text (Hebrew -> Greek -> Latin -> English), but you really don't think that there is any benefit to learning how they teach?

    Something I've found remarkable, is that when we had non-Jewish friends over for a Shabbat meal, is how MANY of the rituals that were recognizable to Catholic/Evangelical/Muslim/Mormon friends, rituals that weren't recognizable to secular Jewish friends/family.

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  49. 10:42 said "That aside, in K, for instance, the amount of time that kids will be on the computer is about 1 hour a day. That leaves about 7 more hours. You can't tell me this is SO different from current models - or that somehow it will be so detrimental."

    This is so symptomatic of the double-talk from He'Atid proponents. Is it very different and that's why there's no need for resource room, more admins, etc. or is it just cost-cutting by cutting out these services?

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  50. 10:53 - why was everyone so sure BPY or Noam would work?
    Also, the major donor of He'atid was not intersted in giving to the existing schools - in fact, he never gave and would not have given. So your theory is wrong.
    What school has full support from everyone in the community? He'atid clearly has enough support to start up - they have over 100 students - more than Noam or BPY started with. If you aren't interested - dont send.
    But either way - NNJKIDS is still around and no one is making a move to merge. Everyone thinks in ideas and theories - people should merge -schools should lower costs. Show me results. You havent' answered how existing schools can serve those who just can't afford $12k+ for yeshiva education.
    you say individuals taking action into their own hands - i say people actually taking action instead of talking. the market speaks, competition speaks. He'atid is good for the community -whether you send or not because it will force schools to make changes that are good for the parent body and the future of jewish education. You dont believe me? Wait till SACS actually opens - maybe not the first year -but the second year and see how many schools lose a lot of kids because the parents can't /wont pay. Then we can sit back and all talk about how we should have just let things stay as they are with existing schools. not one of those schools was making changes until there was competition. and even the schools who have lowered costs for preschool have done nothing for the upper grades. I am curious - since you seem to think that the existing schools can solve the problem - what is the plan for lowering tuition in the grades 1-8 of the existing schools?

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  51. 10:56, the "blended learning" thing is b.s., a pretext. What they want is a low cost schools. They've said so. Their real plan is to cust costs by: (1) having fewer teachers; (2) fewer administrators; and (3) more students in each class. As a consequence, they are abandoning any form of special services for students at the margins and any extra-curriculars that they determine not to be essential. Yes, you go it, they want a lower quality school but they can't market it that way. So, they introduced this "blended learning" concept, which is not appropriate for the age groups they are educating and for which they themselves, now acknowledge, there cannot be much computer time. The OU and Avi Chai bought this double talk. Fortunately, many are starting to realize the ruse it really is.

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  52. 10:53 - the differences between scholarship policies is such a red herring and a response to populist anger ... if you look at He'Atid's website (in the FAQs), and the prezzis, you will see that there is no difference between the scholarship grant criteria at He'Atid and the other schools. In addition, the other schools findraise as well, in many cases funding the entire cost of scholarships - what the fundraising is for ... well, you know, money is fungible, so again, it's just PR.

    So, the only difference is price point requiring fewer people to be on scholarship, but scholarships in and of themselves are not the cause for lower tuition at He'Atid. Nor are the other "Occupy Legacy Schools" pet peeves, such as lack of school on Election Day. So, it remains to be seen exactly what is the rationale for the lower costs at He'Atid. My suspicion is that it is not actually lower costs, just better marketing leading to more outside fundraising. So, again, it's community dollars paying the way, but just in a different form.

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  53. 11:02 - which many? the more than 100+ signed up? in prek and k - there is a teacher and an assistant - same as all current schools. Same in 1st grade. in prek and k -they have no more than 20 kids. check the current schools - there are classes with 21 and 22 kids. First grade will have between 22-26 - again, check the current schools - many classes with 22-24 kids. again - if you want to have a discussion use correct facts.
    Tell me what good all the administrators are in all the current schools? Many people think that those schools could be leaner by cutting admins - that they dont necessarily improve teh school.
    How are they abandoning special services. I can tell you that if my son is in 4th grade at a current school - and he is a math whiz -he will not be serviced the same way he will be when He'atid gets to that grade and be able to move on at his own pace.
    what is your proof that an hour on a computer is not appropriate for a K aged kid?

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  54. Miami Al -- in an elementary setting there are a couple of things that should be happening (which may not be, but if we are starting a new school, why copy a broken model).

    Instruction in Hebrew should be tied to religious instruction -- prayer etc. Thus it would be different not only from a public school class, but from any other language class.

    Instruction in secular classes should be done with an eye towards religious sensibility and sensitivity. Cooperation between teachers should allow for cross germination of ideas and themes between Judaic and secular courses, creating a real integration of topics and understandings. This, also, could not happen in a public school. When my kids in a legacy elementary school are writing a basic paragraph, but the content about "leaves in fall" is about using leaves for the sukkah as schach, then they are getting an experience they would not get elsewhere.

    About the notion of "diversity" -- the yeshiva school has students from 2, 1, 3 or more or no parent homes. Parents have educational backgrounds ranging from elementary school to doctorates. Some parents are blue collar workers, some are white collar, some are much older and retired and some are unemployed. The schools have students with a wide range of particular needs, and a large number who have educational needs but their parents will not get them tested, putting even more burden on the teacher. The range of abilities and backgrounds is incredibly wide, but the educational resources given the teacher in terms of support is not.

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  55. 11:03 -that is incorrect. while other schools fundraise, they build scholarship into the tuition of every parent. He'atid does not do that -they will raise all the scholarship money needed and not build it into the tuition.

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  56. 11:07, that's what this is all about, isn't it? You object to having to make mandatory scholarship payments to the schools to assist others. At least you are honest. Instead, you would like a small base of philanthropists to donate a greater percentage of money to underwrite the scholarships. I suspect those philanthropists, to the extent they have not suffered by the economic downturn (big assumption), will likely have to reduce contributions being made to other institutions. Is it really worthwhile to shake things up? I suspect you will say yes because you find it morally repugnant to be required to pay for someone else's schooling. I guess you also find tax payments going toward schooling repugnant as well.

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  57. Anon 10:08 - If u get what u pay for are then you will have to admit Ramaz students get a better education correct? Your words not mine

    Of course they do! Nobody has ever doubted that.

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  58. YD - re your suggestion on surveys. I think that some schools did them over the past couple of years and it overwhelmingly demonstrated that people were very happy. Yes, the surveys were focused on education, but what should be asked? "Do you want tuition to be lowered?" Let me guess, 90% of the people will say yes (and so would I). However, they are not faced with the choices and the reality. The only way to get people to understand what is going on is through increased transparency, which I am an advocate of, and, as you noted, is being effected.

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  59. As for the guy who commented that money being donated to heatid is money that otherwise would have gone to a legacy school: You must be on serious drugs. I have donated early and often to heatid but would not give a penny to any legacy school under any circumstance so your theory of draining resources is nonsense.

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  60. 11:14 - nice twisting of words. I actually just stated the facts with no opinion. But since you seem to think i have one - I object to parents who are barely making it themselves having to pay an extra k or 2k when people are willing to contribute to scholarships. people who would be able to make tuition now have to struggle because they can't really afford it. And certainly while not everyone can contribute more - many can as evidenced by the huge amounts collected during scholarship breakfasts, dinners, etc. Also note that He'atid has gotten enough pledges to cover scholarships for the first two years and that is without having a dinner, breakfast, etc. Also on a bit of a separate topic -it will be interesting to see what percentage of He'atid parents apply for scholarships vs the percentage of existing school parents. -how many parents can make tuition when it is lower and dont need to ask.

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  61. 11:07 - how should the calculation be done? Revenues expressly designated for scholarships compared to costs of scholarships? Or voluntary revenues compared to costs of scholarships?

    If the former, you're right ... He'Atid will probably have the other schools beat ... If the latter, I'm not so sure. Since money is fungible, it seems to me that it's all marketing, isn't it?

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  62. I am sending to Heatid next year and will gladly make voluntary donations to help others in need attend Heatid if they can't afford the price tag. On the other hand, I wouldn't give a bloody nickel more than full tuition to the legacy school my older children will be attending. There are many others like me.

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  63. We should do a survey to determine when He'Atid will announce the switch in its bait and switch. Right now, everything is perfect. It has a price point 40 percent lower than all the other schools, it has all its scholarship revenue funded, it has top experts in "blended learning" preparing its world class futuristic educational program. It's got a little itty bitty school that meets all its physcial needs.

    Now fast forward three years and He'Atid actually has to educate children older than Pre-k. Some of those children won't be the perfect geniuses their parents expect/think they may be. Some may need a different type of classroom than the one outfitted for the 26 perfect students in each class. He'Atid will have more students and will need more scholarship money. It will also need more space and will have to determine whehter/where to purchase a facility.

    Bets on when the switch happens????

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  64. 11:27 = a worried legacy hack. I truly feel bad for him.

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  65. 11:27 - I think it will happen, but will take close to 5 years. Three years till they realize it plus two years of major donors funding it at serious losses. Then donors will pull the plug and things will change.

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  66. He'atid actually has the money to purchase a facility now. They didnt because it is not easy to find one available in the short amount of time they needed it - and they wouldn't buy the Noam building because it is too small for their future projected needs. Again - if you want a discussion, use facts.
    No one knows what three years will bring - no one can project. But you are not understanding the model if you think it only speaks to geniuses. The example used at the open house was not of the kid who is the math whiz but of the kid who can't understand setp 3 of long division. so the computer breaks it down in the 'language' he understands - visual, auditory and he practices until he gets it. He doesnt have to worry that the class is moving on without him like in current schools. You can transfer that technique to kids who are strugling to learn to read or who are struggling with science. The classroom at He'atid is much more flexible that way.
    Also - if 11:27 is to be honest, he would have to say that all current schools cannot serve all students -even with taking them out and giving them resource room. Many students switch to other schools for special programs that those schools offer. Clearly no schools can serve every single kid - but why pick on He'atid for that when the current schools cant' either.

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  67. 11:20 - I don't know what school you send to but in my school scholarship is covered by donations. I've heard many claim that He'Atid will be so much lower exclusively because of their policy regarding scholarships. I simply don't understand the logic when schools in our community are already paying for scholarships through donations. This is why people suspect a bait and switch. The assumptions just don't hold water.

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  68. 11:34 - you are misinformed. Every existing school adds scholarship to existing tuition. and He'atid does not make that claim. this is one of the ways they are lowering tuition - not exclusively. Again, stick with facts.

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  69. 11:34,

    You keep running your filthy mouth slandering heatid about "bait-and-switch" and I'll take the thousands of dollars I'm saving next year at Heatid and put it in my bank account that has been depleted over the years by the damn legacy yeshivas. Sound like a plan?

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  70. 11:33, the head of He'Atid told us in February 2009:

    "There are some in our community who believe that our yeshiva day schools operate in a wasteful manner and there is much "fat" that can be cut from operating budgets. My experience as a board member of one of our local yeshivas has taught me that quite the opposite is true. As a general rule they run extremely lean and are very conscious of every dollar spent, knowing that the financial burden on parents is already overwhelming."

    He'Atid is the one that needs to provide compelling reasons for starting a new school.

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  71. 11:37 - why do you keep spamming this blog by posting the same crap 15 times again and again? If you don't like heatid then don't send your kids there. The rest of us will enjoy the thousands we are saving off tuition. GD doesn't have to justify d*ck to you.

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  72. 11:37 - who do they have to prove it to? They proved it to enough parents so that they have students who are going.
    the remark was made about the model of the current schools. it is correct -within their model - without firing existing administration, office staff, fixing resource room - the schools run very lean and not much cutting can be done. Change the model, though, like He'atid is doing and schools can become more affordable.

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  73. 11:36 #1 - have you spoken with board members at your school? I have with mine and have the facts.

    11:36 #2 - "filthy mouth" - really? I said that people SUSPECT a bait and switch. This is an observation. Look at the comments above and tell me I'm wrong that people have this suspicion.

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  74. 11:37 - oh and taking out built in scholarship in every tuition - that is part of the model as well

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  75. "Anonymous said...
    He'atid actually has the money to purchase a facility now. They didnt because it is not easy to find one available in the short amount of time they needed it - and they wouldn't buy the Noam building because it is too small for their future projected needs. Again - if you want a discussion, use facts.

    AND, OF COURSE, YOU HAVE PROOF OF THIS, RIGHT? PLEASE PROVIDE IT AS I NO ONE HAS HEARD THIS BEFORE.

    No one knows what three years will bring - no one can project. But you are not understanding the model if you think it only speaks to geniuses. The example used at the open house was not of the kid who is the math whiz but of the kid who can't understand setp 3 of long division. so the computer breaks it down in the 'language' he understands - visual, auditory and he practices until he gets it. He doesnt have to worry that the class is moving on without him like in current schools. You can transfer that technique to kids who are strugling to learn to read or who are struggling with science. The classroom at He'atid is much more flexible that way.

    HERE'S THE PROBLEM. I HAVE HEARD THIS FROM HEATID AD INFINITUM. HOWEVER, I TAKE IT WITH A GRAIN OF SALT AS THE FOUNDERS HAVE NO EDUCATIONAL EXPERIENCE. I HAVE SPOKEN TO MANY TEACHERS, BOTH PUBLIC AND PRIVATE. NOT A SINGLE ONE BELIEVES YOU CAN GET AWAY WITHOUT RESOURCE ROOM. NOT ONE. I BELIEVE THEM. YOU GUYS CAN CHOOOSE TO BELIEVE AND DRINK WHATEVER KOOL AID YOU WISH.

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  76. 11:41 -no you dont - your board member is not telling you the truth or is misinformed himself. every school builds in scholarship to its tuition.

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  77. 11:36 - what do you mean by "adds scholarship to existing tuition" - does that mean that if all voluntary donations would be added, they would be less than the scholarship costs? If so, and if you are so sure, why don't you tell me the total amount of the excess divided by the number of students in the school. So, if scholarships cost $1 million and voluntary fundraising equals $900k, and there are 500 kids in the school, how much is "added" to existing tuition? (The answer is $200). Those numbers are hypothetical - if you are so informed, what are the comparable numbers in the schools you know about?

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  78. As to the bait and switch, will the parents be able to sue He'Atid for the misrepresentation?

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  79. 11:44 - you would have to check with the schools that currently use this model and see how they run and if they use a resource room.
    Also, i think if you speak to the people from he'atid - i dont think their model excludes taking kids out if needed -i think it excludes taking the upper part and lower part of the class out because they can't be serviced. If one or two kids need that extra help, they will get it. But dont forget, in the model, other kids who get it are moving on, leaving the teacher to sit and help the child who is not getting it, as opposed to the regular class where the teacher is teaching to the middle of the class and can't concentrate on someone on the lower end.
    ALso, i take issue with you saying you have spoken to many teachers both public and private and they dont think He'atid can get away without a resource room,as likely the majority of them do not understand /have not looked into He'atid. My experience with these so called knowlegdable other teachers has been that they dont like he'atid because kids will be sitting in front of a computer all day. if that is their knowlegde of the school, it is difficult to discuss specifics with them.

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  80. "As to the bait and switch, will the parents be able to sue He'Atid for the misrepresentation?"

    Sure. As much as I can sue the legacy yeshivas for failing to give my children a great education and instilling a love of torah and middos in them.

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  81. 11:46 - are you serious? it is a fact that schools add scholarship into their existing tuition. what they collect at scholarship breakfasts, dinners, etc, while a lot, does not cover the cost of tuition for their students, so isntead of paying $15k, other parents pay more to cover that cost. why is there a need to further debate this fact?

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  82. Anon 11:37 - He'Atid is the one that needs to provide compelling reasons for starting a new school.

    For now, $9,000 versus $13-14,000 (among other things) is pretty compelling for some people.

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  83. 11:55 - smartest comment ever on this new blog!

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  84. 11:52,

    You have proof or are you continue to make the same unproven assertion that others have? I've seen comments about 2,000 to 3,000 dollars for scholarship. No way is this true at least not in my school. So let's say it is $200 or $300. Are we really debating based on a few hundred dollars? The claim that this is the reason (I've heard people say this is the main reason) that He'Atid can be lower cost doesn't hold any water. You don't want to pay a couple of hundred dollars to scholarship in your tuition? That speaks more to your willingness to help others out than anything about affordability.

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  85. School Board member,

    With no disrespect, you are a board member for a reason, and the board members should each individually have thoughts on what services should be changed, etc. You (a) have opinions as you are a parent, (b) talk with tons of parents, and (c) have insight into the operations of the school. As such, it is incumbent upon the board to discuss these options and ideas.

    In terms of surveys, a properly devised survey asks a series of questions asking many similar questions in order to rank interest in certain areas. An example is "would you prefer a guidance counselor or a gym teacher?", "would you prefer a guidance counselor or a resource room person?",etc. You run through a ton of combinations and then the algorithm ranks each item. There are online services that professionally create such services and allow them to be controlled and anonymous. I agree with you that we currently do not know what the "true" parent body is looking for, but please do not tell me there is no way to find out.

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  86. 12:00,

    With all due respect, who gives a crap how or why Heatid is able to charge so much less? I know my 401(k) fund won't be asking questions when I am finally able to max it out next year thanks to Heatid.

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  87. 12:00 -it is not the main reason and has never been the main reason stated at a he'atid open house or parlor meeting. Their main reason is their different structure.
    Dont forget one of the founders spent a lot of time on his school board and the on the scholarship committee at that schoool. The amount is more than $200-$300- i dont recall people saying 2k-3k - probably somewhere in between both those amounts. I guess you are outing yourself a bit - that for you those amounts are not significant. But if i have 4 kids in a school -even with your lower amount - it is $1200 extra. For anyone that should be a lot of money.

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  88. When you go to a hospital treatment do you base that treatment on some survey of patients as to what the treatment should be or do you rely on doctors to tell you what that treatment should be. I for one would not want to send my children to a school where the curriculum and administration of that curriculum is based on what some parent survey determined. Certainly not parents who are willing to sacrafice quality schooling for a momentary cost reduction that cannot be sustained.

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  89. the "bait and switch" comment is spiteful. you make it seem that the founders have an ulterior motive. if you wish to say "they may have a rude awakening in a few years", that would be more fair to say.

    let's keep this new blog a bit more respectful. give all schools the benefit of the doubt that they are doing what they perceive is right. while we might disagree with some of their views, please realize they are not doing anything with ill intention.

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  90. 12:07 -What is your proof for saying it can't be sustained - you seem so sure - please show everyone your proof. And, let's say He'atid has to raise their tuition a few k - dont think the other schools aren't doing that as well. So i would still rather pay $11k at He'atid than $17k at the next lowest priced school.

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  91. "Certainly not parents who are willing to sacrafice quality schooling for a momentary cost reduction that cannot be sustained."

    Maybe I can't prove to you heatid's model is superior but you can't claim that the legacy model is superior? Please cite me the statistical study demonstrating that my child will be better off in a legacy school versus heatid? You can't. Nobody knows what the future holds but if I can save thousands next year then I'll do it. It really isn't such a risk like the hacks are trying to make it out to be.

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  92. Anon 11:07,

    "Instruction in Hebrew should be tied to religious instruction -- prayer etc. Thus it would be different not only from a public school class, but from any other language class."

    Why?

    Seriously, why?

    For a millennia the Jews of Europe had a common language (with regional dialects), Yiddish, and Sephardim spoke a variation of Ladino. Should modern Jews have a common language regardless of where they live? Should that language be English or Modern Hebrew?

    If you know Hebrew as a real language, you can pick up a Siddur and read it. When Yom Tov comes, you can pick up the Machzor and read it. If you don't know Hebrew beyond "prayer book Hebrew" you struggle on Yom Tov. You can't just read Haftorah, because you lack the grammar/vocabulary. If you actually can converse in Hebrew, you can read it.

    This is just a different in philosophy, I think that Hebrew literacy for the Jewish people is critical for non-religious reasons. Israelis can show up at Chabad and immediately participate. My Day School educated but not religious friends really struggle with basics of Judaism. Yes, Day School educated Jews are fine in this regard, but how much is knowledge from Day School, and how much is rote knowledge from saying the same thing for two decades?

    Regardless, how does this affect Alvo as a consultant? Picking your Hebrew phrases from the Siddur instead of a secular "learn Hebrew for business" source doesn't change HOW you teach the language, does it? Sure, SACS couldn't do that (year one Ben Gamla had an issue with redoing workbooks to remove religious references, since all the elementary school Hebrew sources were from religious organizations at the time), but He'Atid could? Why would changes to the sentence selection to religious source material impact the methodology in which you teach it?

    "Instruction in secular classes should be done with an eye towards religious sensibility and sensitivity. Cooperation between teachers should allow for cross germination of ideas and themes between Judaic and secular courses, creating a real integration of topics and understandings. This, also, could not happen in a public school. When my kids in a legacy elementary school are writing a basic paragraph, but the content about "leaves in fall" is about using leaves for the sukkah as schach, then they are getting an experience they would not get elsewhere."

    Absolutely. That is a HUGE advantage that a religious school can offer. However, this isn't a Day School vs. Hebrew immersion approach, this is a "content permitted in private parochial school" vs "content not permitted in secular schools."

    However, does the methodology whereby one teaches children about "leaves" change with this, or does the sentence chosen change?

    He'Atid isn't a "secular school teaching Hebrew," it's a Jewish Day School/Yeshiva utilizing secular consultants on the methodology. He'Atid is a Yeshiva, you can still assign as the writing assignment about leaves for the Sukkah, but how you teach them to understand that the plural of leaf is leaves doesn't change, does it? If Alvo has a faster method for teaching kids "the leaves change colors in the fall" -- why does that NOT work for teaching children "the leaves are used for the Sukkah?"

    If you were talking SACS vs. JDS, you're 100% right about this. But we're talking teaching methodologies from a secular organization, not the charter vs. Day School.

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  93. Anon 11:07,

    Regarding math, teaching children to count up to 9 with the Menorah is a cute thing you couldn't do in a secular, but these sort of "math through Judaism" lessons don't apply by Kindergarten, that's PreK or earlier.

    How does Alvo's approach to math not translate to teaching in a Yeshiva classroom?

    "About the notion of "diversity" -- the yeshiva school has students from 2, 1, 3 or more or no parent homes. Parents have educational backgrounds ranging from elementary school to doctorates. Some parents are blue collar workers, some are white collar, some are much older and retired and some are unemployed."

    You think that this is MORE diverse than in a west coast public charter school? All those things are true out there as well, with WAY more of the parents being single Latinas just 16 years older than the child.

    Yes you have a "diverse" parent body in some sense, perhaps more diversity than in a Great Neck public school, but certainly less than a large school district outside the north east.

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  94. 12:07 - of course a survey should not dictate the final decision on how a school should operate. that being said, if an overwhelming majority of parents say they can do without a gym teacher (to pick a crazy example), then the principal and board would send out a pro/con analysis of the proposal to eliminate the gym teacher, and then the parents will have all the "facts" and be able to vote on it. As such, it is sort of a two-part survey.

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  95. "11:03 -that is incorrect. while other schools fundraise, they build scholarship into the tuition of every parent. He'atid does not do that -they will raise all the scholarship money needed and not build it into the tuition."

    How is this going to be done? They have already ruled out a dinner, tuition... Their parent body consists of people either cant afford to give more (why they chose Heatid initially) or people who take tuition money saved and fund retiremnet (which they should be doing). Where are the hundreds of thousands of dollars coming from for scholarship?

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  96. Give GD Shlishi. No one deserves it more than him. He has done more for the larger MO community than all the other wealthy do-nothings combined.

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  97. "Where are the hundreds of thousands of dollars coming from for scholarship?"

    There are some very wealthy parents sending to heatid because they believe that the educational model is superior (i.e., money is NOT the issue).

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  98. "ALso, i take issue with you saying you have spoken to many teachers both public and private and they dont think He'atid can get away without a resource room,as likely the majority of them do not understand /have not looked into He'atid."

    Of course they havn't. What is there to look into? They havn't taught a single class in order to illustrate their model. So, what do they look into, exactly? Some puff PR piece by some people who know next to nothing about education? Think of how dumb this sounds. You have teachers who have taught thousands of kids, spending many years in the classroom. Heatid has opened its doors, nor educated a single student. But according to you, heatid knows better. Grow up. Or chill out with the Alvo team.

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  99. He'atid hasn't ruled out a dinner. They haven't ruled out a scholarship reception. What they have ruled out is taking money for scholarship instead of having people voluntarily contributing it.

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  100. Anon 12:00,

    "You have proof or are you continue to make the same unproven assertion that others have? I've seen comments about 2,000 to 3,000 dollars for scholarship. No way is this true at least not in my school. So let's say it is $200 or $300. Are we really debating based on a few hundred dollars?"

    It's a marginal revenue vs. marginal cost issue. The schools like to say it doesn't matter because of "averages" but that's not the economic reality.

    The costs of scholarship are MUCH higher, because of tuition collection issues.

    If the cost/student is $10,000, and they only collect 2/3s, then tuition is set to $15,000.

    They'll do a lot of hand waiving about how "donations cover most," but the issue is that the marginal costs are borne ENTIRELY on the full payers, which is a decreasing number of students. They'll throw numbers out like "2/3s of families pay full tuition," but that's not real. 2/3s of families IS NOT 2/3s of students.

    In family based analysis, a family paying "in full" with one child in Kindergarten, is one family paying in full, while a family "on scholarship" with 5 children in the school is "one family." The percentage of students paying full tuition is MUCH lower.

    In addition, the numbers don't include the families that don't pay in full. They don't get a scholarship, but they bounce a check or two.

    Also, plenty of "scholarship families" are hidden in "staff discounts," where a family that would otherwise be on scholarship is suddenly not when mom gets a make-work job at the school for $30k, and her tuition is magically dropped from $48k (4x full) to $28.8k with a 40% staff discount (common here, your percentages might be less) and instead doesn't get a paycheck.

    Now that family is magically "not on scholarship," while they school is instead of a tuition check, is getting a free unskilled secretary of marginal benefit to the school.

    Are there a lot of families like that in your schools? I'm not in Bergen County, but the numbers here aren't that trivial. There are LOTS of office workers/pre school teachers with 3-4 children in the school and therefore are taking small checks in lieu of tuition, but it hides the true cost.

    In theory, the pre-school should have a transfer payment for $12k to the elementary/middle school if the teacher has 3 kids in older grades saving $4k/student, do any of your schools do that for budgeting? Here it's just a perk, nowhere in the budget.

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  101. "Think of how dumb this sounds. You have teachers who have taught thousands of kids, spending many years in the classroom. Heatid has opened its doors, nor educated a single student."

    Think about how dumb this sounds: Sending your child to a ripoff legacy school when there is a cheaper option in town that very well may end up providing your child with a better education.

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  102. 12:21 - that's right - we can never have innovaction and change because it has never been done before. The educational consultants clearly have educational experience -Rabbi Gralla clearly has years of educational experience. And other schools - like Rocketship and the schools who are using this model have taught classes and they are succeeding. The Jewish week also did an article about a jewish day school in Baltimore that is using this model and has had a very successful first year. Look into all the info above and think about how dumb your comments sound.

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  103. 12:23

    Ask Yavneh about the difference between having a voluntary scholarship reception and a required dinner. The answer was aprox $300,000 more when it became mandatory. Voluntary receptions dont cut it, especially when you only have 3-5 grades.
    Yes, there are some wealthy families going to Heatid. Is the school relying on them to contribute $50-100K every year?

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  104. "Ask Yavneh about the difference between having a voluntary scholarship reception and a required dinner. The answer was aprox $300,000 more when it became mandatory."

    Was it mandatory for everyone? Were scholarship leeches exempted?

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  105. 12:28 - the scholarship needs wont be the same at He'atid - most people getting scholarship do not get more than a few thousand - and definitely not full tuition. Cut tuition by $3-9k depending on the school and there is less of a need. Can't speak for every year, but donors have promised scholarship for the first two years at he'atid. that was announced. But either way - if you take the decreased need, you should be able to raise that at a dinner or reception.

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  106. 12:25

    Rabbi Gralla's greatest qualification is that he was a camp director?? Are you serious? I'm sure he is a great guy and he was a communication major so I'm sure he is very good at public speaking but years of educational experience to launch a radically new model that only a few schools are following?

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  107. "Rabbi Gralla's greatest qualification is that he was a camp director??"

    Keep it up. I hope you say something just a little dumber and untrue and then R' Gralla sues you for libel and slander.

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  108. "Give GD Shlishi. No one deserves it more than him. He has done more for the larger MO community than all the other wealthy do-nothings combined"

    why do you keep posting this same crap every day? does it make you feel better your kids are gonna become robots? LOL.

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  109. Rabbi Gralla is so much more charismatic and normal than the legacy admins that I have met to date. Take this from someone who still lives in the apartments and recently visited all the open houses.

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  110. "why do you keep posting this same crap every day? does it make you feel better your kids are gonna become robots? LOL"

    As long as they are robots who wear jackets in 8th than I will be ok. Jackets are very critical to our religion.

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  111. "Think about how dumb this sounds: Sending your child to a ripoff legacy school when there is a cheaper option in town that very well may end up providing your child with a better education. "

    And then again, it may not. In fact, it may be a disaster. You don't know. But, we appreciate you being the guinea pig here. The vast majority of us will wait till we see tangible results. And spare me the nonsense about how the school will fill up. I'll take my chances. If this is really such an execeptional learning method,, I'm sure many schools will copy it. My question is, why have hardly any schools gone in this direction?

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  112. "The vast majority of us will wait till we see tangible results."

    Sounds good to me. To each his own. Like I said before, my wife and I look forward to maxing out our 401(k)'s next year and fixing (on a more permanent basis) our leeky roof. Perhaps you are better off financially than I am so you can afford to wait. Either way, I really don't think my child will be scarred for life if it turns out a legacy yeshiva kindergarten education is slightly better than a heatid jindergarten education. I suspect my son will end up just fine 20 years down the road in any event.

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  113. 12:46 - why indeed? It isn't because they knew about his model, looked into it and decided against it. They had never heard about it until Keren and Gershon approached them. And again, in order to implement this model, they would have to fire many of their administrators, office staff -and in general, completely revamp and change the way the school is structured and run. Most existing schools are just not capable of this. Many, however, are adopting elements of the blended learning He'atid will use. For instance, I belive Noam and perhaps other schools are implementing ways for teachers to look, in real time, at what their students are doing on the computer with their math homework and are able to set the level of work for what each student needs. So schools will implement individualized learning - but it will not affect their costs because existing schools cannot change their entire structures.

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  114. That Rebecca lady from the Alvo Institute worked at Goldman Sachs, Deutsche Bank and Cushman Wakefield. Come to think of it, speculative synthetic CDOs are kind of like untested educational programs.

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  115. To the person who claims utilizing blended learning will not be effective, and therefore even if costs are lower, will not provide the desired educational outcome -

    What do you suggest to help lower the costs of existing schools? It is easy to besmirch ideas, but let's seriously hear your cure. I am sure there are less radical suggestions, so please provide them.

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  116. Isn't He'Atid going to be charedi or quasi charedi (whatever is fashionable these days among the 20 years olds leading our community)?

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  117. actually He'atid has a mix of students from the right wing to the less right wing - from all the schools in the community. So He'atid should be a mix.

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  118. Anon 12:19 - Where are the hundreds of thousands of dollars coming from for scholarship?

    Here's a very simplistic way of looking at it.

    Let's assume school X has 600 students, and has 200 students on scholarship. Let's further assume that the average scholarship kid's family can afford $8,000. So the school need to raise the following for scholarships - $14,000 - $8,000, $6,000 times 200 scholarship students, or $1.2M. That's happens to roughly be the number that similar sized schools have put forth as "scholarship".

    So, if in the future He'Atid grows and has 200 students that require scholarship, and they can similarly afford $8,000, then the scholarship fund must raise $9,000 - $8,000, $1,000 times 200, or $200,000. I think all will agree that raising $200k for a scholarship fund is easier than raising $1.2M for a scholarship fund each year.

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  119. "actually He'atid has a mix of students from the right wing to the less right wing - from all the schools in the community. So He'atid should be a mix."

    Oh. How terrible that might be if little Yossi learns that one can be MO without wearing a jacket for davening and without wearing a black hat like we are back in a polish ghetto or something.

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  120. Another one of those rude awakenings when middle school comes around and the question of co-ed or separate classes kicks in. It's all about cost though so shouldn't make a difference.

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  121. " I think all will agree that raising $200k for a scholarship fund is easier than raising $1.2M for a scholarship fund each year."

    You also are all failing to realize that people actually want to donate to Heatid. People don't want to piss money down the garbage can at legacy schools anymore. That ship has sailed.

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  122. "Another one of those rude awakenings when middle school comes around and the question of co-ed or separate classes kicks in."

    What is wrong with co-ed education? If you truly are MO this shouldn't be a problem. If you are charedi then go send to the one local charedi legacy school or send to Passaic or Monsey or whatever. My kids are all way too old for heatid but I'm just saying let us remember we are supposed to be a modern orthodox community despite the new young "right-wing" holier-than-thou only skirts-wearing crowd.

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  123. 1:01 -actually that was addressed at the Open House. Rabbi Gralla said community Rebeiim were his poskim and that by grade 5 there would be separation, if not earlier (i know of people advocating for much earlier). So there will be separation.

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  124. I see that nothing has been accomplished here in toning down the conversation. All we have here is the same old hateful convo, with a new blog name.

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  125. "Rabbi Gralla said community Rebeiim were his poskim"

    I hope that the more modern Rabbis are his poskim and not those hardcore right-wing people who support kollel.

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  126. Thanks, 1:05, phew, glad to hear that it's the charedi (quasi charedi) community that's going to get dumber and not MO.

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  127. I think a key point to make about classes and student teacher ratio at He'atid vs the other schools is more about support.

    Both models may have the same number of kids per class with 2 teachers. However at a legacy there is support for the teacher is they need it.
    At he'atid, there won't be. There isn't a resource room to consult with, there isnt even an early childhood director overseeing the staff.

    I think it is naive on the part of the he'atid founders to think that A) the teacher they hire will be so great and so well versed at dealing with all types of kids and levels that they can handle everything contained in their room . B) That Rabbi Gralla, while a nice man, is equipped to handle the needs to 80 early childhood students and staff having no experience in this area.

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  128. Why the debate on when separation of classes will happen? Isn't there a simple answer of what the school policy is? Is there a dress code? I heard that the answer given at the open house was a bit unclear.

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  129. 1:09 - interesting to hear that Noam kids qualify as quasi chareidi - since they separate in 4th grade

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  130. Yeshiva Dad,

    I would like to make several suggestions to make this forum more productive:

    1. No cursing, personal attacks (particularly the overuse of the word "hack"), or venomous comments.

    2. Commenters need to earn the right to have their comments added. No one wants to scroll through 80% of the mindless shouting and name calling to get the 20% that move the conversation forward.

    3. No one gets to post as "Anonymous." It's confusing and creates a false sense of irresponsibility on the part of the commenter. Even with a fake name, people feel more accountable for their words.

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  131. R Gralla DID NOT say the genders would be separated. He said, IF the economics work, THEN the genders would be separated.

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  132. He'atid is in the process of hiring an early childhoold director now. Again - anyone criticizing He'atid should really get their facts straight first. Why did you think there would be no early childhood director?

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  133. 1:12 - speak to him. Genders will be separated.

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  134. how can they hire another administrator? with Rabbi Gralla and the external consultants who will be helping him, sounds like he'atid will have 3 admins for 100 kids (or the equivalent of 15 admins for 500 kids). how do the economics work? i guess if you have a lot of donations you can "save" parents a lot of money.

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  135. 1:10 - I do believe the division of gender was discussed at the open house (as poster 1:12 said). In terms of dress code, if you truly make a determination about where to send your child based upon the dress code, then you have skewed priorities. Dress code aligning with your personal views should be a "nice to have", but in no ways should be a factor in calculating where your kid goes to school.

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  136. I keep watching the survey YD posted. Very interesting to note that most people feel that there should only be 2-3 administrators. Do people think there should be a full time psych at every school? If so, did you grow up with one in your elementary school?

    Where are parents willing to draw the line? If you save $5k would you be willing to forgo certain services? Would you be willing to have a larger class size? This is really the dialogue that we need to have. For some reason, as one poster noted above, yeshivas think they need to compete with schools like Dalton. Why can't we just have an average service offering? There are plenty of kids getting a good education in your normal, average public school type system.

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  137. So the head of school is looking to communal rabbis for guidance. Did any of those communal rabbis raise concerns about the effect that opening up another school might have on the existing schools. Or could it be that those communal rabbis would be fine with the "legacy" (read co-ed) schools falling apart since they obviously do not approve of them in the first place?

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  138. "7:59, good point about local schools trying to emulate JFS, which has managed to keep tuition at a reasonable price. Perhaps someone familiar with JFS (looking at you Avi), can clarify how JFS manages to keep costs down. What do they do differently in the classroom or the administration?"

    JFS:
    Building is modern, but was fully paid by a donor
    Limited administration, and admins also teach/sub.
    JFS pays staff less than BC schools. JFS gets quality teachers because it isn't competing with BC schools, it's competing with Brooklyn for staff. JFS pays its teachers better - and more reliably - than Brooklyn schools do.
    NY State pays for more services than NJ does, including secular textbooks and the school nurse.
    Classes are staggered to maximize teaching loads and keep costs low. That means some years your child will have limudei kodesh in the morning, others in the afternoon.
    There are fewer teachers per classroom than some BC schools. Class sizes are comparable.
    In general, before adding services or staff, the school does a tighter cost/benefit analysis than BC schools - R' Erlich says that the main communal pressure he feels is to keeps costs down, where in BC I'm told (by board members and parents alike) that the pressure is often to offer more either compete with the other schools or make specific donors happy.
    With all that, JFS tuition for locals is around $9300 or so all in - significantly less than the $14,500 - $18,000 all-in costs in BC, and roughly comparable to what HeAtid is charging. What's really remarkable is that JFS tuition has been flat for a decade. This is nothing new; JFS has a 50 year track record of affordable education.
    Tuition for BC parents is reduced further as an incentive to help fill classes and maintain the character of the school: $8500 all-in ($6500 plus $2000 for door-to-door transportation). Rates for families in Brooklyn are even lower.

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  139. I think a school with 500 kids built out to grade 8 needs 3-4 principals

    a) early childhood
    b) elementary school
    c) junior high school
    d) judaic studies
    3) headmaster/head of school

    in some cases the headmaster can also be the judaic studies principal.

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  140. Don't worry our schools will never compete with Dalton or Ramaz for that matter? It's just a question of how much erosion to educational standards the community wants to tolerate. The quasi charedi crowd is probably the element that struggles with this the most since they still want to maintain some standards while acting the part of holy rollers. Looks like the rabbis and the younger element is pulling them in the direction of educational mediocrity at best. Sad.

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  141. 1:34 - what is your evidence that He'atid will provide educational mediocrity? is it just easy for you to say? how do you know education will not be as good as at the other schools. Also know there are a lot of parents from the 'less right wing schools' sending.

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  142. Why do people believe that the more "right wing" will send to He'Atid? Is it because there is a perception that they can't afford to send to the current schools?

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  143. i find it amazing how people besmirch "educational mediocrity". was your education so great or was it mediocre, and how did you turn out? at the end of the day we are talking about elementary school, so maybe mediocre (but having family financial stability) is completely acceptable. Lighting with a candle, as opposed to oil, is mediocre, but I like to believe we both end up on the same cloud in heaven.

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  144. Yeshiva Dad,

    An interesting survey question could be around how many teachers need to be in a classroom with a certain number of students (of course it needs to be asked on a grade level, as the answers could be different). It can be worded as "Given a class of 26 2nd graders, do you believe we need - (a) 1 teacher alone, (b) 1 teacher and 1 assistant, (c) 1 teacher and 1/2 an assistant, (d) 1 teacher and 1/3 an assistant"

    People need to realize that the classroom structure has the largest impact on the school's budget (and therefore on the tuition costs).

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  145. 1:39

    again, it goes back to he'atid claims of better for less.

    i think people would have much less of an issue with he'atid if they had been upfront from the beginning. They they were starting a new model of education with the hopes of keeping tuition lower.

    there was no need for them to bash or antagonize the schools along way with claims of "Better" "Superior". There was no need to do a side by side comparison of "junk" fees as part of their presentation. There was no need to claim to the whole community that the schools bake into tuition thousands of dollars of scholarship money, when this is not the case. They don't need to claim that they can service every child, according to their IEPs better than a traditional classroom.

    He'atid could have done all their PR mastery without even mentioning any of the other schools by flaunting their educational model- but they didn't.

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  146. Thanks Avi!

    You are a good example of why we need a blog like this. I don't think too many BC parents even knew about the JFS option until you started mentioning it on Chumps blog.

    Are any children wait-listed or is there room in every grade?

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  147. Al -- by reading your comments, it is clear that you are looking for something categorically different from what I am looking for, for my children. The infusion of religious notions across the disciplines not as just Hebrew language teaches the broad presence of religion and discourages the compartmentalizing which allows students to dismiss religious ideology once the bell rings. Hebrew instruction also is a combination of grammar and vocabulary and the religious significance of the content. Fortunately, the options I have exercised have provided me and my kids with that experience, at the hands of administrators and teachers who share my values. An outside agency which does not MIGHT do a serviceable job in a secular vacuum (though that is not really proven) but without experience in the type of curricular design and implementation which complements the religious aspect of even secular instruction, I cannot feel comfortable. You can (and the comparison here IS between he'atid and public school because the question isn't about schooling options but about the experiential base of the consultants) try to place Alvo's methods on a pedestal, but their applicability in a proper religious educational context is unproven at best.

    As to diversity, again, you can make the claims you want based on your (lack of) knowledge. Legacy schools have ESL students, students with non-English speaking parents, absent (or jailed) parents, parents with their own LD etc. The difference is that the community stigmatizes LD students so fewer have the ISP's necessary and the classroom teacher, who is not trained to deal with many issues is asked to step in and apply differentiated learning or other accommodations on an ad hoc basis. Though you may think that the inner city public school has more of this, you'd be wrong as a general rule because the public school has advertised for instructors who are supposed to have been trained in that area, or provides shadows, aides or assistants specific to the plan for each student. Are there schools in certain areas which have higher percentages of students on reduced or free lunch programs? Sure. Are there those with more students qualifying for a variety of pull-out services or supports? Sure. But if you ask a teacher who has taught in public school and a yeshiva which one is a greater challenge in terms of meeting the needs of each student within the confines of the schooling system and the support it offers, most would say that the yeshiva environment is more difficult. And that comes from MANY years of experience and interactions with many teachers.

    While I appreciate your passion in your statements, they reflect someone with a different set of priorities and a lack of first hand experience in education.

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  148. Rabbi Gralla is a wonderful man, very dynamic. He has, however, stated very clearly that he considers YNJ to be Modern and not right wing, as you all here seem to think.

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  149. 1:45,

    I agree with you & we will do those types of surveys as well. Lets let this one run for a few days before we start up anoher.

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  150. A school whose purpose is principally and unconditionally about "cost first" inevitably will end up sacraficing educational standards. At least there are some here who are honest about that when they ask us not to "besmirch medicority." All they are saying is we do not place a premium on education. Let's put a rest to the educational comparisons. The issue is simple: Are you choosing a school for your children based on costs or based on educational standards and philosophy?

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  151. 1:47 - give me an example where any He'atid board member or administrator bashed the other schools? In fact -the one on the record quote that has been given is of a board member saying that the existing schools are being as lean as they can.
    really the problem is that people like you can't separate what he or she reads on a blog - so you assume anyone speaking on Chump's blog or this one is speaking for he'atid if the writer defends He'atid.
    And you are just wrong - the other schools do bake scholarship into tuition - and no amount was ever given by an He'atid board member. They decried the principal of it, but any amount must be from somewhere else.
    why no need to do a side by side comparison of the fees - and you are referring to them as junk fees. they did not. In selling their school He'atid certainly has the right to showcase what they see as the benefits - in that chart no other specific school was mentioned and the fees were not characterized as junk fees - that is you characterizing them that way.

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  152. 1:48,

    All that babbling about this and that. Just admit it: you are a legacy hack who hates heatid for exposing how much of a ripoff your cherished legacy school is.

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  153. "in that chart no other specific school was mentioned and the fees were not characterized as junk fees - that is you characterizing them that way."

    The fees ARE JUNK FEES and I only wish GD said so! I wish GD were less respectful to the legacy schools after the way they treated him. These legacy schools are so lucky that GD is an uber mentch and has done nothing but praise all the local legacy schools and otherwise acted above board at all times.

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  154. I am so happy that this blog has not missed a beat from chump's blog. Judging by the hit count and comments, it looks like the entire audience from chump has transitioned here. Thank you Yeshiva Dad for the forum!

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  155. 1:52 -- sorry to use all those big words and ideas. I'll try to dumb down my posts in the future. I guess that's what you want from education...

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  156. From a sociological perspective, it is very interesting to see how the younger generation now calls all the shots in teaneck.

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  157. Sunrise,

    Thanks for your suggestions. I'm starting to delete comments that refer to others as "morons", "idiots", etc. there's a little more leniency when referring to someones comment and not to the individual making the comment.

    As far as hack is concerned, it is certainly overused. I'm not really sure what it means so I'll let it go for now.

    I agree with you about having names, even if they are not REAL names, because the conversation flows much better that way and also because, like you said, people will be more respectful that way. The flip side is that less people will comment when they have to put names on, even fake ones, and I wanted to make sure to get the conversation going the first day. But since there is clearly no shortage of comments (150 in 6 hours in the middle of a workday) its probably a good policy to institute. Now I just have to figure out how to do it.

    As far as "earning the right to comment" - that just offends my sensibilities as an American.

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  158. "As far as hack is concerned, it is certainly overused. I'm not really sure what it means so I'll let it go for now."

    Look up "Hack" in your Chumptionary. It is listed there with pictures of many of the local legacy admins.

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  159. 2:00 p.m. I think you mean "sad" not "interesting." When people whose children have not even reached the age of a siddur or chumash play dictate the way schools should be run, there's something wrong going on!

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  160. I have had conversations with three heatid board members. They have all made negative and uninformed comments about the current schools.

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  161. 2:06 - the younger people are not dictating anything. they are merely choosing what they want. people are entitled to make choices - wise or otherwise.

    as we are a community with too many schools, their choice does impact the rest of the community. as such, this has been a hot topic. that being said it is a choice, and they are doing it for their personal reasons and not in any way trying to dictate what other people do.

    please respect the dynamic of personal choice. he'atid is merely the "new choice" on the block, so they are picked on. maybe you should pick on BPY as they are the "new 7th grade" on the block, and their existence in 7th grade is adversely impacting the economics of the other, more senior, schools.

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  162. If He'Atid wanted to distance itself from the negativism, all it had to do was disassociate itself from Chump and even make publicly clear that it did not approve of the damage Chump wreaked. It did not do that, presumably b/c He'Atid gained from all the free advertising. Let's have the leaders of He'Atid make a public statement distancing themselves from the negativity that was spread in He'Atid's name about our schools.

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  163. "Let's have the leaders of He'Atid make a public statement distancing themselves from the negativity that was spread in He'Atid's name about our schools."

    Here's an idea: Let's have the legacy admins and board members issue a public statement distancing themselves from all the crap many of them have been saying about heatid in private meetings with prospective heatid parents.

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  164. 2:17 - in practical terms, what would be the outcome if he'atid made a public statement (as you suggest) stating "chump is not a member of our board, and we do not have any control over his/her words. we also have no control over the anonymous posters who make hateful comments about the existing schools. it should be noted that only marketing materials and comments made under our letterhead should be recognized as coming from our school."

    then what? what would the practical difference be? would you get more students? would they get more students? would it effect chump or anonymous posters? what outcome are you looking for?

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  165. Heatid was founded as a result of chump.
    Their silence speaks volumes. ' nough said.

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  166. 230 that is a LIE

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  167. anyone else notice the counter on the bottom of the home pages, wow does any one work anymore?

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  168. Exactly 2:28, the objective was for He'Atid to get more students and Chump helped them do so. That's why Chump ended his blog with "mission accomplished." For some, the ends really do justify the means.

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  169. "You also are all failing to realize that people actually want to donate to Heatid. People don't want to piss money down the garbage can at legacy schools anymore. That ship has sailed."

    This definately takes the prize as the funniest post of the day! Legacy schools raise millions/year. Heatid has raised next to nothing other than 1 "Mr. Big" donor. I personally have hundreds of thousands to legacy schools. So have many of my friends. We couldn't even find heatid on a map, let alone give them any money at all. Anyway, they have no scholarships, so why should we help them? I wish them success.

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  170. If chump really did help get heatid off the ground then I will add him to my list of heroes. It is because of heatid and him that I can fix my roof.

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  171. 2:39, wait till you have to pay for your children's extra remedial classes after a few years at the Chump School as it you might as well name it. You won't be too happy about paying for that roof.

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  172. 2:43 = typical scare tactics legacy hacks are using to attack HeAtid. Shame on all of them. I heard that some are even being paid to attack heatid.

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  173. yep, getting paid big bucks to attack he'atid ... the pay has doubled on the new blog versus what it was on chump. That's why there are so many more "hacks" here today ...

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  174. He'Atid was founded by individuals concerned about the cost of tuition and the eventual demise the crushing costs may have on modern orthodoxy. It was not founded as a result of Chump.

    At most, you can say Chump helped publicize the existence of the school for parents to do their own research. It is rediculous if you really believe parents listened to the advice of chump or the anonymous posts.

    He'Atid's silence on what - the fact that someone totally disassociated from them is running a discussion group? It is like asking the existing schools from distancing themselves from the anti-tech articles in the NY Times.

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  175. I heard that certain right-wing Jews in our town think that RYNJ is too far to the *LEFT*

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  176. 2:43 & 2:46,

    Do you really expect to win over any hearts and minds with the tone you are both using? If not, why do you post?

    Please don't use the "he started" excuse. We all hear that too much at home.

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  177. Anon 1:48,

    Yes, my priorities are different, hence my making different educational choices for my children. My school options are ALSO different in the Miami area than you guys have in Teaneck.

    However, when I bring up questions about expertise, people anonymously attacking me misses the point. I have pretty extensive first and second hand knowledge into the runnings of organizations, as well as the finances of the schools, so I understand the numbers.

    Look, I think that an "integrated curriculum" is the ideal for a Jewish education (I'd call it the "holy grail" but I'm pretty certain that most of the readers here don't appreciate irony). But, in practice, the integrated curriculum seems to largely manifest in semi-trite scenarios, sentences regarding Jewish holidays in reading/writing assignments, etc. I say this not to dismiss it, but the very separation into Chol/Kodesh implies that they are separate, and any integration SEEMS to be oriented into using Jewish phrases/examples in the secular side.

    Once on Orthonomics, a History teacher at Ramaz talked about how they structured World History as a 90 minute class, and covered both Jewish AND "world" events, and wove the lessons throughout. Covering RAMBAM alongside the events in the Arab world at that time, and introducing other greats of Jewish thought into the time period in which they taught.

    That to me is the ideal way to teach history with a Jewish school. However, no other Jewish school, to my knowledge, has adapted this approach (even those with annual consulting contracts with Lookstein's organizations). Indeed, a rigid separation of Kodesh and Chol preclude such a process.

    Indeed, the "integration" seems to be ALL on the Chol side, indeed, nothing on the Kodesh side. Does anyone suggest that when teaching high schoolers various time periods of Jewish thought, they cover what was happening in the world of philosophy at that time and how it might have influenced Jewish thinkers? Of course not, that's decried as heresy.

    I don't know anything of Alvo and their methods. But if a secular group has expertise building schools around blended learning, why NOT take their advice?

    There are more secular schools than parochial. There are more Catholic parochial schools than non-Catholic parochial schools, and more Christian schools than Jewish schools. Refusing to acknowledge experiences and knowledge from elsewhere in NON Torah components is not just foolish, it violates Jewish tradition.

    There is a reason "SheNatan MeChachmato LeBasar VeDam" exists, even if unpopular in our ever more RW circles. :)

    If Alvo can help, I don't see why them not being NY Jews matters. If Alvo can't help, oh well. I wouldn't want them building a Judaic curriculum, but if they have insights for building a math class, why reinvent the wheel?

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  178. What if I need to pay for remedial classes for my kid - should I expect parents of children who do not need it to pay for my kid?

    Before you jump down my throat as someone who is selfish, all I am saying is that if there were a "pay to play" model, then there can be a core offering, and then separate scholarship funding for those who cannot afford the stuff in the "pay to play" section of the menu. Since when does everything in a school need to be a blended cost?

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  179. i would like to be charged for services that my child actually uses. if a child sees a social worker or psychologist during school hours let them bill that families insurance. Social workers and pychologists should not be subsidized by the entire school when everyone has insurance. similarly if a child is in a resourse room setting/ transitional classroom which has less kids and more teachers the tuition for that family should reflect the additional costs.

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  180. Those that support the legacy model are really modern day communists from Mother Russia. They want Chumps to support all the extra services that many chump kids do not need or benefit from. Here's an alternative idea: you need a resource room for yourself??? Ok. Great. Go pay for it with your own damn money. Don't make me pay for it. Why don't any of the legacy schools understand this. And don't preach to me about Torah values. These Torah Values of the legacy schools have bankrupted me and caused millions of unborn children not to be born.

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  181. "Those that support the legacy model are really modern day communists from Mother Russia. They want Chumps to support all the extra services that many chump kids do not need or benefit from."

    Here's a great idea. Almost all of us pay a fortune in property taxes that goes to public schools that we don't use. Why don't you demand the money back from Teaneck?

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  182. I don't use Votee Park. Why should I pay for them to clean it up! Sounds like Teaneck is really Mother Russia.

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  183. My kid hates gym. Should I have to pay for this? He never goes to the nurse, why does the school need one and why charge me for it? Call 911 if a kid needs a nurse. Come to think of it, I don't think he goes to the bathroom much in school, so why am I paying for the water bill?

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  184. 3:04 and 3:07 - you are saying it jokingly, but in fact a lot of people feel that way. taxes is a form of communism. all towns vary on the services they provide, and people have choices where to live. i am sure you are trying to say that "certain things are a communal responsibility", but if that was the case, then every town would offer comparable services (but that is not the case, as we see in our backyard where Bergenfield picks up garbage (and not Teaneck), but Teaneck pays for busing (and not Bergenfield).

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  185. 3:09 - not really -they are called special services because they are for kids with needs that are 'special' - as in not part of the normal needs of all students. it is not an issue of what your kid likes or doesn't like. it is what he needs.

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  186. Al -- the full integration is the Holy Grail (with all the irony intact) and is not just a pipe dream. A school starting over should be focusing on the approach that is most vital and optimal. By hiring an outside agency which CANNOT be part of that solution, all we have done is subcontract to the status quo. And is it being done on the kodesh side? Maybe less, but yes, it is. The problem is in making it an intrinsic and necessary part of the learning experience so it becomes the expected model and not a trite momentary bell and/or whistle. Maybe bringing in local educational visionaries who see that the blended model is actually a great choice of approaches when designing a large curriculum aimed at integrating fully would have been a better option that simply finding an outside group and handing the reins over. There are many teachers who are interested in this full integration, and many ideas that are bubbling under. No one has tapped into the resources around here because the "we've always done it this way" is very strong, and pays the bills.

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  187. People need to pick themselves up by the bootstraps and stop demanding services and scholarships. If you want a service but can't afford it, or if you want yeshiva but can't afford it, work a bit harder or raise the money privately. So many children masquerading as grown adults in our community makes me sick.

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  188. 3:09 and 3:11 - while i do appreciate your sarcasm, i do feel you are making light of a potential middle ground. there could be a middle ground between current practices of simply dividing total cost by total students, and the extreme of costing toilet paper by the wipe.

    rabbi teitz talked about better analysis through more specific cost accounting, so why is it so absurd?

    it seems a middle ground would entail a parent body that are on the same page of what items they deem "core" and what items they deem "extra". if everyone enters the school knowing this up front, then what would be the problem?

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  189. "and the extreme of costing toilet paper by the wipe."

    Kind of reminds me of charging a "security fee" to help pay for security.

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  190. 3:16 - I am not sure He'atid said it was refusing assistance from Jews in helping build out their curriculum, and abdicating all responsibility to its non-Jewish consultants. I am sure they are more than happy for Jewish educators to volunteer (and even apply for a teaching job) who can help shape a better model.

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  191. The point is, if you live in a community, you have to pay for services. You don't have a choice. Your health care premiums are high because some numnutz who smoked all his life and never exercised has cancer. If you choose to send your kids to private school (yeshiva, parachial, college, whatever), you pay what they ask. You don't have a choice as to who gets paid what or what services are provided or not. That's reality. You don't like it? Too bad. Either move, or send your kids elsewhere. I'm not thrilled how some of my taxes are being spent, but I don't complain.

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  192. 3:20 - i guess you could decide to not pay for security and your kid can wear a pin that says 'don't save me' in case something happens.

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  193. 3:17, thank you for your honesty. You have demonstrated what this is all about. "Picking oneself up by boostraps" is the mantra of those who believe that individuals should be saddled with responsibilities toward others. The problem is that Judaism is a communal religion that imposes the responsibility of educating on the entire community. Were there to be no social workers, psychologists and administrators in our schools, they would like be no students either.

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  194. "The problem is that Judaism is a communal religion that imposes the responsibility of educating on the entire community."

    Judaism teaches that one must avoid taking charity at all costs unless absolutely necessary. How the hell is buying a house in Bergen County that you can't afford and then demanding that chumps pay for your kids tuition a Jewish ideal? It isn't. These kids need to move out of Bergen County. Please don't move back until you can afford to live here and pay full tuition.

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  195. 3:23 - so to be clear on your point though - you are fine with he'atid existing even if it offers less services than other schools, as you state "...or send your kids elsewhere." it is nice to hear that, as some people are trying to say the school is "obligated" to provide all the services that the broader community may have.

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  196. 3:23 -there are different ways of passing on that responsibility. The argument isn't that people shouldn't be responsible or take care of others. The argument is how it is done.You could say - everyone pays - even those who are barely making it for themselves have to help pay for someone else. Or you could say - those who have more, will you help. The problem is asking people who can barely afford to educate their own kids, to subsidize others. Scholarship fundraisers have shown that people dig deeply when asked and when there is need. And if those fundraisers aren't enough, then private phone calls are made to individuals who can help. it is rare that a child is not allowed in a school because he can't pay -private phone calls are made and funds are raised. but they are raised from the people who can afford to give. I actually think even people who can barely afford would be happy to give if it was their choice as opposed to it being forced on them.

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  197. 200 Comments on day 1 of this blog. Well done Yeshiva Dad!

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  198. He'Atid will become the school for those who don't want to provide for others and the current schools will continue to provide for everyone. He'Atid's parent body will be those who believe that I take care of myself and you should take care of yourself. Current schools will follow a more mainstream Jewish concept of community. Everyone should be happy and comfortable with their approach.

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