Sunday, March 10, 2013

OU Clarifies Position on Blended Learning

After OU president Simcha Katz wrote an article endorsing blended learning in yeshiva day schools, including in new schools like He'atid but also in Yavneh, Maury Litwack from OU issued the clarification below.

I agree with the author that "Tuition relief will only come with all the available solutions working in collaboration."  I don't know why anyone reading the original article by Dr. Katz would assume otherwise. Nothing in his article suggests that blended learning would be a panacea to the tuition crisis all by itself.

My guess is that the clarification was driven by some angry phone calls or emails by supporters of existing schools that are threatened by the new models.   

Note from Maury Litwack Regarding Tuition Reduction Efforts

Recently, OU President Simcha Katz published an editorial in the Jewish Action regarding his thoughts on blended learning and the new schools that are built on this model. Some have construed this editorial as a singular endorsement for the future of Jewish education by the Orthodox Union. This is not the Orthodox Union position on tuition reduction
In the last eighteen months, we’ve spent a majority of our staff time launching state lobbying efforts to advocate for increased government funding for Jewish education. As we’ve stated many times in public and in the report that followed the OU tuition summit, we believe that government advocacy is a unique area that the OU can focus its expertise.
Additionally, we’ve worked with many other organizations such as Yeshiva University, Avi Chai and PEJE on collaborative efforts where available. Tuition relief will only come with all the available solutions working in collaboration.
I want to reaffirm the OU’s overall commitment to work with local community leaders in an effort to strengthen existing schools, shuls, and all similar entities, which are invaluable to Jewish life.
Maury Litwack
Director of State Political Affairs & Outreach