Instagram handle nycprivateschoolwatch recently posted an explosive report that would make any private school parent in New York City’s hair stand on end. However, it flew under the radar with just 40 likes. Mainstream media didn’t pick up on the reform and private schools didn’t advertise.
Back in 2019, a brave New York City mom sent a letter to her children’s private school sounding the alarm. Under Article 78 legal action, New York State Association of Independent Schools (NYSAIS) sought to enjoin New York State Education Department (NYSED) from regulating independent school education in New York State. In April, 2019, the court denied the injunction. On July 3rd, 2019, NYSED quickly issued new regulations on independent schools through September 2019. The mom informed her school that the “proposed regulations issued by the NYSED continue to use ‘substantially equivalent’ instruction as a vehicle to delegate the direct oversight of [private school] to the local public school superintendent and local board of education. The profound threats to our ability to develop curriculum and determine who is best suited to teach the curriculum continue to be serious issues.”
Translation, private school parents pay private school prices (approximately $55,000 per child annually) and are saddled with the policy decisions responsible for failed education (for which their taxes support the cost of $28,000 per public school student annually).
In the words of the mom; “Governance threat: the regulations subordinate the legal governing authority of our board of trustees and administration to local public school officials. Essentially, what is at stake is preserving the independence of independent schools. It is precisely our independence that allows us to provide such a strong foundation for our students. [Private school’s] success and future depend on our ability to define our own mission and ability to create and execute our unique, innovative, and rigorous curricula.”
She lays out the unsustainable business model of falling under the auspices of NYSED. “This effort is duplicative and will impose significant direct costs on [private] school[s].” From the lengthy accreditation by NYSAIS to embedded proposed regulations of reporting regularly to local public school leadership, to all changes in curriculum, hiring, leadership, and staffing requested by local public schools.
Finally, she discusses the security risks private schools face if forced to be under the boot of NYSED; test scores, report cards, teacher lesson plans, proprietary information used for curricula that must be disclosed under new regulations that jeopardize confidential relationships.
There’s more. Recently, yeshivas have been targeted. Just like the Article 78 legal action which recieved virtually no airtime, the attempted yeshiva takeover has been kept relatively quiet. The reasons why appear to be sinister.
Yeshiva is a traditional Jewish education focused on the study of Rabbinic literature, primarily the Talmud and halacha (Jewish law). According to The Orthodox Jewish Public Affairs Council (OJPAC), enrollment in New York Jewish community schools reached a new high of 162,894 students in Kindergarten through 12th in the September 2021 school year. This is likely due to the radical lurch Left public and private secular schools have taken.
As per The Washington Post article, New York state officials proposed new rules requiring private schools to prove they’re meeting state education standards and that ultraconservative Jewish yeshivas are failing to deliver lessons in core subjects such as English, math and science. (They might as well be talking about their own public schools, except for the Gifted & Talented which they’re trying to do away with). Schools refusing to comply could lose their designation for meeting the state’s compulsory education requirements and funding. This is despite the fact that the Constitution recognizes religious freedom rights.
So why is New York State setting its gaze on yeshivas (and not school where Muslim kids go to recieve Islamic education)? According to The Washington Post, “Pearls, a coalition of yeshivas in New York that has been vocal on this issue, described the regulation as an effort to ‘dictate’ curriculum and faculty.”
It appears there’s a concerted effort to Marxify education in New York. Private, public, and religious schools should belong to the State. Yeshiva is simply not implementing enough woke policies and hiring woke educators and this has activated the tripwire. CRT’s focus on racism and sexual exploitation of children must get it’s mitts on yeshiva.
The Supreme Court accepted an application to decide whether New York State’s Article 78 was constitutional. 5 to 4, they held it premature as the yeshivas must first exhaust their remedies in the New York State legal system. Justice Alito wrote that if unsuccessful in New York, they can come back to the Supreme Court of the United States on the question on whether Article 78 violated the Constitution. This assault on the yeshivas by the NYSED may have been a bridge too far. It was one thing to assault independent institutions, it is quite another to sweep aside the guarantee of freedom of religion as a specific bedrock of the United States Constitution and which Alito said could be examined.
While New York City private schools failed to answer why they clung to mandates and forced CRT despite mass parental outcry and questions, it appears we finally have the answers.