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October 2, 2014 / 8 Tishri, 5775
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No Child Left Behind: A Jewish Value

The students who need the attention the most are the ones whose egos have been destroyed by a lack of success in the schools. If you ignore those kids, the chances of them going OTD are exponentially increased.
Dejected student

Dejected student
Photo Credit: Nati Shohat/Flash 90

I unfortunately know students like that. They are from fine religious homes with good parents and exemplary siblings. Yet they have gone OTD. And if you examine their scholastic history – you will find that they did not do well in school. They thus were ignored. And ended up hating the school… and the religiosity it represents to them. That is criminal.

Rabbi Aisenstark tells us that at a wedding not long ago, he saw an 18 year old pour himself an 8 ounce glass of alcohol and drink it as if it were water. And after a coke chaser, he filled up his 8 ounce glass with alcohol again.

This doesn’t man that every student that doesn’t succeed in school will become an alcoholic. But the image should be a wakeup call for that a kind of potential. Or worse.

What to do? In the short term he suggests that the parent body of any religious school system such as Torah U’Mesorah offer courses in how to teach to everyone. In the long term he says that the entire structure of Chinuch ought to be restructured. He suggest a think tank of senior Mechanchim sit down for whatever time it takes (day; weeks; years…) to come up with ideas for change. Because the alternative – as is becoming evident – is dire.

Visit Emes Ve-Emunah . / Harry Maryles

About the Author: Harry Maryles runs the blog "Emes Ve-Emunah" which focuses on current events and issues that effect the Jewish world in general and Orthodoxy in particular. It discuses Hashkafa and news events of the day - from a Centrist perspctive and a philosphy of Torah U'Mada. He can be reached at hmaryles@yahoo.com.


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4 Responses to “No Child Left Behind: A Jewish Value”

  1. Ita Benjamin says:

    You honestly believe that bright students won’t be bored in a class below their level and they’ll remain motivated without encouragement and stimulation? Wrong. Every child needs to be taught at his own level, or you will lose him. This may necessitate creative teaching methods where a class includes students of very different abilities. But to advocate ignoring the more advanced in order to focus on the less so is not curing the disease, but changing who gets infected with it.

  2. Ita Benjamin says:

    You honestly believe that bright students won’t be bored in a class below their level and they’ll remain motivated without encouragement and stimulation? Wrong. Every child needs to be taught at his own level, or you will lose him. This may necessitate creative teaching methods where a class includes students of very different abilities. But to advocate ignoring the more advanced in order to focus on the less so is not curing the disease, but changing who gets infected with it.

  3. Maria Levine says:

    That is all what is about the 4 different types of sons in Pesach seder. Teaches us to reach every single of our children according to their needs, regardless if they are our children or our students.

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Binyamin and Chaya Maryles, uncle and aunt of Emes Ve-Emunah author Harry Maryles.
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