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April 20, 2014 / 20 Nisan, 5774
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Posts Tagged ‘Hebrew charter schools’

Brooklyn Hebrew charter school gets F in N.Y. evaluation

Thursday, November 14th, 2013

A Brooklyn academy touted as the model for a national movement of Hebrew charter schools received an F on its New York City Department of Education Progress Report.

The Hebrew Language Academy Charter School, which opened in 2009 and has 450 students in kindergarten through fifth grade, is one of 23 New York City elementary and middle schools to get an overall grade of F for the 2012-13 school year.

The progress report letter grade, issued to all city public schools annually since 2007, is intended as an overall measure of student progress, performance, school environment and success in closing the achievement gap, according to a guide published by the city’s Department of Education. An F lands a school on a city watch list and makes it subject to possible closure.

“As frustrating as it is to be wrongly branded this way, we know anyone looking at HLA holistically — not on the narrow basis of how one out of six grades performed on one test — will see it as a great school,” Sara Berman, the chair of HLA and of the Hebrew Charter School Center, a network of Hebrew charter schools, said in an emailed statement to JTA.

Robert Tobias, the former executive director of assessment and accountability for the city Department of Education, reviewed the academy’s progress report at the charter school center’s request and concluded that the grade does not accurately reflect the overall quality of the school. He also noted that the test-score data is based on only two grades.

Kim Nauer, who researches education at the New School, also criticized the evaluation, telling JTA that the grading system is not “not nuanced enough” and “openly confusing.”

Florida School Board Reviewing Peter Deutsch’s Ben Gamla Schools

Tuesday, August 27th, 2013

A Florida school board is reviewing whether the Ben Gamla Hebrew charter school network violates the law by mixing religion with public schooling.

The review was prompted by a JTA story published July 17 in which Ben Gamla founder Peter Deutsch described the publicly funded charter schools as builders of Jewish identity.

The chairwoman of the Broward County school board, Laurie Rich Levinson, told the Broward Bulldog in a story picked up by the Miami Herald that her office sent the JTA article to the district’s Charter School Department for “review and response” after receiving a complaint on Aug. 10 from a civic activist in the area, Charlotte Greenbarg of Hollywood.

In interviews with JTA, Deutsch said he believes that of Ben Gamla’s collective annual budget of $10 million, approximately 80 percent serves Jewish communal purposes.

“To me, it is literally the best leverage that I’m aware of in Jewish communal stuff in the history of the Jewish people,” Deutsch told JTA. “Jews need to be supportive of this endeavor.”

Deutsch also said it was his own opinion and that the four Ben Gamla schools in South Florida, which collectively have about 1,700 students, do not teach religion.

“The school complies with every aspect of separation of church and state,” Deutsch told the Herald. “The school is obsessive with compliance with separation of church and state. The process is 100 percent transparent.”

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/florida-school-board-reviewing-peter-deutschs-ben-gamla-schools/2013/08/27/

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