Exclusive report to The Jewish Press
Recent guidelines issued by the New York State Department of Education – in response to an investigation on the curricula of chassidic institutions – have private schools statewide scrambling to understand their import.
How did your child’s yeshiva perform? Scroll Down.
Under the new directives, all New York private schools that fail to comply with regulations requiring – among other things – as many as 36 hours of instruction a week in English, math, science, social studies, and other subjects could lose state funding for textbooks, transportation, and other items.
The new regulations, outlined in late November by Commissioner MaryEllen Elia, have been described by many as draconian.
Relevant to the discussion are Regents examination scores recently obtained by The Jewish Press under a Freedom Of Information Law request.
These scores reveal that New York yeshiva students are outperforming their public school peers in the four core subjects of English, math, science, and history – by far.
They show, for example, yeshivas earning 19 of the top 20 average private school scores in New York’s English Language Arts exam.
How did your child’s yeshiva perform?
Regents averages for nonpublic schools
Brooklyn’s Beth Jacob High School for Girls’s 91.1 average was the highest in the state, with Bobov’s Congregation Machna Shalva, Shaare Torah, and Bais Yaakov Academy coming in with 89.6, 87.3 and 87.2, respectively – well ahead of the local public school average of 58.4.
In Queens, Shevach High School and Torah Academy for Girls students averaged 88.4 and 87.4, respectively, ahead of public school average of 60.9.
Students outside New York City fared similarly, with Nassau’s Midreshet Shalhevet Girls, Stella K. Abraham High School for Girls and Torah High School Long Beach averaging 90.2, 86.9, and 86.9, respectively, with public schools averaging just 61.8.
In Rockland County, Bais Yaakov of Ramapo’s 88.1 average surpassed the public school’s 63.4.
Rounding out the top 20 with average scores of 85.4 or better were Shulamith School for Girls of Brooklyn, Congregation Machne Chaim, Torah Vodaath High School, Mesivta Tiferes Yisroel, Bais Yaakov High School of Spring Valley, Bais Menachem, Rambam Mesivta – Maimonides High School, Bais Brocho of Karlin Stolin, and Yeshiva Ohr Shraga D’Veretzky.
In the Algebra 2/Trigonometry exam, yeshivas earned nine of the top 10 private school scores in the state. In Brooklyn and Queens, Machon Bais Yaakov Hilda Birn High School, Beth Jacob School High School for Girls, Bet Yaakov Ateret Torah High School, Beth Jacob, Yeshiva Shaar Hatorah High School, and Torah Academy for Girls all had average scores that beat public school results by over 20 percentage points.
In Rockland County, Beth Rochel High School and Bais Yaakov of Spring Valley bested their peers’ average scores by over 15 percentage points, while in Nassau, Hebrew Academy of Five Towns and Rockaway students scored just over 12 percentage points higher than their public school counterparts.
Seven out of the top 10 private school scores reported in the Global History Regents exam were also earned by yeshivas. While Brooklyn schools averaged a score of 64.7, Bobov’s Congregation Machna Shalva and Bais Yaakov High School tied for the second highest average with a score of 92.7, two tenths of a point ahead of the Bais Esther School.
Shaar Hatorah students bested their Queens public school counterparts by 21.7 percentage points, while Yeshiva Ohavei Torah of Riverdale’s average was 26.1 percentage points higher than that of Bronx public school students.
Not surprisingly, similar results were seen in the Physics Regents, where the highest average score in the state – 90.1 – was earned by Shevach High School in Queens, closely followed by Yeshiva of Far Rockaway and Torah Academy for Girls High School, while local public school students averaged just 71.8.
Students at Mesivta Ateres Yaakov and the Davis Renov Stahler Yeshiva High School in Nassau County averaged 83.2 and 82.1, ahead of the public school average of 77.5.
And in Brooklyn, Mesivta Tiferes Yisroel’s average of 88.1 was well ahead of the public school average of 73.2.
Assemblyman-elect Simcha Eichenstein said the test scores demonstrate that the notion that yeshivas are not keeping pace with their public school counterparts is laughable. “If you want to talk about equivalency, we should talk about the public school system being unable to measure up to the standards of the yeshiva system,” he said.
Agudath Israel of America’s associate director of educational affairs, Avrohom Weinstock, said that he had seen the Regents data obtained by The Jewish Press, which he called “quite impressive.”
“We are very proud of our schools,” he said.
How did your child’s yeshiva perform?
Download the raw data: