We read the article, "Hebrew Language Charter Schools Are a Bad Bargain: Why They Are Not the Path to the Jewish Future," on Forward.com and we thought it was a travesty.
This article is disappointing and misleading because of its false assumptions. Not a single parent believes that a charter school is a one-for-one replacement for a day school. The writer would have you believe that was the case. Nobody believes that it is a "potential magic bullet" for Jewish education. A Hebrew charter school is an alternative and different in obvious ways from a day school. Nobody thinks that this new kind of school is a replay of the Talmud Torah schools of the 20th century. And when the writer says for Jewish education these schools take "erosion to a new, dangerous, level" we cringe. The assertion that one model works and others lead to peril is just ignorant patent alarmist rhetoric with no substance at all.
There are many paths to the Jewish future and charter schools represent one innovative alternative, nothing more, nothing less. These schools are not bad and are not bargains. They are based on many good ideas and they are full service government funded schools. Lots of hard work goes into founding a charter school or any school.
It's a mean and nasty cheap shot directed at Hebrew charter schools to dismiss such worthwhile efforts with this sort of op-ed essay by Jerome A. Chanes and published by the Forward.