Yeshiva reformers want NY Education Department to follow up on NYC probe of ultra-Orthodox schools

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A yeshiva reform group demanded Wednesday that state education officials follow up on what it believes was a lax city investigation of whether seven ultra-Orthodox schools provide students with basic education in subjects like reading and math.

New York State Education Department rules require private and religious schools — including yeshivas — to offer basic instruction in some subjects that is at least substantially equivalent to what students get at public schools.

The yeshiva reform group, Young Advocates for Fair Education, alleged in a petition to the state education commissioner that seven yeshivas were determined to skirt a rigorous examination of their basic education programs in a highly anticipated city government probe.

In probes of two of the seven schools, Mayor Adams’ administration deferred to preliminary findings of investigations years ago.

The other five yeshivas were quickly approved under a policy that approves programs tied to a registered high school. Under state law, registered high schools meet standards that allow them to issue diplomas and administer Regents examinations.

“Even as we are hopeful, we need to roll up our sleeves,” said Beatrice Weber, executive director of Young Advocates for Fair Education. “There is real work still to be done.”

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