Adams Says Public Schools Should ‘Be Duplicating’ Yeshivas Achievements

By Reuvain Borchardt

New York City Mayor Eric Adams said that rather than criticize yeshivas, government should strive to emulate yeshivas’ successes in public schools, as the state Education Department is embroiled in a battle over regulations of the curricula at private schools.

Citing increasing crime and substance abuse, and the negative influences of social media, Adams said, “The children are in a state of despair at an epic proportion, but instead of us focusing on how do we duplicate the success of improving our children, we attack the yeshivas that are providing a quality education,” at a dinner in Woodmere this week for Teach NYS, an organization that advocates for yeshiva interests.

“We need to be duplicating what you are achieving,” continued the mayor, who has repeatedly defended the yeshiva system since winning election in 2021. “People are asking questions … about what is happening in our yeshivas across the city and state, while at the same time 65% of black and brown children never reach proficiency in the public-school system. [Rather than] asking what are you doing in your schools, we need to ask what are we doing wrong in our schools and learn what you are doing in the yeshivas.”

The state Education Department last fall passed new rules regulating the curriculum at private schools, in response to several former yeshiva students who have since left the community having alleged that they didn’t receive an education “substantially equivalent” to that offered in public schools, as required by law. The New York Times has also run a series of articles critical of yeshivas that Jewish groups have criticized as inaccurate.

Yeshiva advocates argue that yeshivas offer a robust education, particularly when including the critical-thinking and analytical skills learned in Judaic studies, and when considering student outcomes and successes rather than specific hourly inputs of secular education. They also oppose regulations of their curriculum as an intrusion on religious and parental rights.

In March, a judge upheld the new regulations, but said they could not be enforced against schools, only against parents. Therefore, if a school is deemed non-substantially equivalent, the state may not force its students to leave the school, but their parents shall be given an opportunity to prove they are providing supplementary education, such as with homeschooling. As enforcement of the regulations is achieved far more easily by going after a school rather than its hundreds or thousands of parents, the upshot of the ruling appears to preclude any serious enforcement the regulations.

The Education Department is appealing the ruling.

Video of Adams’ remarks below

To Read The Full Story

Are you already a subscriber?
Click to log in!