I'm from Missouri

This site is named for the famous statement of US Congressman Willard Duncan Vandiver from Missouri : "I`m from Missouri -- you'll have to show me." This site is dedicated to skepticism of official dogma in all subjects. Just-so stories are not accepted here. This is a site where controversial subjects such as evolution theory and the Holocaust may be freely debated.

Location: Los Angeles, California, United States

My biggest motivation for creating my own blogs was to avoid the arbitrary censorship practiced by other blogs and various other Internet forums. Censorship will be avoided in my blogs -- there will be no deletion of comments, no closing of comment threads, no holding up of comments for moderation, and no commenter registration hassles. Comments containing nothing but insults and/or ad hominem attacks are discouraged. My non-response to a particular comment should not be interpreted as agreement, approval, or inability to answer.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Fundy influence on Israeli education is a real problem

In Israel, fundy influence on education is a real problem, not the imaginary problem that it is in the USA. It makes all of our talk about how fundy high school graduates are unprepared for college work and about how evolution disclaimer statements threaten our technological competitiveness sound really silly.

A Los Angeles Times article titled "In Israel, religious schools get a boost" says,

The yeshivas, criticized by secular Jews for failing to include subjects deemed key to modern life, benefit from new state funding.

JERUSALEM -- -- Yossi Ravitz, 22, hasn't had a class in math, science, civics or English since he was a boy. But he believes the rigor of his religious studies equips him for any subject he might need to tackle later in life . . . .

Haredi Jews, as the ultra-Orthodox are known here, won the latest skirmish. Parliament last month legalized state funding for high school-age boys' yeshivas while reclassifying them as "culturally unique" schools, exempt from the obligation to add on a basic secular curriculum.
The new law undermined a Supreme Court ruling that by Sept. 1 would have cut off the back-channel financing the yeshivas have received for decades.

For its foes, the measure legalizes "publicly funded ignorance," as the newspaper Haaretz railed in an editorial. The Supreme Court, calling the law "inexplicable," predicted it would be struck down if challenged.

"What was fitting for the 18th century does not fit in the 21st," said Avshalom Vilan, a member of parliament from the leftist Meretz party. "It is unacceptable that a high school graduate will enter the work force with fourth-grade math."

The debate is part of a broader struggle often obscured by Israel's armed conflicts with Arab neighbors. Secular Israelis, who rule the nation, see in the ultra-Orthodox an assault on the rational, modern and democratic world they embrace. Haredi Jews believe secular Israelis have undergone a dangerous assimilation -- a separation of Jews from Judaism -- that threatens to contaminate religious children. . . . .

About 90,000 haredi Jews study in Israeli yeshivas. Girls, expected to work as adults and bear the children of perpetual religious scholars, take secular subjects along with religious ones until they graduate.

What little secular education haredi boys get ends in primary school.

I don't think that the educational policies in Arab and Moslem countries could be anywhere near as bad as that. Ironically, the USA is a big supporter of Israel despite the vast differences in cultures and educational policies between the two countries.

In the USA, stingy crackpot judges -- including, but not limited to, "Jackass" Jones (Kitzmiller v. Dover), "Kook" Cooper (Selman v. Cobb County), and "Bozo" Otero (ACSI v. Stearns) -- who have refused to begrudge the fundies and other Darwin doubters even a single morsel ought to be ashamed of themselves.

Anyway, these fundy schools in Israel do not appear to have harmed Israel's technological competitiveness very much -- for its size, Israel is considered to be a high-tech powerhouse.

"I'm always kicking their butts -- that's why they don't like me."
-- Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger

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Blogger Nykemartyn said...

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Tuesday, August 19, 2008 9:10:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Anyway, these fundy schools in Israel do not appear to have harmed Israel's technological competitiveness very much -- for its size, Israel is considered to be a high-tech powerhouse."

If there were several million Haredis instead of 90,000, do you think that would still be the case? Or would Israel then be more like, say, Yemen?

To Nykemartyn -- could you be so kind as to place your comments in context? I am not seeing the connection.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008 4:38:00 PM  
Blogger Larry Fafarman said...

>>>>>> If there were several million Haredis instead of 90,000, do you think that would still be the case? <<<<<<

90,000 students in Israel is proportionately equivalent to several million students in the US.

Thursday, August 21, 2008 4:30:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"90,000 students in Israel is proportionately equivalent"

Irrelevant. You are moving the goalposts.

(Oops! Did I just step in it? There's that word "goal" again!)

Also, you should consider the possibility that there may be a Critical Mass of stupidity, i.e., an absolute threshold.

Thursday, August 21, 2008 9:41:00 AM  

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