“As yeshiva graduates with advanced training in diverse areas of educational theory and practice, we can state with confidence that yeshivas provide students across all levels of ability with enriching educational experiences that stimulate their cognitive, intellectual, practical, social, and moral development.” This sentence, included in a letter sent today to the New York State Board of Regents, belies the notion that Yeshiva education requires government intrusion and control.

Signed by nearly 600 education professionals, all yeshiva graduates and whose qualifications include “master’s and doctoral degrees in education or related fields from accredited colleges and universities, and state teacher’s licenses or comparable credentials,” the letter urges the Board of Regents to reject the proposed regulations, arguing that they do not suitably address the needs of yeshivas which need improvement, or measure the success of those which do not.

From both a personal and a professional level, the educators reject the “trope of yeshivas’ educational inferiority” which is contradicted by their own achievements, and conclude by saying, “In its refusal to employ objective assessment of actual student achievement and its insistence on dictating the design of instruction, the present proposal is both deeply flawed on its own terms and antagonistic to traditional Jewish schools in particular.”