There is a universal consensus that a good education is of paramount importance. The real question is where can you find the best education for your child. This past June I asked the question Do You Value A Secular Education?
I asked about it because in my interaction with many people who have attended parochial school there seems to be a distressing lack of focus on basic writing skills. Time and time again I read posts by educated and intelligent adult bloggers who seem to be unfamiliar with spelling and grammar rules and that concerns me.
Earlier this week PsychoToddler blogged a bit about paying for a Jewish education. In principle I agree with him that it is a very important piece of maintaining Jewish continuity, but I have a couple of problems with it.
The primary issue is my concern with the secular education that the students receive. I don't have any problem with establishing communities where there is access to Jewish needs (Kosher butcher, restaurants, shuls etc) but I am not a believer in isolating ourselves either.
I don't have hard numbers or data to share with you that provides any conclusive evidence to support my suspicion that some of these schools take the secular world less seriously than the Judaic studies.
What I have is my own experience in reading the blogs of those who went to these schools and the stories that I have been told confirming my beliefs. So it may not be conclusive, but it is enough to warrant concern.
The second piece of this puzzle refers to the cost of sending a student to private school. The problem is that the tuition is far too steep for many families. Just trying to send one child to a private school can be very difficult but sending more than one can for some be downright impossible.
This is not a new issue. I remember hearing my parents and their friends discuss this very thing some 25 or 30 years ago. So what are we going to do about it.
I can tell you what I am working on right now. I am in the middle of preparing a marketing blitz in which we are going to approach people who have the means and ability to support scholarships and ask them for their help. We are going to do everything that we can to drive down the cost so that this option is available to as many children as possible.
And there you have the short version of my thoughts on this. What do you think?