Monday, September 07, 2015

Sounds Like Taliban Brooklyn...Except in Brooklyn it Could also "ENclOOd BoYz".....

Fanatics Keep Gassing Girls to Stop Them From Going to School


More than 300 students in Afghanistan were sickened this week after exposure to toxic fumes.

Throwing acid on girls or gassing them because they want to learn how to read and write—those are the horrific actions some men around the world resort to, to stop girls from going to school. The efforts of extremists appear to be escalating in Afghanistan after 300 girls from two schools around Herat, a city of nearly 500,000 in the western part of the country, were sickened this week by poison gas fumes.

The girls, who range in age from nine to 18, were gassed in three incidents, as were their teachers. “I was inside a classroom and felt a bad smell. I don’t know what happened later on,” Hasina, a teacher at one of the schools, told Pajhwok Afghan News after the first incident on Monday. “When I opened my eyes, I was in hospital,” she said.

Girls were banned from going to school in Afghanistan from 1996 to 2001 when the Taliban ruled the country. In neighboring Pakistan, now-18-year-old education activist and Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai was shot in the head in 2012 by a Taliban gunman for her advocacy of girls’ education.

“I’m not just representing myself. I am speaking up for all girls who are deprived of education. There are about 66 million girls, and I think I’m speaking up for them,” Yousafzai, the subject of the upcoming documentary He Named Me Malala (produced by TakePart’s parent company, Participant Media), told The Daily Show host Jon Stewart in June.

In 2010, blood tests of those who’d fallen sick proved that members of the Taliban had gassed dozens of Afghan girls with poison to keep them from going to school. Schoolgirls were gassed again in 2013, but the Taliban denied involvementLocal police did not confirm that they suspected the group in this most recent incident, CNN reported. Abdul Razaq Ahmadi, the head of education for the area, told Voice of America that he believes the people who gassed the two schools are opponents of education and growth.

Still, it’s inspiring to see footage in the CNN video below of girls in classrooms eagerly learning—something that would have been impossible only a few years ago.


Protecting the religious liberties of the city’s Jewish schools

The education of H*Y*M*e*N K*A*P*L*A*N 

A dispute over education within the Hasidic community made headlines this month after activists demanded the government force Hasidic schools to teach secular subjects. 

Now the city Department of Education is investigating these schools — called yeshivas — and even threatening to send them “lesson plans.”

But like a man who steals his neighbor’s butter knife to cut down a tree, the activists are taking the wrong approach and using the wrong instrument.

Young Advocates for Fair Education and a former director of the New York Civil Liberties Union charge that Hasidic schools are failing to provide the legally required instruction in English, math, history and science. 

Although well-intentioned, using government coercion to achieve their goals violates parental rights and religious liberty — and is unlikely to work anyway.

New York’s overly broad Education Law demands that private schools provide a “substantially equivalent” education to the public schools — well beyond just math and English. However, parents often choose private schools because they want an education that’s substantially different.

The activists wrongly assume that being “educated” means whatever the government says it means. But there is and always has been a legitimate diversity of views about the meaning and purpose of education, what children should learn and how best to teach them.

Yeshivas have educational priorities that differ from mainstream society, but that doesn’t mean their students are uneducated. Most people would be impressed to hear that students were studying Aristotle and Plato in their original Greek and Virgil in his original Latin.

Yeshiva students spend most of their day studying the ancient Jewish texts in their original Hebrew and Aramaic. And like studying law or philosophy, vigorous Talmud study develops highly analytical and critical thinking skills.

A truly pluralistic society must allow individuals and groups considerable freedom to decide what to teach their own children. ( yeah, and let them destroy their kids lives in every way possible)

Although the government may impose some reasonable regulations, particularly concerning health and safety, the justice system has long recognized parents’ fundamental right to decide how to raise their children. As the US Supreme Court ruled in its landmark case Pierce v. Society of Sisters, a “child is not the mere creature of the state.”

Some states do a better job adhering to this core American principle than New York. In Florida, for example, neither the state nor local districts “have the authority to oversee or control the curriculum or academic programs of private schools.” Private schools are free to decide what to teach and how to teach it, and parents are free to choose schools that work for them.

But even if the government had a right to impose its will on private schools, there’s no reason to believe it will be effective. In fact, the city DOE has proved utterly incapable of overseeing its own failing schools.
In some city schools, not a single student passed the state’s English or math exams. Although nearly 70 percent of city students graduate high school, barely a quarter are “college- or -career-ready” by the state’s own standards. Many of the students holding these worthless diplomas can barely read.

If the state and city governments fail to provide a quality education at their own schools, why should anyone believe that they’ll be able to improve someone else’s schools?

Plus, any effort to improve secular education in the yeshivas will need the support of the Hasidic community at large. Trying to twist their collective arm is a poor strategy for winning friends and influencing people. And their arm doesn’t twist so easily.

A prominent Hasidic writer has already voiced such resistance, calling Young Advocate’s plea for the DOE’s intervention an attempt “to disrupt and destroy” yeshiva education. Notably, the writer supports improving secular education in yeshivas, objecting only to government compulsion.

Lasting change can only come from within. Fortunately, there are some signs of progress. One Hasidic school in Crown Heights, Lamplighters Yeshiva, has already made great strides in implementing a quality secular education as a part of its curriculum — without DOE threats.

Better secular education in yeshivas is a worthy goal, but using persuasion, not coercion, is the right way to get there.


Having just begun teaching English As A Second Language to a group of Asian adults, a relative thought I might enjoy "The Education of Hyman Kaplan". The novel takes place entirely at the American Night Preparatory School for Adults. There under the tutelage of Mr. Parkhill, Hyman Kaplan, Miss Mitnick, Miss Caravello, Mrs. Moskowitz and an assortment of Jewish and Italian immigrants struggle with the complexities of the English language, anxious to master the language and learn about the history and culture of their newly adopted home.
 The irrepressible Mr. Kaplan takes center stage in the classroom with his singular logic in using the English language. Abraham Lincoln becomes Abram Lincohen, King George III of England is an autocrap, and Valley Forge becomes Velly Fudges. Kaplan conjugates the tense to die as "die, dead, funeral", and when talking of the contents of a newspaper he can't understand why he must say "it said", instead of "he said", since the paper is decidedly of the masculine gender. 
It's the Harold Tribune after all. This is a hilarious yet touching book. We are never laughing at Hyman Kaplan's linguistic foibles but with him, as we appreciate the struggles of all immigrants, those seventy years ago, or those today to come to terms with becoming Americans and learning the language that binds us together.