Had the writers of the letter (Yeshivat He’Atid Responds, August 16) simply stated their facts, I would have apologized.
Because I was personally accused of being “motzei shem ra,” I am obligated to respond to such an insult.
It just so happens that this past week’s Torah portion, Ki Tetze, is my bar mitzvah parshah; in includes the prohibition of “motzei shem ra,” which translates as slander. That accusation is very hurtful and uncalled for.
Anyone who knows me knows that slander is the furthest objective from my intentions.
Further, mentioning “Mr. Hochman” not once but six times in their reply further shows that the letter writers are making this discussion very personal.
I also must respond to the writers’ “facts.” To their #2 (“We absolutely do have both enrichment and a resource room”) – I received an unsolicited email from a parent: “The entire blended/differentiated learning model did not seem to be implemented in pre-K; In our experience, not only weren’t there resources for enrichment or remediation, they were unfamiliar with even the current industry standards for modifications in a regular classroom setting, calling it ‘special treatment’, which they were unable to address. This was also reflected in their grading system, in which behaviorally, students with remediation needs were graded as “not showing respect” for tefillah, teachers, etc. because they couldn’t sit still. Academically, gifted students were not recognized for abilities that exceeded grade-level expectations and they were not given additional exercises or guidance in such areas to build on their strengths beyond what was taught to the entire class”.
Re: their statement #3 (“To state that other schools are forced to take students we reject is motzei shem ra, pure and simple”): I never used the word “reject.”
Re: their statements # 4 and 5: The writers distort my point to make it easier to respond. I clearly meant they should have approached other schools with their insights and methods before opening a new school that would further tax community resources. Their response is that they invited other schools to learn from them after they opened the new school. The day schools I spoke with all have blended learning as part of their education curriculum.
The writers disregard the obvious intent of working to improve existing institutions, working together with professionals and lay leaders who have years of experience leading Jewish day schools, rather than creating an additional one.