Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Florida Hebrew Language Charter School Has New Problems With Curriculum

A controversial Hebrew language Charter School in Hollywood, Florida has encountered new problems. (See prior posting.) Today's South Florida Sun Sentinel reports that yesterday thee Broward County School Board told the Ben Gamla school to stop teaching Hebrew until its curriculum was approved as being totally secular. After having two previous programs rejected for being based, in part, on traditional Jewish texts, the program presented to the Board yesterday contained only a "curriculum map" that outlined the skills that students would develop at each level. However the Board objected to the content of some of the websites the "map" listed as teacher resources. So now the Board has hired Nathan Katz, a professor in Florida International University's religious studies department, to review the curriculum. The Board will not meet again for three weeks.

UPDATE: An August 23 report by the New York Times reports that school founder Peter Deutsch wants to start similar charter schools in Los Angeles, Miami and New York and hopes to eventually open 100 Hebrew-English charter schools around the country. He is already seeking four more charters in Florida.