Friday, December 09, 2005

Are the PSAT's anti-frum?

Don't you love frum sterotyping.

Baltimore Jewish Times:

In a Nov. 7 letter to the ETS, Rabbi David Zweibel, executive vice president for government and public affairs at Agudath Israel of America, an Orthodox advocacy organization, wrote that "the PSAT contained a passage that has provoked numerous expressions of dismay and objection from our constituent schools. I bring this matter to your attention for your immediate consideration and, I hope, corrective action."
The comprehension question was excerpted from a book authored by Ehud Havazelet and titled "Like Never Before" (Farrar, Straus & Giroux), which chronicles a middle-aged man who is torn by his break with his Orthodox past. One of the sentences in the passage describes students who attend a school as
"those pale boys with green suits, smugly arguing laws nobody but they cared about anyway."
Another part of the passage states, "The impression [the son] always got approaching the father's classroom was of books as an ocean, his father adrift among them, possibly going down."

The passage offered students five possible answers to the question of whether the son's perception of his father was of being "a) easily distracted, b) humorously animated, c) unwillingly confined, d) nearly overwhelmed and e) seriously endangered."
Wrote Rabbi Zweibel: "We realize, of course, that this is nothing more than a piece of literature and that the mature reader may recognize that the narrator's contemptuous description of the school's students and the subject of their studies may simply reflect his own jaundiced perspective."
But he wrote that the vast majority of students taking the PSAT have no inkling of what goes "on in Jewish schools." He characterized the passage as "offensive, dangerous imagery."
"ETS owes the Jewish community an apology," wrote Rabbi Zweibel...


"Green" suits? Moldy?
Their apology should include for all "pale" orthodox jews, 20 extra points .
posted by Yeshiva Orthodoxy
at 1:10 AM

2 Comments:

Anonymous Yechiel said...

Oh please, cry me a river. Yeshivos are in fact filled with (generally) "pale boys... arguing laws nobody but they cared about anyway."

Most people in the world could not care less about the sugyos we learn in Yevamos, for example. In fact, I think it's pretty fair to say they couldn't care less about more relevant mesechtas either. So what is R' Zweibel's problem?

Also, I don't see what's wrong with the question:
"whether the son's perception of his father was of being a) easily distracted, b) humorously animated, c) unwillingly confined, d) nearly overwhelmed and e) seriously endangered."

It was simply asking for what the son's perception was, not some kind of objective assessment of Yeshiva life.

5:16 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

And if they used a description of "thuggish looking inner city youth car jacking a tourist who took the wrong exit from the freeway"? I suppose you'd argue that was as factually correct?

11:02 AM  

Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home