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Hart failure

Posted: March 12, 2010 6:48 p.m.
Updated: March 14, 2010 4:55 a.m.
 
In failing to approve the charter for the Albert Einstein Academy, the William S. Hart Union High School District board has done an incredible disservice to the children of the Santa Clarita Valley.

The Einstein Academy's mission is to offer the highest level of education, enabling graduates to compete in the global economy and engage intelligently with disparate cultures from around the world.

Unfortunately, two school board members got stuck on the issue of the teaching of Hebrew.

Fearful the proposal was a veiled attempt to establish a Jewish religious school, they voted against its establishment.

Under the pretense of ensuring separation of "church and state," the Hart board blatantly discriminated against an institution merely because Hebrew was included in the curriculum.

If Japanese were being taught, would these board members have expressed similar concerns about students receiving instruction in Shintoism?

The Albert Einstein Academy would enlist top instructors to teach science and math at the highest levels. Its curriculum would encompass the arts and literature and foreign languages, including, yes, Hebrew.

Students would graduate from AEA with an understanding of those who live beyond our borders and be afforded an opportunity to attend the best universities in the world.

Yet, despite written endorsements from county Supervisors Zev Yaroslavsky and Michael Antonovich, and repeated assurances from school founders that this was absolutely not a religious school, board members voted against the academic future of the very kids they claim to represent.

AEA is not - and was never intended to be - a "Jewish school."

Hebrew is a language, not a religion. Sadly, the Hart board's inability to distinguish between the two is disturbingly familiar to anyone who has ever confronted anti-Semitism.

Perhaps if board members had been educated at a school like the Albert Einstein Academy, they would have known the difference.

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