The Education Ministry is considering cutting the budgets of haredi schools who do not administer the standardized Meitzav exams during the next school year, the Ministry stated on Wednesday in response to a petition filed with the High Court of Justice.
The Meitzav exams, a Hebrew acronym for school growth and efficiency indicators, are standardized tests that are given to pupils countrywide at the end of the each school year. They are meant to specify just how well Israeli junior high and high school pupils are meeting the benchmarks and standards specified in school curriculums.
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About a decade ago, haredi schools decided not to administer the exam at their institutions, citing curriculum differences.
Haredi education systems Ma'ayan Hahinuch Hatorani (Shas) and Independent Education System (United Torah Judaism) are eligible by law to receive 75% of their budget from the government, and according to the new decision the Education Ministry will sharply cut these funds according to the number of students who did not take the test.
While Ma'ayan Hahinuch Hatorani agreed recently to a compromise by which their students will partially participate in the exam, on condition that the content is adjusted to fit the cultural characteristics of the haredi public, the Independent Education System has persistently refusal.
In a response to a petition filed by the Center for Jewish Pluralism with the High Court over the sanctions being taken against schools that do not teach core classes as required by the national curriculum, the Education Ministry noted that if no agreement is reached over the Meitzav exams, it will consider reducing the budgets of these institutions.
The Ministry further noted that the Meitzav exams are an essential tool to supervise schools and make sure they reach the goals set by the education system.
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