Creative Responses to Educational Challenges: Setting Priorities for Day School Funding/Support

Dec. 25, 2011

Source: Lookjed Listserve Archives 


Rabbi Shalom Berger, moderator of Lookjed, Lookstein Center's Jewish Education Listserve, sparked an online discussion by sharing a suggested approach to a pressing educational challenge. Stuart Zweiter, Director of the Lookstein Center, recently posted an essay on ejewishphilanthropy entitled "Are We Not on the Wrong Track?" which raises the issue of funding priorities for day schools. The post launched an animated online debate archived here.


Zweiter claims that "enhancing the work of teachers and school leaders is the only consequential road to developing strong schools. All of the research, bar none, confirms this. Making schools into stronger institutions educationally is the key to their financial stability and institutional sustainability."


He questions the emphasis which has recently been placed on strategies for more effective governance, management, fund-raising, marketing, and recruitment at the expense of diminishing resources allocated to training, mentoring and supporting excellent day school principals so that they will know how to lead institutions that are genuinely sustainable and worthwhile sustaining.

Zweiter concludes:

"The Jewish education world needs substantial investment in ongoing multi-year in-service professional development programs that can transform the work of principals and teachers, and have profound results for students and schools. The foundation and Jewish communal world must invest in serious long-term programs that empower, enrich, energize and enable school leadership teams to create and maintain great schools; and to invest in serious long-term teacher professional development that bring great teachers into maximal and meaningful engagement with students. Our children cannot wait any longer."


Read the full text of the post and the animated debate by Lookjed Community members here.

Updated: Jan. 10, 2012