BROOKLYN - Parents and former students of some Hasidic schools in Brooklyn are claiming that students are leaving school unprepared for the real world.
Naftuli Moster, a former student of a Borough Park yeshiva, says that many students over age 13 learn no English or math in school.
In the past, yeshivas were able to focus mostly on Jewish studies because Jewish communities were insular.
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Moster says that in today's world, having poor secular education isn't an option when some Hasidic people need to get jobs outside of the community in order to make ends meet.
He says that it's also an uphill battle for those like him who want to pursue higher education.
"The first obstacle was that I didn't know what the word 'essay' even means, let alone how to construct one," he says.
Moster is behind a petition signed by 52 parents and former students, demanding that the Department of Education step in.
The petition calls for the DOE to "investigate the quality of secular education" and "to take steps to ensure that pupils at these yeshivas" are getting the education that is required by law.
The DOE says it is investigating whether any changes need to be made to the yeshiva system. In other countries like Belguim and Canada, the government has stepped in and successfully enforced secular education in yeshivas.