The Determination of Educational Policy

Shas, Politics, and Religion

in Israel Studies Review

This article examines the reasons why countries change their educational policies, using Israel as a case study. Employing quantitative and qualitative methods, I show that political constraints can cause governments to modify their educational policies without professional pedagogical discourse. Using the example of the ultra-Orthodox ethnic political party Shas, I demonstrate how—thanks to the political power that the party had gained, as well as the weakening of nationalist values— it succeeded in establishing a network of party schools with state funding despite the fact that some of these schools teach neither the state’s values nor the core curriculum determined by the Ministry of Education.