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December 2, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Defending the Right to a Jewish State

Heather Hale: Compliment your kids without giving them big heads

Megan Shauri: 10 ways you are ruining your own happiness

Carolyn Bigda: 8 Best Dividend Stocks for 2015

Kiplinger's Personal Finance editors: 7 Things You Didn't Know About Paying Off Student Loans

Samantha Olson: The Crucial Mistake 55% Of Parents Are Making At Their Baby's Bedtime

Densie Well, Ph.D., R.D. Open your eyes to yellow vegetables

The Kosher Gourmet by Megan Gordon With its colorful cache of purples and oranges and reds, COLLARD GREEN SLAW is a marvelous mood booster --- not to mention just downright delish
April 18, 2014

Rabbi Yonason Goldson: Clarifying one of the greatest philosophical conundrums in theology

Caroline B. Glick: The disappearance of US will

Megan Wallgren: 10 things I've learned from my teenagers

Lizette Borreli: Green Tea Boosts Brain Power, May Help Treat Dementia

John Ericson: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain

The Kosher Gourmet by Julie Rothman Almondy, flourless torta del re (Italian king's cake), has royal roots, is simple to make, . . . but devour it because it's simply delicious

April 14, 2014

Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time

Greg Crosby: Passing Over Religion

Eric Schulzke: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic

Georgia Lee: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships

Cameron Huddleston: Freebies for Your Lawn and Garden

Gordon Pape: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin

Dana Dovey: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate

Justin Caba: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure

The Kosher Gourmet by Joshua E. London and Lou Marmon Don't dare pass over these Pesach picks for Manischewitz!

April 11, 2014

Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden

Caroline B. Glick: Forgetting freedom at Passover

Susan Swann: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Financial Tasks You Should Tackle Right Now

Sandra Block and Lisa Gerstner: How to Profit From Your Passion

Susan Scutti: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer

Chris Weller: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You

The Kosher Gourmet by Diane Rossen Worthington Whitefish Terrine: A French take on gefilte fish

April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review March 21, 2012 / 27 Adar, 5772

Education report: Shortcomings of US schools pose national security threat

By Howard LaFranchi




Former secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and former New York City schools chancellor Joel Klein cochaired a task force that released its report Tuesday


JewishWorldReview.com |

WASHINGTON — (TCSM) Nearly 30 years after the landmark education report "A Nation at Risk," a new report finds that America's failure to prepare its young people for a globalized world is now so grave that it poses a national security threat.

Some of the key factors that the report cites in linking education shortcomings and a weakened national security: insufficient preparation of children for the highly technical jobs that both the private sector and the military increasingly need to fill, scant and declining foreign-language education, and a weakened "national cohesiveness" as a result of an under-educated and unemployable poor population.

"Educational failure puts the United States' future economic prosperity, global position, and physical safety at risk," says the report, the result of an independent task force cochaired by former secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and former New York City schools chancellor Joel Klein.


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Noting that the "dominant power of the 21st century will depend on human capital," the report concludes that "the failure to produce that capital will undermine American security."

Ms. Rice on Tuesday zeroed in on signs of faltering national cohesion as at the "heart" of the vast and complex issues addressed in the report.

Education is "the glue that keeps us together," she said at an event in Washington Tuesday at the Council on Foreign Relations, which sponsored the task force. A factor weakening that glue, she said, is the "perception of a smaller and smaller group that is advancing in America." She added, "If we are not one nation, we cannot defend one nation."

The report cites a series of indicators of America's educational weaknesses — from US students' disappointing placement on international rankings of math and science competencies, to recent reports out of the Defense Department that three-fourths of young Americans are not qualified to join the armed forces (although physical conditions such as obesity, and not just educational shortcomings, play a role in that number).

The US is not producing enough foreign-language speakers to fill key positions in the Foreign Service, in intelligence agencies, and in America's increasingly global companies.

And yet, Rice said, "We are the most monolingual major society on Earth."

To reverse the nation's education slide, the task force offers a number of recommendations, one of which is a longer school day and a longer school year. "We have the shortest learning day and the shortest learning year practically of all [countries] in the industrialized world," Rice said.

The task force's three main recommendations:


  • Putting more emphasis on children learning science, technology, and foreign languages, in addition to reading and math.

  • Preparation by the states, in conjunction with the federal government, of what the report calls a "national security readiness audit." This would measure how schools are doing at teaching "the skills and knowledge necessary to safeguard America's future security and prosperity."

  • Increasing school choice and competition, namely by charter schools and vouchers — within an environment of "equitable resource allocation."

Not all the task force's members signed on to all the report's recommendations, with several members offering "dissenting" views at the end of the report.

Randi Weingarten, president of the American Federation of Teachers, praised Rice for putting an emphasis on "public education" at the Tuesday event. But as a dissenting member of the task force, she finds that the final report does too little to recognize public education's role in America.

"Public education has been a cornerstone of democracy and a means of acculturation for generations of Americans," she writes in her dissenting comment. Referring to calls for US education to be more open to privatization, "A move away from that public system could do greater harm to our national security and common bonds than doing nothing at all."

Another dissenting member, Harvard national security expert Stephen Walt, says the report "exaggerates the national security rationale for reforming US K-12 education." No country is likely to match America's overall military power and technological supremacy for decades, he says.

"There are good reasons to improve K-12 education," Mr. Walt writes in his dissent, "but an imminent threat to our national security is not high among them."

He also describes a "mismatch" between the report's claims and its remedies, saying that if the threat was really "very grave," emphatic support for more resources would be in order. But, he says, the report only offers "the very bland statement" that increased resources "may well be justifiable."

The task force co-chairs agree that more money may need to be spent on education — especially if schools are asked to meet certain standards in more subjects, or if school days are extended — but they also emphasize their view that money is not the answer.

Spending on K-12 education tripled from 1960 to 2010, while results declined, says Mr. Klein, now an education specialist at News Corp.

Meeting the educational challenges outlined in the report "is going to cost money," Rice said. "We just have to make sure that the money spent is well spent."

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© 2012, The Christian Science Monitor