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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

Judge stops single-sex classes: Were they a success or psuedoscience?

By Stacy Teicher Khadaroo


Dillon Elledge, 8, (r.) and Brody Kemble, 7, work with flash cards in their all-boys classroom at Middleton Heights Elementary in Middleton, Idaho, in May. Middleton is believed to be the only public school in Idaho offering all-boy and all-girl classrooms, though the movement is widespread in other states and is now being targeted by the American Civil Liberties Union



A federal judge has prevented a public school from proceeding with its single-sex classes this year, claiming parents didn't get a fair chance to withdraw their kids. But the question of whether single-sex classes work or are built on unhelpful gender stereotypes gathers pace

JewishWorldReview.com | (TCSM) Separate classes for girls and boys at Van Devender Middle School in Parkersburg, W. Va., have to be reorganized into coed classes, a federal judge ruled.

The injunction comes after a mother and her daughters, represented by the American Civil Liberties Union, alleged that the school was using pseudoscience and gender stereotypes to teach boys and girls, and that the different methods harmed them academically and violated their civil rights.

One of the girls, diagnosed with attention-deficit disorder, alleges she was frequently reprimanded for not sitting still, while boys were encouraged to move about their classroom. Another, legally blind, alleges the lights were not bright enough in her classroom because the teachers have been told that girls respond better to a different kind of light.

Wood County district officials deny the allegations, and one single-sex education expert who testified on behalf of the school agrees, saying she thought the approaches in the classroom were thoughtful, rather than based on stereotypes.

But as a tiny but growing number of public schools — about 1,000 by one estimate — offer full programs or individual classes for boys and girls in separate settings, the Van Devender case highlights the debate about whether such programs are important experiments in closing achievement gaps or a reinforcement of troubling gender stereotypes.


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Under Title IX, a federal law prohibiting sex discrimination in education, public schools can offer single-sex classes if they meet criteria outlined in 2006 regulations from the US Department of Education. The classes have to be "substantially related" to achieving specific educational objectives. They also have to be voluntary, and students must be offered an equivalent coed alternative.

In the opinion, Chief Judge Joseph Goodwin of the US District Court for the Southern District of West Virginia agreed with the plaintiffs that the program was not sufficiently voluntary.

Parents had been given notice that students could opt out, but too close to the start of the school year. Judge Goodwin ruled that in order for the classes to comply with Title IX, parents would have to give their "affirmative assent," preferably in a written document opting into the program.

Although the ruling is not binding in other parts of the country, it could prompt many school districts nationwide to adopt an opt-in policy for single-sex classes.

Both opponents and proponents of single-sex classes in public schools, however, found something to cheer in the opinion, which did not rule out the possibility of single-sex classes at the school in the future.

"The most important thing is our clients are going to coed classes," says Amy Katz, cooperating attorney with the ACLU Women's Rights Project in New York. If there is a future program in the district, she says, "it can't be mandatory, and we don't think most people would even elect to put their kids into single-sex classes."

But Goodwin put a damper on some of the broader arguments the ACLU has offered in opposing single-sex classes in public schools: "The plaintiffs, in essence, take the position that no single-sex classes would ever withstand scrutiny under the Constitution or Title IX. The court finds this argument unpersuasive."

District officials were disappointed to have to temporarily halt the program but see the opinion as largely in their favor. At this point, the program "could resume this next school year" after some changes, says director of secondary education Mike Winland. "We feel strongly that this program was working."

Van Devender started its single-sex classes in reading, math, social studies, and science for sixth-graders in 2010. The single-sex approach expanded to seventh-grade last year and eighth-grade this year.

By the end of seventh-grade, students who were in single-classes for two years made larger gains on state tests than peers at coed middle schools, Mr. Winland says. Teachers and students both noticed more focus in the classroom, because there was less posturing to impress the opposite sex.

Such outcomes are often touted by Leonard Sax, a speaker and consultant who trains teachers based in part on the idea that brain-science suggests there are physiological differences between boys and girls.

Mr. Sax visited a school in Dallas recently, for example, where low-income minority boys working in competitive teams were so motivated that they demanded more books so they could earn extra credit. An equivalent school for girls is also doing well, says Sax, founder and executive director of the National Association for Single Sex Public Education.

Why shut down a school like that, he wonders, when educators are desperately trying to close achievement gaps?

The judge noted in his opinion that some of Sax's strategies seem to be based on pseudoscience and stereotypes. Winland says that contrary to the ACLU's accusations, the Van Devender program does not rely much on his research.

Rosemary Salomone, author of "Same, Different, Equal: Rethinking Single-Sex Schooling" and an expert witness for the school, tells the Monitor that "my position is nuanced."

"I oppose the brain-science research of Leonard Sax," says Professor Salomone, who is a law professor at St. John's University in New York and helped write the revised regulations to Title IX in 2006. "On the other hand, I do believe these [single-sex] programs can be implemented with Title IX compliance."

The ACLU and other groups such as the Feminist Majority have called on the Department of Education to rescind the 2006 regulations.

Hypothetically there are some good single-sex programs, says Ms. Katz, but "there are so few of them that we'd be better returning to the old regulations because the bright line standard was much better."

"We are considering whether further guidance on this topic may be appropriate," writes Daren Briscoe, a spokesman for the Department of Education, in an e-mail. In addition, the department is now tracking the number of single-sex classes in public schools in the Civil Rights Data Collection, he notes.

The ACLU has prompted a number of schools to stop single-sex programs after pointing out ways in which they appeared to violate the law. In the Van Devender case, it must now decide whether to pursue the case in hopes of a permanent ruling.

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