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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 April 23, 2012/ 1 Iyar, 5772

Educational excellence is a game

By Jay Ambrose




http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | National testing tells us that vast numbers of students are not up to snuff on what they should know. But, wait a minute, what's that signal of hope out of Brooklyn? A middle school with 60 percent poor kids just won the national high school chess championship?

It's true. This institution with a forgettable, numerical name, Intermediate School 318, just did the near impossible by engaging in right practices where so many public schools engage in wrong ones. It thereby joined a number of other superb schools over the years in providing lessons far more important than chess skills. The practices are important for educational excellence.

While many believe teachers can do little to make much of a difference for kids from such tough economic backgrounds, chess players from this middle school have been outmaneuvering more advantaged students for years. What they did this time around was especially impressive, for they were whipping high school students. Middle schools do not win national high school contests in chess. It has never happened before.

Joel Klein, former chancellor of New York City's education system, has written that the poor can perform as well as the gifted at special schools if they get the right teachers to teach them. What that can mean, says this voice of experience, is taking on teachers unions over all kinds of rules that foster mediocrity by protecting jobs no matter how miserably performed.

At least one exceptional teacher in I.S. 318's case is Elizabeth Spiegel, who started as a part-time chess coach before becoming a full-time chess teacher, according to The New York Times. I like much of what she is quoted as saying, such as her recognition that intellect expresses itself in a variety of ways and that chess is more than chess. It is a way of learning to think and to cope.

To stand out in the crowd, as I.S. 318 did, requires principals who stand out in the crowd, as we've been told in books by such observers as William G. Ouchi, a Stanford management professor, and by Samuel Casey Carter, a corporate vice president and Heritage Foundation fellow. That brings us to Fortunato Rubino, who died early this month. His leadership as principal of I.S. 318 seems from all accounts to have been central to this year's accomplishments.

But, for goodness sake, let's not forget the chess players themselves, according to Chester E. Finn Jr., an education expert writing in National Review online. He says too many educators these days nurture student self-esteem when none is due. They hate the idea of students competing and maybe not winning. They do not push for students to work particularly hard.
Time to tune in to an online video of the chess players funded by an organization called Kickstarter.

One player on the video says, "We crush our opponents," apparently enjoying every minute of competition. Another one says the thing that matters most in winning is "how much work you put into it." My favorite is a teen happy to earn her self-esteem. Ranked low among chess players, she fought her way up. She reminds us of the saying that Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned.

Others point to other issues, such as an I.S. 318 money deficit that, as worrisome as it might have been, donors filled to keep the program going. Basic skills, despite their primary importance, should not be the whole show in public schools, which is not the same as saying chess is crucial to every school. But are good teaching, good leadership from principals and hard work by students crucial? Checkmate.

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Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in in the media and Washington consider "must-reading". Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.

Comment by clicking here.

Jay Ambrose, formerly Washington director of editorial policy for Scripps Howard newspapers and the editor of dailies in El Paso, Texas, and Denver, is a columnist living in Colorado.


Previously:


04/18/12: Obama's interventions help a few by the most autocratic, complicated, ineffective means possible, yet hurt many more
04/16/12: Overregulation strikes again: The nanny state threatens to turn us into children
04/11/12: Obama is not bonkers
04/04/12: Will America vote against authoritarianism?
04/02/12: 'Tipping point' on federal restraint approaches
03/28/12: Obama truth from an open mike
03/21/12: The progressive campaign for voter fraud
03/19/12: Public pensions will get us if we don't watch out
03/14/12: Politics needs reporting, not speculation
03/12/12: Home of the free, the brave, the endangered
03/07/12: Obama used Limbaugh as scapegoat
03/05/12: Campaign substance lost in media melodrama
03/01/12: When Big Brother drowns
02/24/12: Obama goes gaseous on gas
02/22/12: Political tears for trust in personal empowerment --- except in the bedroom
02/17/12: Of cut-off ears and silenced mouths
02/15/12: Obama is a joke whose antics aren't funny
02/10/12: An energy boom looms, despite Obama
02/08/12: Obama's assault on faith
02/03/12: Can Romney get serious?
01/27/12: Obama is like an Italian ship captain
01/25/12: Newt Gingrich's first 100 days
01/20/12: Obama's Keystone pipeline lies
01/18/12: Critics worse than urinating Marines
01/13/12: Ron Paul is a cartoonish character
01/11/12: Newt Gingrich upset by Mitt Romney's brilliance
01/09/12: How about regulating presidents, too?
01/04/12: How America smothers itself
12/30/11: A tax break that helps break the nation
12/28/11: Watch out for the banana peel, Newt
12/21/11: A tale of two men
12/16/11: Strange happenings in Russia
12/14/11: Tim Tebow is a man of character
12/09/11: A populist, envy-mongering fraud divisively exacerbating resentment among different groups of Americans
12/07/11: Tax games threaten nation
12/05/11: Why Wal-Mart serves us better than Barney Frank
11/30/11: Not writing off Newt
11/28/11: Answers to the Iranian threat
11/23/11: Failure of the incumbency investment
11/18/11: Occupiers: Chop off their heads!
11/16/11: Obama asks jobless to sacrifice
11/09/11: Michael Moore's insufferable occupation
11/04/11: Political tipping point is coming
11/02/11: Idealogues versus 7 billion
10/28/11: Obama games on student loans
10/26/11: Wit and quick moves v. humanity and thoroughgoing honesty? It's no contest —- or at least shouldn't be
10/07/11: Baptists, bootleggers and Wall Street protesters
10/05/11: Federal law will get you even if you watch out
09/28/11: Leftist bugbears on the march
09/23/11: Still hope for coal to help us
09/21/11: Obama's Madoff ploy
09/19/11: U.S. can't afford to wait until it happens
09/14/11: Defending -- and strengthening -- gung ho collectivism
09/12/11: A pipeline to better times
09/08/11: Obama just keeps destroying jobs
09/06/11: Ultra-feminists thwarting justice
08/31/11: Corporations are people? Yes, Count the ways
08/26/11: What an earthquake tells us about debt
08/25/11: The tyranny of scientific consensus
08/23/11: Fracking hardly a public health threat
08/17/11: Why Obamacare won't control births
08/15/11: Balanced budget amendment unbalanced idea
08/10/11: Kerry's war on citizen speech
08/05/11: Upside to the compromise leaving the door open for obnoxious maneuvers
08/03/11: The people who may save America
07/29/11: On making deals, Obama is no LBJ
07/27/11: The threat behind the debt
07/23/11: Mean opposition to means-testing
07/20/11: Leftist babble makes debt crisis even worse
07/18/11: Time to raise demagoguery ceiling
07/13/11: Obama treating treaties badly
07/08/11: Is decline of U.S. exaggerated?
07/05/11: Not math deficiency, but demagoguery



© 2011, SCRIPPS HOWARD NEWS SERVICE

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