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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 July 13, 2011 / 11 Tamuz, 5771

Public school systems cheating nation's youth

By Marybeth Hicks





http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | Benjamin Franklin said, "Sin is not hurtful because it is forbidden, it is forbidden because it is hurtful."

Someone ought to hang that quote in every doorway of every school and office of the Atlanta Public Schools system.

Last week's release by Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal of an investigative report on widespread cheating within APS on the state's standardized curriculum tests raises more questions than it answers.

How did a school system the size of Atlanta's establish such pervasive unethical habits? Apparently some 178 educators, including 38 principals, are named as perpetrators of this educational fraud, and more than 80 have confessed to their roles in the scoring scam. Cheating took place in 44 of the 56 schools examined in the investigation.

If cheating by teachers, administrators and even the superintendent of schools is occurring with impunity in a major metropolitan school district, where else is it happening? Officials within APS denied for years that cheating was taking place, even as the students' scores improved in suspiciously dramatic fashion.

Can parents trust their local school districts' claims of improvement in educational results? APS Superintendent Beverly Hall became known as a "miracle worker" in supposedly turning around a beleaguered school district. She even became part of the "Atlanta brand."

Business and civic leaders touted her leadership and the quality of the schools as reasons to bring commerce to the city, yet it appears she may not have actually improved the district at all. There is now little reliable data to make that claim.

Of all the public scandals of the past several years, the APS cheating fiasco is the most egregious in recent memory because it proves that corruption is now standard operating procedure in our civic institutions. Who cares if children are left holding the bag, as long as the powers-that-be get the accolades they seek.

The finger pointing in the wake of this story merely demonstrates how broken our system of public education really is. Teachers blame the reforms instituted in Atlanta several years ago that put the focus on financial incentives for performance rather than teacher tenure.

Administrators blame state and federal governments for tying funding to school performance, which in turn "forces" schools to "teach to the test." (Proving if there's a way to blame former President George W. Bush for anything, folks will do so.)

If Atlanta teachers had been "teaching to the test," however, their rampant cheating would have been unnecessary.

Meanwhile, parents don't know who to blame, but they're not likely to hold their children accountable because, well … they hardly ever do, so why start now?

Oddly enough, there's one party no one ever mentions, but who, in my view, is probably the root cause of the decline (and inevitable demise) of our public schools: Weather Underground founder and former University of Illinois at Chicago professor Bill Ayers.

Not just Mr. Ayers, mind you, but he and his cohort of teacher educators who, in the past 40 years, literally hijacked our nation's schools for their own progressive purposes.

These days, rather than ensure that rising teachers are masters of their fields (Mr. Ayers has written that subject-matter mastery isn't necessary for teaching), our schools of education train teachers to engage in "social justice" - and even to teach substantive subjects such as math and science in the context of social consciousness.

When teachers don't view their role as imparting information, knowledge and skills, but rather as preparing students to be "agents of social change" through "critical thinking," it's no wonder the kids aren't capable of passing standardized tests.

It must be said: We aren't training our teachers to do the job we say we want done in our classrooms.

Why, then, are we surprised that they stoop to sin and avarice to achieve success in a job for which they are fundamentally unprepared in the first place?

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JWR contributor Marybeth Hicks, a wife of more than 20 years and mother of four children, lives in the Midwest. She uses her column to share her perspective on issues and experiences that shape families nationwide. To comment, please click here.


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