In this issue
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 Aug 14, 2012 / 26 Menachem-Av, 5772

Ed schools vs. education

By Jack Kelly

http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | If our kids learned as much in school as Canadian kids do, we'd increase our gross domestic product by about $50 trillion over the next 80 years, estimates Eric Hanushek of the Hoover Institution.

The GDP gain would be doubled if our kids learned as much as Finnish kids do, he said. The average yearly gain would be enough to wipe out our $1.2 trillion federal budget deficit.

"The achievement gap between the U.S. and the world's top-performing countries can be said to be causing the equivalent of a permanent recession," Mr. Hanushek wrote for Education Next.

Not so many years ago, our schools were the best in the world. But in the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development's rankings in 2010, the United States was 17th in reading, 22nd in science, 29th in math. In every other OECD country, 25- to 34-year-olds are better educated than 55- to 64 year-olds. But not in the United States. Today we lead the world only in how much we spend per pupil.

Most of the top performers in the world are Asian. Asian kids study a lot more than ours do. But Finnish students perform almost as well as the best Asian students. In the 1970s, the Finns were below where we are today. The poor performance of our kids can't be blamed on ethnicity or culture.

Far and away the most important factor in student learning is the quality of teachers. If we got rid of just the bottom 5 percent to 7 percent of teachers, that alone would lift our kids to Canadian levels, Mr. Hanushek calculates.

Our teachers "do not know anything," according to Terrence Moore, who teaches history at Hillsdale College. That's largely because most have degrees in education rather than in the subjects they teach.

"Colleges of education are considered vast wastelands of mediocrity at most comprehensive universities," wrote Richard Vedder, director of the Center for College Affordability and Productivity, in the Chronicle of Higher Education. "Future teachers are better served by getting good grounding in academic subject matter."

Ed schools seem to think knowing stuff isn't important.

"If you confront [teachers] with the fact that they, just as their students, can tell you nothing about the first 10 presidents or the use of the gerund, they will blithely respond that it is not so important for them to know things as to know 'how to know things,' " said Mr. Moore.

Students learn more quickly from teachers who make learning fun. But if a teacher lacks knowledge, it doesn't matter how good are his or her communications skills or how much he or she cares about the kids.

"Students learn a lot from the teacher who knows a lot," Mr. Moore said. "They learn nothing from the teacher who knows nothing."

Furthermore, "most of the good research on learning, educational costs, etc., is being done outside education schools by psychologists, political scientists and economists." Mr. Vedder said. Ed schools, he concluded, are "a blight on true higher education," so state governments should consider defunding students in colleges of education.

The reform needed is to remove state "certification" requirements. The reason for them, we're told, is to guarantee that only the qualified teach. Their real purpose is to keep the knowledgeable out of the classroom.

In public high schools, 60 percent of students studying the physical sciences are being taught by someone who didn't major in the subject or isn't certified to teach it. The gap could be filled by retired or laid-off engineers. Few know more biology than a medical doctor, more about civics than a politician. But in many cases, if they haven't taken a slew of ed courses, they aren't allowed to teach.

Relatively few teachers get certified without going through one of the nation's education schools. "Yet these education schools," Mr. Moore points out, "not only do not impart real knowledge of academic subjects; they are actively hostile to it."

The dreck taught in ed courses can be as much a deterrent to professionals contemplating a career change as their cost, or the time it takes to complete them. Imagine Marxism dumbed down so much Karl Marx himself would run screaming from it in embarrassment.

If instead of being forced to hire the certified, schools were free to hire the qualified, colleges of education would wither away -- and learning would blossom.

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JWR contributor Jack Kelly, a former Marine and Green Beret, was a deputy assistant secretary of the Air Force in the Reagan administration.

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