In this issue

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 Sept. 6, 2011 / 7 Elul, 5771

College rankings a useless exercise

By Dan K. Thomasson

http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | Academic hysteria begins in a few days when U.S. News, the former news magazine now a website dedicated almost solely to giving American college presidents heartburn, releases its new rankings for higher education. In case you're interested the top tier for this year is expected to be about the same as last and the year before and ...

I suspect that David Lawrence, the distinguished founder of a straight forward, accurate weekly report on the affairs of the nation, albeit one less dramatic, colorful and superficial than its better read competitors, is whirling around in his grave at this stilted, questionably honest list compiled by his successors. If you do rush to the newsstand for this latest edition be prepared to go away depressed if:

(A), you went to a state university that with an exception or two is in the Midwest is a cultural wasteland according to these guys and (B); your puny institution is not in the top 30 or so in any category. That is certification that your alma mater is really named Podunk U. and that the actual dollar value of the parchment upon which your degree is written is about all you might expect from the experience.

That may seem a little harsh. But it seems justified considering the one-time magazine's lasting contribution to the masochistic tendencies of the lords of academia, who spend sleepless nights and harried days worrying about the fact their school can't crack the top 10 or even 50. That's not to mention what it does to the confidence of all those just plain folk who thought their state institutions were pretty good only to be told otherwise.

Actually, according to a recent news report, the guy in charge of compiling the list has received a huge number of requests for reassessment throughout the years. The critics of this dubious project first undertaken in 1983 charge that a little squeak or two can grease the way for better ratings the next time out. Whether that is true or not, schools sometimes inexplicably move forward or fall back in position on the list. The latter has happened to such venerated schools as the University of California Berkley, the University of North Carolina and the University of Virginia. Pass the cyanide, please. That, of course, doesn't happen to the perennial top three, Harvard, Yale and Princeton.

Those who disdain the U.S. News annual exercise contend that it is based on factors that hardly measure the actual worth of a school. These include acceptance rate, graduation rate, student-to-faculty ratio, alumni giving and impressions of peers. If the percentage of acceptance is low, it appears the rating is better. For instance, the top three have low acceptance rates. However, there is no measurement of the factors that go into their admissions decisions -- legacies, diversity, etc. -- that aren't always based on academic qualifications.

It is great to have a 7-1 student-to-faculty ratio. But how many faculty members are actually teaching or are doing research? Ever hear of graduate assistants? Graduation rates are also difficult gauges. It has been long suspected that once Ivy League students are admitted they seldom are allowed to fail. It just looks bad for the selection process, namely its claim to excellence.

The best-kept secret in academia is that there are 200 schools where the difference in undergraduate education is minimal, where applying oneself to what is offered can produce rewarding results. For more than 20 years as a member of a board of trustees of a 176-year-old liberal arts school, I have been watching youngsters move on to distinguished careers in medicine, journalism, business and teaching. Three nationally recognized colleagues on the board, who unlike me graduated from Franklin College, went on to medical school at Johns Hopkins.

I recently asked a graduating Franklin student where she was headed and she said medical school. When I asked whether she had been accepted anywhere, she smiled and replied yes, Indiana, Johns Hopkins and Harvard. She had a major quality problem. I have not looked at where Franklin ranks in the U. S. News pantheon of excellence. Who cares? The proof is in the graduates.

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08/31/11: Thankful a mother isn't alive to see this hungry mess

08/30/11: ‘Supercommittee’ should meet in secret

08/22/11: Is college still worth it? Some majors are

08/15/11: Pray for miracle from debt committee

08/09/11: S&P mixes credit ratings with politics

08/08/11: Politics again takes precedence over common sense

08/04/11: In modern society, a distinct pattern of senselessness

07/29/11: A debt solution: Throw the rascals out, all of them

07/21/11: Campaign finance reform --- you're kidding, right!?

07/08/11: Casey Anthony jury did its job

07/05/11: Nailing a prominent figure or institution should come at a heavy risk — and an even greater price if proven a hoax