Home
In this issue
April 21, 2014

Andrew Silow-Carroll: Passoverkill? Suggestions to make next year's seders even more culturally sensitive

Sara Israelsen Hartley: Seeking the Divine: An ancient connection in a new context

Christine M. Flowers: Priest's execution in Syria should be call to action

Courtnie Erickson: How to help kids accept the poor decisions of others

Lizette Borreli: A Glass Of Milk A Day Keeps Knee Arthritis At Bay

Lizette Borreli: 5 Health Conditions Your Breath Knows Before You Do

The Kosher Gourmet by Betty Rosbottom Coconut Walnut Bars' golden brown morsels are a beautifully balanced delectable delight

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 Oct. 25, 2010/ 17 Mar-Cheshvan, 5771

Shock, but more importantly, action: De-Unionize Public Schools now

By Arnold Ahlert




http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | When I was in my early twenties, I worked for an organization called Reading Volunteers of America. Their mission was to reach out to high school drop-outs and other folks who couldn't read. I bring this up because the national tragedy known as public school education reminds me of some the historical reports regarding the Holocaust: people "sort of knew" what was going on, but it took years to understand the horrific scope of a Nazi movement which consumed the lives of six million Jews. No doubt comparing our public school system to the Holocaust will shock some people. I sincerely hope it does.

Since I was young and cocky, I asked RVA to send me some of their tougher cases. Whether they actually obliged me, I can't say. What I can say is they sent me two black youths in their early twenties. Both were shy, polite and seemingly determined to address their reading deficiencies. Both kids were high school drop-outs--but both had stayed in school until they reached the tenth grade before doing so.

How deficient were these boys? Totally, unambiguously, shockingly deficient. Where was I forced to begin their re-education? With the alphabet. That's right. Neither of these kids knew their ABCs, despite sitting in classrooms until they were fifteen years old. Nor did either of them have the slightest clue about money. They couldn't distinguish the difference between a one dollar bill or a ten dollar bill. "How do you know you're not getting ripped off when you go shopping?" I asked one. "I bring my girlfriend with me," he replied.

Although all of us lived in Brooklyn at the time, one of them held a job cleaning the floors of office buildings in Manhattan at night. Since he was totally illiterate, I asked him how he knew which stop to get off the subway. "When the train goes through the tunnel (the subway train runs underneath the East River between Brooklyn and Manhattan) my ears pop," he said. "After my ears pop, I count three stops and get off." I needled him: "If you ever get a head cold, you might be on that train 'til the end of the line."

Like I said, these were good kids. Good enough to realize that illiteracy was a permanent game-changer in their lives and they had to do something about it. Yet the one thing I was least successful in getting them to do was show up. And I made it clear in no uncertain terms that I was not a father figure, or any other entity interested in "punishing" them for their truancy. "I don't care if you call me and say 'I can't make it today, Mr. Ahlert, because I'm shooting smack on a street corner,' just call me and let me know you're not showing up, soI don't show up and waste my time."

I was working as a clerk in a neighborhood liquor store at the time. In Brooklyn, that means you eventually get to know just about everyone in the neighborhood. Taking advantage of that, I took both boys to the local hardware store to see if I could get them local jobs. I introduced both of them to the store owner. Both of them stared straight at the floor, never looking up once. The owner handed one of the boys a tape measure and asked him to measure 32 inches on a piece of wood. The kid looked at the tape measure, looked at me, handed it back to the owner and walked out the door. When we were alone outside, I found out why:

He didn't know what an inch was. Last week, the United Federation of Teachers went to court to block a Freedom of Information request by the NY Post. The union is attempting to prevent the release of ratings they have given to the 12,000 teachers who work in the city's public school system. UFT President Michael Mulgrew:

"The United Federation of Teachers today announced it would seek an injunction in the New York State Supreme Court to prevent the city's Department of Education from publicizing Teacher Data Reports, which are based on student scores on state tests. The union said the Reports, in addition to relying on tests the state itself has disavowed, are characterized by missing and erroneous information, and rely on a methodology which national experts consider unproven."

Translation: we will not be held unaccountable to parents or their children--period.

Mulgrew followed up that statement with this gem: releasing the grades, he offered, would allow for "misuse by untrained members of the public."

Translation number two: parents are too stupid to understand the ratings.

According the the Post, taxpayers have spent $21 billion on city schools in the past year. For that they've gotten a 54% passing rate of third through eight graders on state math tests--and 42% on reading tests. In other words, they're in the process of turning out more and more kids exactly like the two I dealt with more than thirty years ago.

That, my fellow Americans, is an educational Holocaust.

And it is a Holocaust for which there is only one genuine remedy: de-unionization. It's long past time to bust up these arrogant, unaccountable monopolies and the unconscionable policies which accompany them. It is time to free America's children from the educational ghettos which have virtually institutionalized the "soft bigotry of low expectations." It is time to end the odious policy of tenure, and a seniority system based on nothing more than time served, rather than quality of service.

It is also time to remember that this contemptuous system would be impossible to maintain were it not for the unholy alliance between these unions and their protectors in the Democrat party. Once again: for the past eleven years, the National Education Association and the American Federation of Teachers have forked over $56 million dollars in campaign donations almost exclusively--as in 90% and 98%, respectively--to the Democrat party.

And it's about time those donations were characterized for what they truly are: protection money.

In every major category, but especially in math and science, American students have become an international embarrassment. As I said in a previous column, China turns out more English-speaking engineers than America does. And as I'm asking right now, how many more kids like the two I worked with--kids who managed to learn absolutely nothing, even as they were shuffled from grade to grade--will be churned through a system that has become utterly corrupt?

Teachers are white-collar, four-year college graduates. If such people cannot function without union protection, something is seriously wrong. If Americans don't snap out of their torpor and demand an end to this nonsense, we've got nowhere to go but down.

And teachers, save yourself some trouble: don't send me letters blaming everyone else, offering the same tired excuses about needing protection from principals, lousy parents, and why you can't function like every other American forced to perform his or her job or face the possibility of getting fired. I've heard 'em all, and they're not flying. For example, not once have I heard teachers demand the expulsion of unruly students, proper dress codes or better school security as a make-or-break part of their contract negotiations. Why not? A union going to court to prevent its teachers from held publicly accountable has no qualms about resorting to hardball tactics when it suits their interests. Why aren't safe, orderly schools at the top of the list?

I'm old enough to remember when the American public school system was the envy of the world. I'm also old enough to remember the constant contract negotiations in which common sense has been incrementally replaced with unionist self-interest and unaccountability.

I have no idea what happened to the two boys I attempted to help all those years ago. A year after they both gave up, I got a phone call from one asking if we could get started again. I tried calling him back several times, but never got an answer. I hope either or both of them learned to read--but I wouldn't bet on it. It is worth remembering that these were boys who made the effort to undo the neglect to which they were subjected. How many thousands of others never bother?

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

Comment on JWR Contributor Arnold Ahlert's column, by clicking here.



Previously:


10/20/10:
Multiculturalism? Check, Please
10/18/10: Healthcare: ‘Alice in Wonderland’ vs. The Constitution
10/11/10: Vote for Restoring the Rule of Law in November
10/11/10: Dems: Running From Clarity
10/07/10: Hypersensitive Hogwash
10/04/10: ‘Comprehensive’ Con Artists
09/29/10: Why Dems Are Going Down in November
09/27/10: The Unholiest of Unholy Alliances
09/22/10: Two Words for Republicans to Remember: ‘I Won’
09/20/10: Purging ‘Me First’ Politicians
09/17/10: No More ‘Lesser of Two Evils’
09/15/10: ‘Recovery’ Arms Race
09/13/10: ‘Bigots’ in the Majority --- Again?
09/09/10: Giving Voters Something to Vote For
09/07/10: Irresponsible Dems, Incomprehensible Bills
09/02/10: War Weary Americans vs. Implacable Islamists
08/31/10: A ‘Dream’ Debased
08/25/10: American ‘Bigots’ Versus Media Propagandists
08/23/10: Recovery Bummer
08/19/10: An Unholy Alliance of Radicals
08/16/10: You've Lost America, Mr. President
08/13/10: The Twin Towers of Progressive Disconnect
08/11/10: A Far Better ‘National Discussion’
08/09/10: It's ‘Only’ One Dead Nun
08/06/10: Incremental Tyranny
08/04/10: Ground Zero Mosque: Context Counts
08/02/10: The Arizona Ruling: a Gift for November
07/29/10: The United Cities of America
07/26/10: JournoList: ‘Coordinated’ Ideological Bankruptcy
07/20/10: Go For Broke Or Get Out of the Way
07/14/10: You're a Liberal/Progressive if You Believe…
07/12/10: $33-an-hour--For Sleeping On the Job
07/08/10: Extortionist Government
07/06/10: ‘Commerce Clause’ Totalitarians
07/01/10: Another Public School Travesty in MA
06/30/10: Calling YOUR Bluff, Mr. President
06/28/10: A Trifecta of Progressive Corruption
06/23/10: Plug the Darn Hole --- In Our Border
06/21/10: Our Empty-Suit-in-Chief
06/16/10: Betraying Our Children
06/14/10: Who Gets the Benefit of the Doubt?
06/07/10: Politically Correct Warfare
06/01/10: Bill Maher's ‘Black’ President
05/25/10: A Mosque At Ground Zero
05/23/10: Libs Stand Tall --- For Mexico
05/19/10: The 'Unintended Consequences' of Liberalism
05/17/10: 'Los' Suns: Stuck on Stupido
05/12/10: Union Audacity: Yes We Will!
05/10/10: Greeks, Leaks and and Double-Speak
05/05/10: Twelve Million Illegals --- or Thirty?
05/02/10: Republicans: Playing Not to Lose Doesn't Cut It
04/28/10: Arizona: Progressivism's Waterloo?
04/26/10: Son of Amnesty
04/22/10: Mortgages and Moral Meltdowns
04/20/10: Bashing Christians — Or Gays?
04/15/10: Personal Integri-‘tea’
04/12/10: Fools, Tools and Ghouls
04/08/10: (Tea) Party On
04/05/10: The Triumph of Mediocrity
04/02/10: Two For the Road
03/29/10: The Innate Immorality of Liberalism
03/24/10: The Art of War
03/22/10: I Want My Country Back
03/18/10: A Perpetual Process
03/17/10: American Exhibitionists
03/15/10: A Light Bulb Moment of Clarity
03/10/10: Little Things Mean A Lot
02/03/10: Budgetary Fork in the Road
02/01/10: Liberal Economic Illiteracy
01/27/10: ‘Roe-ing and Wade-ing’ Back to Reason
01/25/10: Arrogance When Up, Denial When Down
01/20/10: Connecting the Educational Dots
01/19/10: The Next Tea Party?
01/15/10: The Myth That Keeps on Giving
01/13/10: Airport Security Begins Away From the Airport
01/11/10: Secrets and Lies
01/08/10: Embracing Bigotry — or Rejecting Bullying?
01/06/10: Hanging by an Ideological Thread
01/04/10: Our ‘Wonderama’ Bureaucracy
12/30/09: A Day Off
12/28/09: Dangerous Myths
12/25/09: I, Me, Mine
12/23/09: A Very Harry Christmas
12/21/09: My Opinon
12/18/09: The Party of Repeal
12/15/09: Privileged Exemption
11/30/09: ‘Settled’ Science and Unsettled Children
11/30/09: American Sharia Law
11/23/09:The Trial (Travesty) of the Century
11/04/09: American Vampires and Their Political Enablers
11/01/09: ‘Opting Out’ of Insanity?
10/28/09: Cell Phones Cause Brain Cancer. Brain Required
10/26/09: Communism: Nazism With Better PR
10/21/09: Just Asking
10/16/09: Cost Projections vs. Actual Costs, or Hope and Change vs. Reality
10/14/09: News you can use …
10/07/09: Incremental Insidiousness
10/05/09: MIA: Common Sense and Common Decency
09/30/09: Iran: Bad Options and Unpreparedness
09/21/09: Crying Racism: the Last Refuge of Scoundrels
09/11/09: 9/11 Cannot Be Sanitized
09/08/09: ‘Truthers’ and Consequences
09/01/09: A ‘Paper Trail’ Challenge for the Mainstream Media
08/31/09: Drowning in Amorality
08/26/09: The Republican Recovery Program

© 2010, Arnold Ahlert

Columnists

Toons

Lifestyles