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 Dec. 8, 2010 / 1 Teves, 5771

US students only competitive in texting

By Marybeth Hicks

http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | An equation: If x is the average number of hours per day US students spend studying math and science, and y is the US ranking on the recently released 2009 international academic achievement comparisons as measured by the Paris-based Organization of Economic Cooperation and Development, what is the median number of text messages sent by American students during the school day?

The answer? Math is lame, of course.

That's the likely attitude of the fifteen-year-old students whose math scores placed the US at number 25 out of 34 countries participating in the Program for International Student Assessment. US students ranked 17th overall in science and 14th in reading.

Meanwhile, South Korea, Finland and the Shanghai region of China outranked all other countries in math; South Korea, Finland and Canada scored highest in reading; and Finland, Japan and South Korea did best in science.

According to reports, Secretary of Education Arne Duncan says the results "should be a massive wakeup call to the entire country." The solution to our poor international standing advocated by the Obama administration is the adoption of national curriculum standards and revamping teacher pay to reward performance rather than credentials and seniority.

Frankly, the "massive wakeup call" was better illustrated by a video produced by Time Warner Cable's "Connect a Million Minds" (CAMM) initiative back in November 2009 (right around the time our students were bombing on these international assessment tests on behalf of the USA).

Responding to previous international rankings that prove we're far behind the rest of the world in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) scores, CAMM set out to identify the differing attitudes about these subjects among teens from several countries.

Not surprisingly, they learned that students in Finland, China and Australia understand how crucial it is to work hard, compete against other students, and master the skills that will enable them to find jobs in these areas.

American students "hate math" (what did it ever do to them?), preferring to "text," "socialize," "watch Youtube videos" and generally not appear to be intellectually engaged. (Want to be annoyed? Watch CAMM's video at www.connectamillionminds.com).

The CAMM initiative is looking to connect mentors to US students to show them how cool it is to study STEM subjects and work in related fields, proving that math and science now must compete in the arena of public relations for the attention of America's over-indulged youth.

To wit: Another headline in this week's news declares a controversial new policy at a California high school: "Zero tolerance for classroom texters." Apparently, a principal at a school near San Francisco is making waves because he actually intends to confiscate cell phones from teens when they text in class (as opposed to during the lunch hour or recess, when cell phone use is permitted).

The policy at Benicia High School is announced twice a day over the school's PA system (more often than the due date for math homework, I'm just guessing). Still, some parents object to the policy because they're worried about school safety. Of course, for the kids at this high school, the challenge is, as one student put it, to be "more discreet" when texting during class.

Yo, Arnie. Merit pay for teachers is not the problem.

More likely, the problem rests at the feet of the teacher education elite, who long ago usurped American public education for the cause of social justice and social engineering. Thanks to their "child centered" pedagogy, we're more concerned about righting injustice than teaching kids the knowledge and skills they will need to be truly competitive, self-sufficient and successful.

We're infusing self-esteem, while in far away Finland, Australia and South Korea, they're simply teaching math, science and reading to a eager population of knowledge-thirsty learners.

This would explain why their kids are acing the tests, while ours aren't.

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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.


© 2009, Marybeth Hicks