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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 December 27, 2013 /24 Teves, 5774

Fixing our schools

By Dan K. Thomasson




JewishWorldReview.com | What's wrong with this sentence?

"...white suburban moms-who all of a sudden-their child isn't as brilliant as they thought they were and their school isn't quite as good as they thought they were..."

Most grade school students, at least the ones I know, could tell you in a minute that the sentence is a flawed mixture of plural and singular that probably would earn them a failing grade on any English examination. Even if one takes into account that the sentence was spoken and not written, it is a grammatical nightmare.

But what really is wrong with it is that it is attributed to Arne Duncan, the U.S. Secretary of Education who made it in defense of a controversial proposal to establish a core curriculum in the nation's public schools. The quote appeared in the Washington Post which also reported that Duncan further characterized opposition to the curriculum as "political silliness" and "a rallying cry for fringe groups."

How ever one comes down on this issue, I would hazard a guess that most Americans could agree that Duncan of all people needs desperately to brush up on his sentence structure to make it at least compatible with what is being taught and has been for generations in classrooms across the land. Or is that too much to expect from a child of the television culture where grammar is slaughtered day in and day out-where tenses don't always agree and the rules about prepositional objects are ignored just between you and I (oops).

This is a culture where people are hung like gates instead of hanged as they should be. He should have "went" some place has become standard among sportscasters. Even the baby boomers are too young to remember the days when super pitcher turned play- by- play announcer Dizzy Dean's horrible but colorful grammatical gaffs on radio brought down the wrath of America's moms. Their kids were running around saying things like "he done slud into third."



As for the core curriculum, it was always my impression that we had one from the beginning of public education. It was called reading, writing, and arithmetic and it has been followed with refinements since William G. McGuffey taught half of our populace how to read in a primer that was used from 1836 to 1961. I personally was of the "Dick and Jane" generation.

The hysterics on the right and the left variously see the Core either as a federal takeover of public education or a necessary reform to improve the overall quality of the school system, which much like politics is mainly local. Key supporters for the core which establishes curriculum guidelines and standards for how well all students should perform in math and English/language arts K through 12 include the National Governors Association and the Council of Chief State School Officers. The Bill and Melinda Gates foundation provides a lot of the funding.

Public education is much like the weather. As the humorist once said, everybody talks about it (the weather) but no one does anything (well, in the case of education not much anyway). George W. Bush's No Child Left Behind initiative has been flawed by resistance and faulty implantation. Teachers' Unions don't like it because it puts too much stress on the members. The core curriculum is favored by the American Federation of Teachers but the concern is the way it is written and presented and ultimately implemented by the Obama administration.

The Post recently quoted Randi Weingarten, the AFT president, as predicting that the implementation of the Core would be far worse than the bollixed up implementation of the Affordable Care Act.

In the end it all comes down to how good the instructor is and what kind of support he or she receives from the parents, if there are any or perhaps as Secretary Duncan might say "is any." One of the reasons the nation's private schools do so well is that they don't have to play to the common denominator or turn every proposed solution into a nightmare of complexity.

In this town most of those who make our laws and influence our long range education decisions, including the president, don't send their youngsters to public schools if they bring their families here. So how do they know?

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

Comment by clicking here.


12/17/13: Geek babies? Say it ain't so

12/10/13: Bank profits rise as taxpayers subsidize employees

11/22/13: The myth vs. reality of President Kennedy

11/04/13: How could NSA spying surprise Obama?

10/01/13: Remember Valerie Plame and her hubby? She -- and her publisher -- hope you do

09/10/13: Public schools need lessons in effective education

08/21/13: NNCAA reforms can't come too soon

08/09/13: Military justice system failing in Fort Hood case

08/02/13: Bradley Manning's case offers cautionary tale

07/30/13: Disciplining students requires perspective

07/23/13: Not quite your great-great-grandfather's log cabin

07/12/13: Courting diversity in college enrollment

06/24/13: Post-arrest DNA collection is justified

06/18/13: Tax reform may have effective Dynamic Duo

06/14/13: Stop outsourcing government secrets

06/10/13: IRS couldn't survive one of its own audits

05/31/13: Higher ed gaining more support from states

05/24/13: Does Obama have Plausible Deniability?

05/20/13: Google Glass is progress at a cost

03/25/13: NCAA's March Madness still scores points

02/27/13: School safety radicals make things considerably worse

02/21/13: Wrestling needs a firm hold on Olympics

02/18/13: Obama may be able to do little about gun violence

12/17/12: When is a majority not a majority?

12/12/12: Government snooping's historical precedent

11/13/12: Petraeus learns a lesson the hard way

10/26/12: High court must settle affirmative action

10/16/12: Report confirms SATs flawed indicator

08/20/12: All the news fit to tweet?

07/27/12: Economic disillusionment marks young voters' views

07/20/12: Will Postal Service follow Pony Express route?

07/13/12: Paterno's statue should be covered up

07/10/12: 8.2 jobless rate endangers Obama's job

07/03/12: It's still the economy, stupid

06/19/12: Mitt Romney's chances look better

06/08/12: Pakistan not an ally worthy of the name

06/05/12: Americans have a right to be bloated

06/01/12: Quota system would dilute school's quality

05/27/12: Even now, Memorial Day means summer camp

05/18/12: Is there a public right to know too much?

05/09/12: American exceptionalism --- exceptional generosity

05/04/12: The Edwards trial is a sorry affair

05/02/12: Common sense needs to be taught . . . to school administrators

04/30/12: We must deal with college student debt rate

04/10/12: At least Ryan has a deficit-cutting plan

04/05/12: Celebrate one-year rent-a-teams?

03/12/12: A kinder, gentler day when fists settled disputes

03/05/12: Do conservatives want a victory or a statement?

02/27/12: Hillary vs. Jeb?

02/17/12: Why wait for the until GOP nominating convention?

02/17/12: Prez is not a god, just a cause of O.G. D.: Obama Governmental Dysfunction

02/13/12: Minor tardiness doesn't warrant court action

02/08/12: College rankings aren't always reliable

02/01/12: Millionaire Fans Watching Millionaire Players

01/30/12: Kiriakou case may plug leaks, stifle democracy

01/09/12: Feds need to find if Brit hackers targeted 9/11 families

12/23/11: NIH flu-strain decision endangers us all

12/09/11: U.S. Postal Service may be beyond saving

11/30/11: Do-gooder gets deserved earful

11/24/11: Lawmakers should pledge to think on their own

11/22/11: Iowa: Vital to GOP now, irrelevant later

11/16/11: Pentagon's ‘senior mentor’ service takes hit

11/14/11: With Congress, expect more intransigence

11/08/11: Paterno's illustrious career faces tarnished end

10/31/11: The FBI is burned by its Boston informants

10/18//11: President Inexperienced again picked style and enthusiasm over caution. He must pay

10/10/11: Prosecutors routinely abuse plea bargaining

10/04/11: In Christie,shades of William Howard Taft

09/27/11: One word for Obama's prospects --- ‘bleak’

09/26/11: Obama quickly running out of time

09/23/11: Big-time college football is now all about the money

09/22/11: A trip to the dentist cleans out your wallet

09/06/11: College rankings a useless exercise

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





© 2011, SCRIPPS HOWARD NEWS SERVICE

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