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December 2, 2014

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 June 17, 2014 / 19 Sivan, 5774

Quality education -- for all

By Paul Greenberg




JewishWorldReview.com | A trial judge in California has now delivered a resounding decision in the great tradition of Brown v. Board of Education -- yes, the case that sounded the death knell for Jim Crow in public schools after half a century of legally established and maintained racial segregation.

This case is styled Vergara v. State of California, but it might as well be named Poor Kids v. Teachers' Unions, and this time the kids won one.

In a blow for equality of opportunity in his state, and maybe in this country, His Honor Rolf M. Treu of the Los Angeles County Superior Court struck down California's ridiculous laws governing teacher tenure. The kind of laws that bosses of teachers' unions love but that can keep lots of kids in poor and racially isolated neighborhoods from getting a decent start in life.

As the judge noted, laws that let incompetent teachers keep on miseducating kids in failed schools "impose a real and appreciable impact on the students' fundamental right to equality of education."

It was only fitting that the plaintiffs who brought this case to court should be nine children, as in the Little Rock Nine who challenged racial segregation in another time -- the Little Rock Crisis of 1957. Once again it is the kids, millions of them, whose futures are at stake. This time they're threatened by the elaborate systems of teacher tenure and mountains of red tape that protect the most incompetent teachers in our public schools -- the kind of teachers who have destroyed the hopes of children and their families for generations.

Judge Treu struck down things like the "last-in, first out" rule that puts seniority above all other considerations when it comes to laying off teachers, especially those who should have been forced out years ago. You could almost hear the deadwood in so much of American education shake as His Honor handed down his decision in plain, to-the-point English. For it's not easy -- indeed, it's well-nigh impossible -- to get rid of bad teachers in California, or as Judge Treu noted in his Parade of Horrible Examples, it took Los Angeles $3.5 million over the last decade to fire only seven teachers for their poor performance, or rather try to.



Only four of those menaces to kids' education were finally shown the door, two collected lavish settlements, and one stayed on the payroll to go on crippling the next generation. And generations. Pitiful. Also wasteful and shameful. Which is why the judge's decision in this case is a heartening victory for quality education, not to mention truth, justice and the American Way.

Every year, every day, lost in a child's education is invaluable, and hard if not impossible to make up. And every day these poor excuses for teachers stay in the classroom, the damage they do to children's lives is incalculable.

In his eloquent decision, it was only right that His Honor should cite Brown v. Board of Education, the landmark decision of the U.S. Supreme Court in 1954 which declared that an opportunity to get an equal education "is a right which must be made available to all on equal terms . . ." The emphasis is the judge's, but it ought to be every American's. For we all have a stake in the coming generations, rich or poor, black or white or Latino or Other -- for they're all Americans. In that sense they're all ours.

The word on the street, or rather in courthouse corridors and departments of education, is that this landmark decision could ripple out all over the country. For some of us, those ripples can' get here fast enough.

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.

Paul Greenberg is the Pulitzer prize-winning editorial page editor of the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette.

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