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 January 2, 2008 / 24 Teves, 5768

A little learning, with difficulty

By Wesley Pruden

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http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | LOS ANGELES. — Maybe not this week, or even next week, but sooner or later we'll have to start paying attention to the right stuff. Hillary's wrinkles, whatever Oprah has in store for Obama, John Edwards' beauty-shop appointments, Rudy Giuliani's wives, Mike Huckabee's Scripture lessons, John McCain's age and Mitt Romney's slickness will be put reluctantly aside.

Then we can talk about, for one example, what to do about the abysmal standards of public education nearly everywhere. In many cities, the public schools, redoubts of violence and ignorance, have been reduced to places merely to be shunned. The educationist establishment, together with the teachers' unions, have done them in, perhaps beyond repair. Parents are taking things into their own hands in certain places.

One of those places is Los Angeles, where 128 charter schools enroll 47,000 students (or at least kids aspiring to studenthood), 7 percent of the enrollment of the Los Angeles Unified School District. Twenty-six new schools were organized only this year. These range from elementary schools to high schools teaching advanced math and physics. Charter schools didn't start here — Minnesota enacted the first charter-school legislation 16 years ago. California, accustomed to being the leader in nearly everything, followed this time, but today, California has more charter schools than any other state.

The educationists — administrators and teachers who you might think would aspire to be educators but eagerly settle for the security of pretense — hate them. The very existence of the charter schools are a rebuke to the public schools. Ironically, it was a teachers' union leader, the late Albert Shanker, the president of the American Federation of Teachers, who urged the reform of public education by creating an alternative, "charter schools" or "schools of choice."

Charter schools are public schools within a public-school system, but freed of much of the bureaucratic red tape and obstacle-building that marks public school systems. The school district supplies the budgets, and the school is responsible for finding a building (churches, with empty Sunday school facilities during the week, are favorite solutions) and recruiting students. A charter is allowed to operate much like a private business, relatively free of downtown regulation, and judged more for "outcomes" than for "processes" and "inputs." (They're not required to abuse the language, for starters.)

The Los Angeles district professes to love charters, officially calling them "part of the District's family and an asset from which we can learn," and promises to love them as long as they "ease the shortage of school facilities and seat space, narrow the achievement gap among students of various backgrounds, increase responsible parent and student involvement in learning, and improve teacher quality and performance evaluation systems."

The man largely responsible for the growth of charter schools in Los Angeles is Jose J. Cole-Gutierrez, the general manager of the California Charter Schools Association, who has helped scores of schools through the red tape of getting started. He's the new director of the charter-schools division of the Los Angeles Unified School District, and the knives are out.

You might think that someone who knows more about charter schools than almost anyone would be perfect for the job, but if you think that, you don't know how the educationist establishment works. "He's been so identified with one part of the movement, as an advocate," a senior district administrator complained to the Los Angeles Times. "The operators of charter schools are going to make it difficult for him to be anything other than an all-out advocate." Hmmmmm. This is bad?

The tensions here, between the educationists and the parents organizing charters, is typical of many cities in which charter schools are trying to survive. Strangling with red tape is the ultimate bureaucratic skill. The petitions required to start a charter here already have grown from 75 pages to nearly 500 pages. But isn't that the point of government bureaucracy?

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JWR contributor Wesley Pruden is editor in chief of The Washington Times. Comment by clicking here.

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