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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 March 21, 2010/ 6 Nissan 5770

Dems miss an obvious lesson plan for deprived children

By George Will



http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | . Education Secretary Arne Duncan, like many liberals, seems afflicted by Sixties Nostalgia Syndrome, a longing for the high drama and moral clarity of the civil rights era. Speaking this month in Alabama at Selma's Edmund Pettus Bridge to commemorate the 45th anniversary of the "Bloody Sunday" march, Duncan vowed to unleash on public schools legions of lawyers wielding Title VI of the 1964 Civil Rights Act. They supposedly will rectify what he considers civil rights violations, such as too many white students in high school Advanced Placement classes.

Duncan said that "the civil rights struggle" has become "more complex since the days of Selma." He seems not to understand that today's complexities of equity are complex because they are not about "rights." He says his rights enforcers — 600 of them, with a $103 million budget — will "remedy discrimination," such as students being "treated unequally" by policies that have what is called a "disparate impact" on certain groups. For example, Duncan asks: "How can we assure that low-income Latino and African-American students get the same access to a college-prep curriculum, AP classes and college as other students?" But "access" obscures the problem.

The Supreme Court has held that Title VI bans "disparate treatment," meaning intentional discrimination such as denying access to minorities, not policies that have a "disparate impact" on minorities. No policy denies minority or low-income students "access" to AP classes.

The pertinent lesson of the 1960s is the futility of casting today's problems of social class, as Duncan does, in the anachronistic categories of the civil rights era. In 1966, the seismic Coleman Report concluded: "Schools are remarkably similar in the way they relate to the achievement of their pupils when the socioeconomic background of the students is taken into account." (Emphasis added.)

Plainly put, the best predictor of a school's performance is family performance — qualities of the families from which the students come. Subsequent research suggests that about 90 percent of the differences among the proficiency of schools can be explained by five factors: days absent from school, hours spent watching television, pages read for homework, the quantity and quality of reading matter in the home — and the presence of two parents in the home.

If Duncan is looking for the high SAT scores that correlate with, and often are consequences of, AP courses, he should look for schools where educated parents are intensely involved with their children. The best predictor of SAT scores is family income, which generally correlates with family structure — two parents in the home. Family structure is pertinent to the 9/91 factor — between their births and their 19th birthdays, children spend 9 percent of their time in school and 91 percent elsewhere. For many children, elsewhere is not an intact family.


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Government can do next to nothing about family structure, which is why it is pointless for Duncan to suggest that "access" is why "the door to college still does not swing open evenly for everyone." It will not so swing as long as 71.6 percent of African American children and 51.3 percent of Latino children are born to unmarried women. The political class flinches from talking about those numbers, preferring to take refuge behind talk about "rights." But those numbers go far to explain numbers that Duncan does cite: White high school graduates are twice as likely as black or Latino graduates to have taken AP calculus classes. The political system cannot candidly discuss, let alone cope with, the reasons why, for example, there are few if any high-performing inner-city school systems.

Duncan seems to fancy himself an Earl Warren, expanding civil rights. Actually, he resembles Mrs. Jellyby.

While his lawyers seek evidence of displeasing enrollments in AP courses, he is complicit in strangling the scholarship program that enables 1,300 District of Columbia low-income minority students to escape from the District's execrable schools. Like Mrs. Jellyby in Dickens' "Bleak House," who was indifferent to her chaotic family while fretting about conditions in distant Borrioboola-Gha, Duncan practices what Dickens called "telescopic philanthropy." Sensitive about supposed injustices in distant AP classes, Duncan is worse than merely indifferent to children within sight of his office at the foot of Capitol Hill.

No segregationist politician is blocking schoolhouse doors against D.C. children; congressional Democrats are. Until Duncan and the talkative president he serves speak against the congressional Democrats who are strangling the District's Opportunity Scholarship Program, he should spare us the exhibitionism of explaining problems of social class in the '60s vocabulary of civil rights violations.


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.

George Will's latest book is "With a Happy Eye but: America and the World, 1997-2002" to purchase a copy, click here. Comment on this column by clicking here.

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