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 June 16, 2010 / 4 Tamuz 5770

Betraying Our Children

By Arnold Ahlert

http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | In the epic poem, Dante's Inferno, there are nine circles of hell. Each one represents a more serious level of evil than the one above it. The last, or ninth circle, represents acts of betrayal which Dante considered the worst element of human behavior. If it were up to me, the people in charge of "educating" schoolchildren in the state of New York would have their ticket punched and be on their way, for one simple reason: they have completely betrayed generations of kids for nothing more than naked self-interest.

Harsh? Consider that New York just raised its standard for passing sixth grade reading and math tests to the following: on the reading test, 20 correct answers out of 39 questions gets one a passing grade; on the sixth grade math test, 20 out of 49 does the trick.

In other words, getting a grade of 51% on the reading test and 41% on the math test gets you promoted to the seventh grade.

In what universe, besides the one inhabited by unionized educators and their Democrat political lackeys, is such nonsense even remotely acceptable? At no point in my entire educational experience did either of the above scores remotely constitute anything other than what they truly are: failing grades.

Public school education in New York--and elsewhere--has become an overt fraud. It is a fraud committed by people beyond shame, people more than willing to mortgage the lives of thousands of kids who have little or no concept of what it takes to succeed in life. Thousands of kids who have been led to believe that half-right--or less--equals a viable education.

What are the those in charge thinking? First and foremost, about themselves. They realize that their "business model"--a system which has made the genuine education of children and genuine accountability of teachers utterly meaningless--is an ongoing failure.

How do you fix failure? In the real world, failure is fixed by adopting no-nonsense standards--and getting rid of employees incapable of meeting them. In the world of unionized pubic schools, failure is "fixed" simply by changing the definition of the word. In other words, failure equals success because "we say so."

And why do we say so? Because we are politicians beholden to the unions. Unions who line our pockets with campaign funds if we do their bidding--or spend million of dollars of union dues to defeat us if we don't. Unions who, despite all their phony "we put the kids first" rhetoric, are only concerned with the well-being of their members. Unions who think grades of 51 and 41 are perfectly acceptable because it makes them look better when more kids are "passing" than failing. Unions who love to blame parents for failing to raise their kids properly--even as they calculatingly ignore that many of those parents were under-educated by the same system that is failing their children.

Recently in New York there was an epic battle concerning charter schools. In recent years, charters--which are predominantly non-unionized--have demonstrated they are capable of providing a better education than traditional public schools. Since the number of charter schools was capped, competition to get one's child enrolled in one was fierce, with thousands of kids competing for a limited number of spaces. Thus, a push was made to expand the number of charter schools from the current 200, to 460 over four years.

Who fought tooth and nail to prevent that from happening? The teachers unions and their political handmaidens in the Democrat party. They did this even though it resulted in the forfeiture of $700 million in Race to the Top federal education funds. New Yorkers were outraged. Political pressure became unbearable and the legislature eventually relented, but the message from the unions was clear: we don't want any competition.

Imagine wanting to buy a new car and being told that you could only buy one from GM--because the United Auto Workers negotiated a contract with the government forbidding other brands of cars to be sold in your "assigned car district." Thousands of New York kids are trapped in abysmal public schools and, absent extraordinary circumstances, are forced to attend them even though those schools have amply demonstrated that they can't provide a decent education.

How bad is it? In addition to the aforementioned "passing" grades, another New York education scandal was revealed last week: on state math tests, students were getting partial credit for the wrong answers--or no answers at all.

How is this possible? In the Orwellian world inhabited by the educational establishment, "holistic rubrics" rule the roost. What are holistic rubrics? From the New York Post: "'holistic rubrics,' require that points be given if a kid's attempt at an answer reflects a 'partial understanding' of the math concept, 'addresses some element of the task correctly,' or uses the 'appropriate process' to arrive at a wrong solution. Despite flubbing the answer, students can get 1 point on a 2-point problem and 1 or 2 points on a 3-pointer."

As I mentioned above, all it takes to "pass" a sixth grade math test is a grade of 41. Yet even that abominable number is padded by the fraud of holistic rubrics.

In a better world, the people responsible for this unconscionable charade would be forced to ride in a jet piloted by someone who received partial credit for using the "appropriate process" to get the wrong landing coordinates--or forced to undergo surgery with a doctor who demonstrated an ability to "address some element of the task correctly." Unfortunately, mortgaging the future of "other people's children" is standard operating procedure for our cowardly political class because the alternative--defying union political muscle, and forfeiting union campaign dollars--would require a level of integrity that has become an anachronism in a country where flushing future generations of Americans down the toilet has become completely acceptable.

And make no mistake: this is a fraud made possible because the Democrat Party is its chief enabler. Over the last twenty years, the National Education Association, the nation's largest teacher's union, has given ninety-seven percent of its campaign contributions to Democratic candidates. In return, Democrats have opposed everything which threatens the unions' status quo: school choice, ending tenure, instituting merit pay, charter schools, standardized tests and anything else which would allow Americans to clearly understand what a joke public school education has become.

Remember above where I said the standards had been raised to 51% and 41%? for sixth grade reading and math exams respectively? The previous "standard" was 7 correct answers out of 39 questions for the state reading test and 14 out of 49 for the math test. Conversion to number grades?

18% and 28%. Only people completely comfortable with betraying the most vulnerable among us would consider such an abomination acceptable. Perhaps they should familiarize themselves with the "The Divine Comedy."

It's always good to know a little something about a place before you go there.

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Comment on JWR Contributor Arnold Ahlert's column, by clicking here.


Who Gets the Benefit of the Doubt?
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05/25/10: A Mosque At Ground Zero
05/23/10: Libs Stand Tall --- For Mexico
05/19/10: The 'Unintended Consequences' of Liberalism
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05/12/10: Union Audacity: Yes We Will!
05/10/10: Greeks, Leaks and and Double-Speak
05/05/10: Twelve Million Illegals --- or Thirty?
05/02/10: Republicans: Playing Not to Lose Doesn't Cut It
04/28/10: Arizona: Progressivism's Waterloo?
04/26/10: Son of Amnesty
04/22/10: Mortgages and Moral Meltdowns
04/20/10: Bashing Christians — Or Gays?
04/15/10: Personal Integri-‘tea’
04/12/10: Fools, Tools and Ghouls
04/08/10: (Tea) Party On
04/05/10: The Triumph of Mediocrity
04/02/10: Two For the Road
03/29/10: The Innate Immorality of Liberalism
03/24/10: The Art of War
03/22/10: I Want My Country Back
03/18/10: A Perpetual Process
03/17/10: American Exhibitionists
03/15/10: A Light Bulb Moment of Clarity
03/10/10: Little Things Mean A Lot
02/03/10: Budgetary Fork in the Road
02/01/10: Liberal Economic Illiteracy
01/27/10: ‘Roe-ing and Wade-ing’ Back to Reason
01/25/10: Arrogance When Up, Denial When Down
01/20/10: Connecting the Educational Dots
01/19/10: The Next Tea Party?
01/15/10: The Myth That Keeps on Giving
01/13/10: Airport Security Begins Away From the Airport
01/11/10: Secrets and Lies
01/08/10: Embracing Bigotry — or Rejecting Bullying?
01/06/10: Hanging by an Ideological Thread
01/04/10: Our ‘Wonderama’ Bureaucracy
12/30/09: A Day Off
12/28/09: Dangerous Myths
12/25/09: I, Me, Mine
12/23/09: A Very Harry Christmas
12/21/09: My Opinon
12/18/09: The Party of Repeal
12/15/09: Privileged Exemption
11/30/09: ‘Settled’ Science and Unsettled Children
11/30/09: American Sharia Law
11/23/09:The Trial (Travesty) of the Century
11/04/09: American Vampires and Their Political Enablers
11/01/09: ‘Opting Out’ of Insanity?
10/28/09: Cell Phones Cause Brain Cancer. Brain Required
10/26/09: Communism: Nazism With Better PR
10/21/09: Just Asking
10/16/09: Cost Projections vs. Actual Costs, or Hope and Change vs. Reality
10/14/09: News you can use …
10/07/09: Incremental Insidiousness
10/05/09: MIA: Common Sense and Common Decency
09/30/09: Iran: Bad Options and Unpreparedness
09/21/09: Crying Racism: the Last Refuge of Scoundrels
09/11/09: 9/11 Cannot Be Sanitized
09/08/09: ‘Truthers’ and Consequences
09/01/09: A ‘Paper Trail’ Challenge for the Mainstream Media
08/31/09: Drowning in Amorality
08/26/09: The Republican Recovery Program

© 2010, Arnold Ahlert