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 May 5, 2010 / / 21 Iyar 5770

Black parents ‘have to save your own children’

By Nat Hentoff

http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | While the Pennsylvania State Education Association, the teachers' union, is greatly alarmed that a black state senate candidate for governor — Anthony Williams — in the May 18 primary is gaining ground by advocating parents' right to choose schools for their children, an increasingly dramatic battle for school choice is under way in New York City that may also indicate an ongoing national trend.

Though Michael Bloomberg calls himself "the education mayor," in his school system, where 71 percent of eighth-graders are black and Hispanic, only 17 percent last year were freshmen in the specialized high schools that attract college admissions directors (New York Post, April 27).

Moreover, in the elite citywide "gifted kindergarten programs," nearly 70 percent of the students, as reported in the April 30 New York Times, "are white or Asian, the reverse of the racial composition of the school system as a whole."

I have never forgotten a black parent at a New York City Council hearing on education in the late 1950s testifying: "If General Motors had a failure rate for their cars that our schools do for our children, they wouldn't be in business."

It is not surprising, therefore, that as more of the city's black parents become aware of such charter schools that actually work, such as the Harlem Children's Zone and Harlem Success Academies, they are applying eagerly for those schools.

As Geoffrey Canada, founder of the Harlem Children's Zone, told troubled parents in Charlotte, N.C. (Charlotte Observer, March 12): "Nobody's going to save our children. You have to save your own children."

While some of the charter schools — all are publicly funded but can refuse to have teacher unions — are criticized justly for not admitting children with learning disabilities (and other special needs), others are assuring that their students will not be dropouts or otherwise have dead-end lives. By now, "about one in five students in central Harlem — 3,100 — are enrolled in charter schools. Thousands more are on waiting lists … 91 percent of charter students passed the math test, while 72 percent of District 5 zoned students did.

At one of Eva Moskowitz's Harlem Success Academies, "95 percent of third-graders passed the English exam last year, and 100 percent passed the math. But only 51 percent of third-graders at P.S. 149 passed the (English language) exam, and 79 percent passed the math" (New York Post, April 19).

What enrages the city's charter school parents — and those who deeply hope to be parents of charter school students — is the fiercely incessant opposition to charter schools by the New York State United Teachers union and its New York City affiliate, the United Federation of Teachers. In the state legislature, the teachers union has successfully reduced charter-school funds.

Letter from JWR publisher

Meanwhile, "four high-performing Ichan charter schools … netted 1,739 applications for just 74 kindergarten slots." And in the Achievement First network of charter schools — whose demanding academic and disciplinary standards remind me of my alma mater, Boston Latin School (where Samuel Adams was also an alumnus), there were 3,800 applications for 588 open seats" (New York Post, April 14).

My own labor union background began at 15, during the so-called Great Depression, when in high school I organized a renowned Boston candy store, Sunday's candies, that employed students after school hours and on weekends. We fought for a raise from 35 cents an hour to 50 cents, and we won because we threatened to strike a month before Christmas. I later helped organize WMEX, the Boston radio station where I worked and helped organize other shops.

But how can I feel comradeship with a teachers union in New York, where I now live, that — as an April 29 Daily News editorial reveals — "perniciously turns the world on its head by complaining that, because charters are concentrated in poor minority neighborhoods, they segregate 'African Americans and Latino students in a separate school system?'"

It is true that there are more segregated public schools around the country than when the Supreme Court unanimously decided in Brown v. Board of Education (1954) that public-schools segregation was inherently unconstitutional. Long before there were charter schools, the High Court's Brown ruling was largely undone by lawful (not intentionally bigoted) residential segregation accompanying white flight to the suburbs, as well as to private schools. The failure of "Brown" had nothing to do with charter schools.

Has the New York State United Teachers union no shame?

Let me introduce a charter school not in New York state but in Pennsylvania, where state Sen. Anthony Williams was a founding member in 1999 of the Hardy Williams Charter School. This is how his school's core curriculum on mathematics works:

"Students need to construct their own understanding of each mathematical concept so that the primary role of teaching is not to lecture, explains or otherwise attempt to transfer mathematical knowledge, but to create situations for students that will foster THEIR making the necessary mental constructions."

I have no idea how many math teachers in the Pennsylvania teachers' union accomplish this level of necessary critical thinking among their students; but I do know that if Anthony Williams wins the Democratic primary on May 18 and then becomes governor, there will be more charter schools in Pennsylvania and therefore more lifelong learners among students in that state. The mission of the charter school he helped found is "to demonstrate the heights of academic achievement that … students (can) routinely attain when provided superior educational opportunities."

That's what Harlem parents and others around the country of all backgrounds want — and all their children deserve.

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Nat Hentoff is a nationally renowned authority on the First Amendment and the Bill of Rights and author of several books, including his current work, "The War on the Bill of Rights and the Gathering Resistance". Comment by clicking here.

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