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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 Jan. 14, 2010 / 28 Teves 5770

Berkeley High's Next Science Experiment

By Debra J. Saunders

Debra J. Saunders



http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | If liberal politics and good intentions helped all students learn, then Berkeley High School should be an exemplar to all California. Yet, according to its governance council, Berkeley High was identified last year as the high school with "the largest racial equity/achievement gap in the state."


The worst part, as far as low-performing students are concerned, is that you can't expect the school district to turn its record underachievement around — not when its governance council, which makes recommendations to the school board on operations, approves a plan with a preamble that quotes Karl Marx: "From each according to his (or her) ability, to each according to his (or her) need."


Then there's the science lab issue. Last month, the East Bay Express reported that the council was working to eliminate science labs at Berkeley High. The story burned through the Internet as it fed into the town's stereotype as a left-wing bubble that puts political correctness before all else.


The story also bolstered the common suspicion that some educators want to close the achievement gap by dumbing down public schools. As Peggy Scott, a governance council parent who voted against the plan, told KQED's "Forum's" Michael Krasny on Wednesday, "Closing the achievement gap really means bringing the bottom up, and the problem is that it does seem and it does feel like what might be happening is trying to bring the top down."

Letter from JWR publisher


It turns out, as The Chronicle's Jill Tucker later reported, Berkeley High's science labs are conducted before or after school. As district spokesman Mark Coplan explained, years ago, the district decided to use parcel tax money to fund labs — which meant they had to be extracurricular. When you have science labs before or after the regular school day, some kids can't make them.


Berkeley Unified Superintendent William Huyett contends that the district did not plan to get rid of science labs, but to "integrate the labs into the regular school day" — which could benefit some students. The school board will look at the issue next month.


That said, action-plan supporters on the governance council have to own up to the fact that they are talking about taking something away from Advanced Placement and college prep students. As science teacher Mardi Sicular-Mertens told KQED, eliminating the labs means eliminating about 20 percent of instructional time from a program with "a proven track record."


Another cause for alarm: It is not clear where the money that went to this academic program will go, other than toward unnamed "equity grants."


Scott told me that the governing council never voted on the Marx-loving preamble. That's good to know, given this language: "Every students (sic), particularly" minority students, "have access to rigorous culturally-relevant curriculum that empowers them to be active participants in creating a more just society AND have any support they need to access and excel in curriculum."


Here's an example: "de-track" freshman math in favor of "heterogeneous classes." Beware: Those terms are educratese for dumping honors and dumbing down content.


The result will not be a more just society. Instead, a declining number of Berkeley High students will be able to do the math.

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© 2010, Creators Syndicate

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