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December 2, 2014

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 March 22, 2006 / 22 Adar, 5766

Only the desperate fight facts with myths

By John Stossel


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http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | I hope the teachers in America's public schools are more candid than their union officials and some of the public-education advocates and leftist smear groups who are criticizing my TV special "Stupid in America." They are promoting myths:


The National School Boards Association (NSBA) accused me of making a "sweeping generalization" about poor American student performance from test results from a few American and Belgian students. Nope. I reported the results from the actual International Student Assessment (PISA) tests. The little test ABC gave matched the PISA results.


MediaMatters, a liberal media watchdog group, claimed we fudged per-pupil spending numbers when we said per-pupil spending, adjusting for inflation, has doubled to "more than $10,000 per pupil per year." They point to the "most recent" 2003 U.S. Census figure of $8,019 per pupil as a "gotcha." In fact, the estimates for 2004-05 from the U.S. Department of Education are well over $10,000 per pupil. Even using MediaMatters' own number, it is irrefutable that per-pupil spending has doubled over the last 30 years.


The NSBA claims "America's public schools outperform private schools when variables ... are controlled." This must refer to the recent study done at the University of Illinois, comparing fourth- and eighth-grade math scores. That study actually showed that public school students performed worse, but after the researchers used regression analysis to "control" for race/ethnicity, gender, disability, limited English proficiency, and school location, they manage to conclude that public school students outperform private and charter school students. When studying education performance, it is far more accurate to compare schools using random assignment — using kids assigned schools by lottery so that those attending public and private schools come from the same population. Eight such random-assignment studies have been done. All eight find that private school students did better.


The American Federation of Teachers (AFT) objects that I "conveniently" failed to note that an Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) study found that "the six countries that spend the most on education as a percentage of GDP ... all score well above the international mean on the PISA." OK, some countries spend a lot of money and do well. But that very same OECD study said that no fewer than 20 countries that spend less money than we do achieve better scores, and that "Spending alone is not sufficient to achieve high levels of outcomes." The United States spends $83,910 per student from ages 6 to 15. The Slovak Republic, which outperforms the United States in this study, spends $17,612 per student.


The NEA also claimed I'm not objective because I make speeches for money. I do, but I donate the money to charities. For example, I give money to Student Sponsor Partners, an organization that pays for poor kids to go to private school. You might say I put my money where my mouth is — unlike the teachers' organizations, which often put their mouths where the money is.


Perhaps the most fundamentally flawed idea is this all-too-common one: "Public schools were created to provide a 'public good': education for all, regardless of a family's ability to pay ... By contrast, under a voucher system that gives public dollars to completely unmonitored private schools, there is no such right to expect or demand accountability for student performance or how tax dollars are spent." They don't get it. Competition brings accountability. Private schools may be "unmonitored" by bureaucrats, but they face the most demanding kind of supervision our society provides: a market full of freely choosing individuals. Parents' desire for a good education for their children is a much more powerful check on schools than any politician's law or union rule. The people who want to control every young American's education like to talk about accountability, but what they want is to make schools accountable to anointed bureaucrats who think they know what's best for all of us. They evade real accountability — the kind of accountability where if a student or parent realizes a school isn't doing its job, he can find another one.


I could go on; there are plenty of myths. But the most important point to remember is quite simple: If public schools are good, they have nothing to fear from school choice. Students and parents will choose them.

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JWR contributor John Stossel is co-anchor of ABC News' "20/20." To comment, please click here.


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