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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

Study reveals sad truths about community colleges

By Amanda Paulson





JewishWorldReview.com | (TCSM) There's been a lot of talk lately of college- and career-readiness for high-school graduates, but according to a study released Tuesday, what community colleges actually require is less rigorous than we think — and many high school graduates aren't meeting even those low standards.

What is being taught and emphasized in high school math and English, moreover, is out of alignment with what is needed to succeed in community college, the report concludes.

The study, from the National Center on Education and the Economy (NCEE), set out to look at what is actually required of first-year community college students — the textbooks they use, the work they're assigned, the tests they're given, and the grades they receive. By contrast, previous studies of student ability have relied on faculty surveys, which tend to emphasize what teachers wish their students knew.

Community colleges enroll nearly half of all college students in America, and are often a gateway both to four-year colleges and to vocational education. Thus, zeroing in on what's needed for success at community colleges made sense, says Marc Tucker, president of NCEE and an author of the report.

"We're talking about the preparation of people who are absolutely crucial to the future," says Mr. Tucker.

Among the report's findings, which looked at both math and English literacy:


  • First-year community college students need to know fairly little math — and what they do need to know is mostly taught in middle-school math courses: arithmetic, ratio, proportion, expressions, and simple equations. Most high school graduates, however, don't know it well. The typical college algebra course could be characterized as about the level of Algebra 1.25 — Algebra I and a few topics from geometry and statistics.

  • Many community college courses require students to take complex measurements and to read schematic drawings and charts — concepts that aren't taught at all in most high schools.

  • In English literacy, most community-college texts were at an 11th- or 12th-grade level — but most students had not been reading texts at that level in high school, and were unable to analyze or comprehend them with any depth.

  • Little writing is required in first-year community college courses, even though it's an essential skill in many workplaces. A primary reason that faculty ask college students to write so little is that their writing skills are poor, and they did little writing in high school.


Clearly, says Tucker, standards are too low in both high school and community colleges if students are to be prepared for the careers they eventually hope to have.

"Because our workforce will have less skills than they need, it's a bad sign for the American economy," he says. "And it's also a bad sign for the individuals involved — they're confident that when they get their degree or certificate they'll know what they need, and it turns out that's not true."

Still, Tucker and the experts who contributed to the study said simply raising standards in community colleges would be a mistake because, even with the current low requirements, about one-third of students entering those colleges need to take remedial courses.

"The first line of defense here is to greatly increase the number of young people who can meet the standards, low as they are," says Tucker.

One good sign: The Common Core standards, which are now beginning to be implemented in the 45 states that have adopted them, are an important step toward increasing rigor and student understanding.


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"This research strongly validates the Common Core standards," says Tucker. "They're aiming at a level and kind of understanding that is pretty consistent with what we think ought to be demanded in community college."

In math, Tucker also hopes that the findings make some policymakers and administrators rethink commonly held beliefs about what high-schoolers need to study — or the idea that a single pathway is right for all students.

In many states, there's currently a push to emphasize Algebra II, or even require it, to get a high-school diploma. Yet the main purpose of Algebra II is to enable students to study calculus — a topic that may be important for only a small group of students who are interested in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) careers, says Tucker.

Much more important for many other students may be strengthening their understanding of "middle school" math topics, and exposing them to topics like statistics, data collection, or applied geometry. "There ought to be an alignment between the path you'll take in mathematics and the kind of work you'll be doing," says Tucker.

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© 2013, The Christian Science Monitor

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