In this issue
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 July 26, 2007 / 11 Menachem-Av, 5767

An RX for Failure — Pay More to Teach Less

By Debra J. Saunders

Debra J. Saunders
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http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | With Democrats in control of Congress now, expect them to try to water down No Child Left Behind, as Washington works on a bill to reauthorize the landmark Bush education reform enacted in 2002. That is, expect Democrats to try to squeeze as much money as possible from federal taxpayers — they rarely complain about spending — while watering down accountability requirements so that schools don't have to do a better job teaching children. And they'll do it by undermining the testing system so that illiterate students can be labeled as success stories.

Or, as Secretary of Education Margaret Spellings said during a phone interview Friday, "All the people who have railed against too much testing now are for multiple measures" — which entail more tests, but tests that can hide what children are not learning. "The more complicated" the tests they propose, "frankly, the more obfuscation" results, Spellings noted.

As Education Week reported in May, Rep. Tim Walz, D-Minn., a new member and former teacher, wants to add portfolio assessments of student work — that can include essays, drawings and reports — to measure whether students are reading and doing math at grade level. National Education Association President Reg Weaver has proposed the same.

Which shows, as Spellings pointed out, that they can support more testing — if it is amorphous testing that can pave over gaps in a child's knowledge. The argument for portfolios, Spellings noted, is, "We're over-testing (students), so let's have more tests." You've heard the arguments against standardized tests. They are "one size fits all." They do not measure the scope of a child's understanding. They are boring. They represent drill and kill. They are unfair to non-English speakers.

But, as Spellings noted, "The reason we have assessments is to find out how many poor and minority children read at grade level." If schools had not made a practice of graduating students who do not read or compute at grade level, these tests would not be necessary. But in that so many students have fallen behind — while their grades have not — standardized tests have become an essential tool in the public's quest to find out which schools are failing students, then fixing those schools. Standardized tests also can help determine which teaching methodologies and textbooks work best with different student groups.

Where critics see "one size fits all," others see tests that can find gaps in student knowledge — so that teachers can fix them. In June, a report by the nonpartisan Center on Education Policy found that significant improvement among elementary school math students in 37 of 41 states, as well as improvement in middle school reading in 20 out of 39 states, and in high school reading in 16 out of 37 states, according to The Washington Post. After years of dumbed-down education, these modest gains are cause for celebration.

Rep. Carol Shea-Porter, D-N.H., according to Education Week, once called No Child Left Behind an attempt by right-wing Republicans to "undermine our confidence in our public schools." In fact, the bill, while imperfect, was designed to increase confidence in public schools, not by pretending failing schools work well, but by making failing schools better.

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© 2007, Creators Syndicate