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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 Sept. 29, 2010 / 21 Tishrei, 5771

Finding the source of floating babies

By Marybeth Hicks





http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | Social scientists use the parable of the "floating babies" to remind us that we can't solve a problem until we know its source.

You know this story: The townspeople meet at the riverbank for a celebration when suddenly they notice a baby struggling to stay afloat in the river's rushing waters. Someone runs to save the baby; then he notices another one coming from upstream. More and more babies come rushing down the river as the people of the town quickly make a human chain to try to save the infants.

When a few townsfolk run upstream along the riverbank, someone yells, "Where are you going?"

"We're going to find out who is throwing these babies into the river and stop them!"

A new documentary, "Waiting for Superman," is posing the question: Just who is throwing an entire generation of American children into the rough and dangerous waters of public education, only to drown in a torrent of mediocrity?

The film is being criticized for pointing out that America's teachers unions too often protect incompetent educators and perpetuate a system that rewards longevity over talent. Being unions, they place the economic goals of their members over the educational needs of the children they supposedly serve. (Why does this surprise some people?)

Still, it's simplistic — and believe it or not, convenient — to point fingers only at the National Education Association and the American Federation of Teachers. We have to look farther up the river.

The problem is poorly prepared and uneducated teachers, and for that, we can thank the recently retired Bill Ayers, the former distinguished professor of education at the University of Illinois at Chicago and late of the Weather Underground.

Most folks don't realize that in the decades between Mr. Ayers' infamous taunt, "Guilty as hell, free as a bird," and then-candidate Barack Obama's disingenuous explanation, "He's just a guy from my neighborhood," Mr. Ayers distinguished himself as one of the pre-eminent leaders in American teacher education.

He thinks the purpose of public education is to empower "change agents" for participation in democracy, not to instill in our children the knowledge, skills and critical-thinking habits that will lead them to a productive future. More important, when Mr. Ayers uses "democracy," he isn't thinking Thomas Jefferson and John Adams; he's thinking Hugo Chavez and Che Guevara.

Mr. Ayers helps lead the radically leftist postsecondary education machine that has, for more than a half-century, churned out educators who think their job is doing "social justice."

One of the most important leftist theories is "critical pedagogy," developed by Brazilian socialist educator Paulo Freire and articulated in his iconic tome, "Pedagogy of the Oppressed," first published in 1968. There probably isn't a teacher in an American classroom today who hasn't read Freire's book, and meanwhile, Mr. Ayers has said it is a "myth" that teachers must possess subject-matter expertise.

Starting to see the source of the problem?

The field of teacher education is dominated by those who view their role as training up the army of teachers who will instruct America's children about the values and virtues of a socialist society.

Certainly, not all of America's schoolteachers are out to indoctrinate our youth. The vast majority of rank-and-file teachers are caring, committed educators who do what they do because they love children and have a heart for teaching. I do not condescend when I say they mean well.

But a love for teaching is not enough. The leftist teacher-education system has other goals, and until we fix that problem, our babies will just keep floating toward failure.

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JWR contributor Marybeth Hicks, a wife of more than 20 years and mother of four children, lives in the Midwest. She uses her column to share her perspective on issues and experiences that shape families nationwide. To comment, please click here.


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© 2009, Marybeth Hicks