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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 Oct. 13, 2006 / 21 Tishrei, 5767

Letting the PC slip show

By Mona Charen


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http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | You've probably never heard of Teachers College, but it has profoundly affected your life and is now affecting your children's lives. TC is the graduate school of education at Columbia University and laboratory of most of the "reforms" that have corroded K-12 education over the past 50 years. New math, whole language, open classrooms, outcome-based education — you name the fad and it probably originated in Morningside Heights in New York.


Teachers College is the most influential graduate education program in the country, and like so many leading schools, it is probably irredeemably PC. Still, Columbia University professes to uphold free inquiry and open-mindedness, so it was heartening to see a watchdog group zing the school for its ideological rigidity.


The Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE) got hold of TC's new "Conceptual Framework" for its students. You might ask: Why does a graduate school need a "conceptual framework"? Isn't the point to train teachers to teach? (Actually, some skeptics think teachers colleges themselves are unnecessary, but let that pass.) Well, perhaps someone in the publicity department is being paid by the word at TC, because the Conceptual Framework is the length of a novella. Most of it is the usual boilerplate and reads like this:


"We are an inquiry-based and practice-oriented community. We and our students and graduates challenge assumptions and complacency and embrace a stance of inquiry toward the interrelated roles of learner, teacher, and leader in P-12 schools."


Okay, but then there is this: "We see teaching as an ethical and political act. We see teachers . . . as participants in a larger struggle for social justice. . . . Schools and society are interconnected. Social inequalities are often produced and perpetuated through systematic discrimination and justified by societal ideology of merit, social mobility, and individual responsibility . . . "


And it gets worse: "Traditionally organized schools help to reproduce social inequalities while giving the illusion that such inequalities are natural and fair. Schools purport to offer unlimited possibilities for social advancement but they simultaneously maintain structures that severely limit the probability of advancement for those at the bottom of the social scale. Research has shown that the majority of teachers in the United States are European American and middle class and that many of these teachers do not see the invisible yet profound social forces at work that bring about inequality among different cultural groups in society and in schools."


You know, I actually agree that some of our school systems limit social mobility by failing to provide a quality education to poor and minority students. But I think the teachers unions and resistance to school choice are a big part of the problem. Somehow, I don't think that point of view is considered legitimate at TC. Isn't it shameful to heap scorn on teachers because they are "European American" and "middle class"? What if someone pointed out that most inner city teachers are African American and Hispanic? Is that legitimate criticism according to Teachers College?


Further, Columbia now maintains that "merit, social mobility, and individual responsibility" are mere "ideologies" used to justify discrimination. On the contrary, these are the steps on the ladder for those at the bottom. A kid who excels in school, no matter what his background, can expect to thrive in America. All too often it is the PC crowd who eschew high standards for kids from poor neighborhoods. It is they, not "the system," who constrict the life prospects for those kids.


Students at TC, according to the Conceptual Framework, are required to endorse the view that "To change the system and make schools and societies more equitable, educators must recognize ways in which taken-for-granted notions regarding the legitimacy of the social order are flawed, see change agency as a moral imperative, and have skills to act as agents of change."


The president of Teachers College penned a platitudinous response to FIRE, arguing that they really, truly are committed to academic freedom, and that quotes had been taken out of context. I've read the context — they weren't.


Elsewhere on the Columbia campus last week, a screaming mob of students rushed the stage and shouted down a speaker invited by the College Republicans (a representative of the Minutemen). Video of the melee is available on the Columbia Spectator website. Columbia's President Lee Bollinger has sent letters to some of the students involved suggesting they might have violated the university's rules and might have to meet with the senior vice provost.


And so the commitment to free inquiry slides downhill.

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© 2006, Creators Syndicate

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