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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 April 13, 2009 19 Nisan 5769

Mom in Chief as Marie Antoinette

By Suzanne Fields


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http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | Michelle Obama set just the right example as the mom in chief. She made no speeches about Afghanistan or the stimulus for the global economy, but returned from a boffo trip to London and Europe with better press notices than her husband. She visited a girls' school in England, dispensing hugs and air kisses, and charmed heads of state from two dozen nations. No first lady has so dazzled Europe since Jackie Kennedy took her husband along when she conquered Paris and put Charles de Gaulle at her feet.


Nevertheless, Michelle hurried back to Washington early on Sunday for first things first, to get Malia and Sasha ready for the school bell on Monday morning. Despite a grandmother in residence at the White House and a staff of thousands — well, dozens, anyway — a mom in chief knows that only she can enforce the discipline that every schoolchild needs and craves.


When she and the president catch up on what they missed in Washington, they should read the latest performance evaluation of the Opportunity Scholarship Program, a school voucher program in their new hometown. It should be of particular interest to a mom who gives the education of children, her own and others, pride of place at the top of the agenda.


Seventeen hundred Washington children attend private school with vouchers under this scholarship program, and two of them attend Sidwell Friends School with the Obama girls. Unlike most programs and schemes in the nation's capital, this program has human faces — all of them children's — and the evaluation report will influence education policy across the country.


The Opportunity Scholarship Program is small stuff in Washington, where trillions of dollars are thrown around like Frisbees, but the program drew national notice because a few sentences and paragraphs were tucked into the stimulus bill to abolish the program. Congressmen and figures in the new administration, who like the Obamas wouldn't dream of sending their kids to a public school in Washington, cheerfully killed a program for families not as fortunate as themselves. All in the name of high principle, of course.


The president and the Democrats say they killed it because there was no proof that it worked. But now there is. The evaluators found that scholarship students scored specific gains in reading — by a half grade. That's no small increase. Math scores remained steady, and the scores suggest that further gains will follow as the students from deprived neighborhoods acclimate themselves to the more rigorous discipline of private schools. This is the change that hundreds of parents are eager to believe in.


"There are transition difficulties, a culture shock, on entering a school where you're expected to pay attention, learn, do homework," Jay Green, an education scholar at the Manhattan Institute, told The Wall Street Journal. "These results fit a pattern that we've seen in other evaluations of vouchers. Benefits compound over time."


Ninety-nine percent of the low-income students who have transferred from deprived neighborhoods are black and Hispanic. A long waiting list, with four applicants vying for each scholarship, testifies to the demand for the program. The $7,500 voucher is equal to slightly more than half of what the District government spends per student in the District's dreadful public schools. Despite the $14,000 the District spends per pupil in its public schools — highest in the nation — the District achievement scores are among the lowest in the country.


Vouchers are key to education reform, along with more charter schools, knowledge tests and merit pay for teachers. But the powerful teachers unions, the ventriloquists behind the congressional dummies on their laps, naturally oppose reforms that would impose accountability. The worst teachers know their weaknesses, and the protection of mediocrity becomes the first order of business for the teachers unions.


President Obama promised that he would support "what works for the kids," and now he has the proof that this specific program works. In addition to the statistical evidence, there's the reassurance, hard to measure but abundantly clear, for parents and their children to feel secure and safe in the program. The program takes them out of schools where learning is not often prized and where physical safety is often at risk.


No one begrudges the president and the first lady their choice of a good school for their children. They can easily pay for whatever they choose. But if Michelle, as the nation's mom in chief, keeps her silence as others kill a program enabling choice for those who can't easily pay, she invokes the ghost of Marie Antoinette — the kids cry for the bread of knowledge; let them eat stale cake. They need more than a hug.

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© 2006, Creators Syndicate, Suzanne Fields

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