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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 March 28, 2010 / 13 Nissan 5770

The next issue: Education

By David Broder



http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | After more than a year when the spotlight remained on the doctor's office and the hospital room, attention switches this week to the classrooms of America. On Monday, Education Secretary Arne Duncan will announce the first-round winners of Race to the Top, the $4 billion competition he set up to reward the states with the most ambitious plans for improving their public schools.

When I asked Duncan last week what he hoped people would say about this unprecedented contest, he responded: "So many were skeptical when we announced this a year ago as part of the stimulus package. I hope they realize now that a very high bar has been set."

Because the winning plans are so good? I asked. "So good, and so few," he said.

Duncan, the rangy former Chicago schools chief who plays pickup basketball with the president, has been given what none of his predecessors in the Education Department ever had: a huge chunk of cash, borrowed from abroad as part of the two-year, $787 billion effort to rescue the economy from collapse. Fifteen of the 40 states that submitted plans were named as finalists in Race to the Top this month, along with the District of Columbia. The winners will pick up millions for their improvement projects.

That this is happening when the recession-crippled economy has forced state after state and school district after school district to slash their budgets simply increases Duncan's leverage.

Letter from JWR publisher

We know that he will use it to increase the role of charter schools, the customized public alternative to the failing conventional models, and to spur other efforts to change the way that teachers are recruited, trained and deployed — especially for youngsters from households of meager means.

But we don't know where. And we don't know how successfully Duncan can exploit this windfall to move the bureaucracy of education in ways that produce dramatic results.

As it happens, Race to the Top is just one of two major initiatives Duncan has launched to try to change the face of America's public schools. The other is the effort to rewrite and reauthorize in Congress the largest federal aid to education act, now best known by the name George W. Bush gave it, No Child Left Behind (NCLB).

Duncan wants to preserve what is most distinctive (and controversial) about that law, the insistence that elementary and high schools test their pupils regularly to determine how every significant subgroup is doing, with the aim of reducing racial and gender gaps.

But he and the president have urged Congress to rewrite both the standards and their implementation in a variety of ways that promise to be more rigorous but less intrusive than NCLB.

They are helped by the fact that 48 of the 50 states — all but Texas and Alaska — have agreed this year to write a set of common standards for math and English studies, providing a benchmark for schools without invoking the heavy hand of Washington.

It's too soon to know what Congress will do with the Duncan plan or even whether NCLB reauthorization will fit onto the legislative calendar.

So far, the most critical comments have come from the heads of the two big teachers unions, which could doom these changes in a Democratic Congress. But Duncan, after his experience in Chicago, has learned the value of keeping the lines of communication open and not accepting the first no as final. The day I saw him, he'd had breakfast with one of the union chiefs.

More remarkably, the bipartisanship that marked the passage of NCLB — with Democrats George Miller of California and Ted Kennedy partnering with Bush — remains possible even after the war over health care.

Duncan credits Republicans Lamar Alexander of Tennessee, a former secretary of education now in the Senate, and Rep. Mike Castle of Delaware for helping shape the proposal.

Achieving the kind of change Duncan is promoting would be a great gift for the country, especially when so many states are being forced by budgetary pressures to skimp on their commitments to education.

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