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April 21, 2014

Andrew Silow-Carroll: Passoverkill? Suggestions to make next year's seders even more culturally sensitive

Sara Israelsen Hartley: Seeking the Divine: An ancient connection in a new context

Christine M. Flowers: Priest's execution in Syria should be call to action

Courtnie Erickson: How to help kids accept the poor decisions of others

Lizette Borreli: A Glass Of Milk A Day Keeps Knee Arthritis At Bay

Lizette Borreli: 5 Health Conditions Your Breath Knows Before You Do

The Kosher Gourmet by Betty Rosbottom Coconut Walnut Bars' golden brown morsels are a beautifully balanced delectable delight

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 Jan. 29, 2014/ 28 Shevat, 5774

High education, low return

By Kathleen Parker

Kathleen Parker


JewishWorldReview.com | President Obama is correct in wanting to make higher education more affordable and accessible, but Americans would also be correct in wondering just what they’re paying for.

The need for a better-educated populace is beyond dispute. Without critical thinking skills and a solid background in history, the arts and sciences, how can a nation hope to govern itself?

Answer: Look around.

The problem isn’t only that higher education is unaffordable to many but that even at our highest-ranked colleges and universities, students aren’t getting much bang for their buck.

Since 1985, the price of higher education has increased 538 percent, according to a new study from the American Council of Trustees and Alumni (ACTA), a nonprofit, nonpartisan research group that encourages trustees and alumni to foster improvement where institutions may be reluctant to go against popular trends.

For perspective, compare tuition increases to a “mere” 286 percent increase in medical costs and a 121 percent increase in the consumer price index during the same period, according to the ACTA.

Although the council confined its research in this study — “Education or Reputation?” — to the 29 top-ranked liberal-arts schools in the nation, where tuition, boarding and books typically run more than $50,000 per year, the trends highlighted are not confined to smaller, elite institutions. These include an increasing lack of academic rigor, grade inflation, high administrative costs and a lack of intellectual diversity.

While these recent findings are not so surprising to those who follow such studies, one can still be stunned by what can only be described as a breach of trust between colleges and the students they attract with diversions and amenities that have little bearing on education and that will be of little use in the job market.

One need only be reminded of the recent scandal at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where a whistleblower revealed that phony classes and fake grades have been offered, mostly to athletes, since the 1990s.

UNC, one of the historically great institutions of higher learning quite apart from its legendary basketball team, is scrambling now to repair its damaged reputation with oversight and other fixes. But reputations, cultivated over decades and sometimes centuries, are like love — hard to repair once trust is broken.

On the flip side, the ACTA proposes that many schools, rather than offering the educational quality that earned them a golden reputation in the first place, often depend on public reverence for the past rather than present performance.

Of great concern is the diminishing focus on core curricula — the traditional arts and science coursework essential to developing the critical thinking necessary for civic participation. Among the 29 schools surveyed by the ACTA, only three require U.S. government or history, just two require economics and five colleges have no requirements at all.

In a separate study, the National Assessment of Adult Literacy found that though Americans pay the highest per-pupil tuition rates in the world, most graduates fall below proficiency in such simple cognitive tasks as comparing viewpoints in two editorials or buying food when the price is given per ounce.

Instead of the basics, students might look forward to more entertaining fare, such as Middlebury College’s “Mad Men and Mad Women,” an examination of masculinity and femininity in mid-20th-century America via the television show “Mad Men.”

I confess I’d enjoy a dinner discussion along these lines, but as an education consumer, I’m not sure a semester-long investigation is worth even a tiny percentage of the tuition.

ACTA President Anne Neal acknowledged that such courses may be interesting and even valuable. “What we do question, however, is allowing such classes to stand in lieu of a broad-based American history or government requirement,” she said, “when we know how severely lacking students’ historical literacy can be.”

Given the ever-escalating tuition costs, one may wonder where all that money is going.

Out of the 29 colleges evaluated, 22 have administrative budgets that are at least one-third of what the schools spend on instruction. More than a third of the college presidents earn as much or more than the president of the United States ($400,000) for running these schools, many of which have fewer than 2,000 students.

Other findings of the 46-page report are equally compelling but too lengthy for this space. Summed up: American students are paying too much for too little — and this, too, should concern Obama as he examines ways to make college more affordable. Getting people into college is only half the battle. Getting them out with a useful education seems an equal challenge.

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