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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 Feb. 16, 2007 / 28 Shevat, 5767

Yo, George, Wassup?

By Kathleen Parker

Kathleen Parker
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http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | In today's anti-patriarchal climate, it isn't surprising that the birthday of America's "Father'' has been reduced to a free day and cheap sheets.


To some extent, Washington might be pleased. Prosperity and freedom, after all, are the happy offspring of America's struggle for independence. Our unalienable right to the pursuit of happiness finds expression each year on the third Monday of February in the linen section of Wal-Mart.


Before you hit the sales, though, a quick question:


In what document do the words "unalienable rights'' and "pursuit of happiness'' appear? If you're a recent college graduate, chances are you don't know.


Not to pick on college students — who can't be faulted for not learning what they haven't been taught — but recent studies show that our educated youth don't know much about history.


For instance, in a 2005 survey of 14,000 college students conducted by the University of Connecticut, seniors flunked the civic literacy exam with an average score of 53.2 percent. Here's a sample of what seniors didn't know:


More than 53 percent couldn't identify the century when the first American colony was founded at Jamestown; 55.4 percent didn't know that the Battle of Yorktown ended the American Revolution; fewer than half (47.9 percent) could identify the Declaration of Independence as the source for this line: "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal.''


They weren't much better on more recent events. Fewer than half of college seniors (45.2 percent) knew that Saddam Hussein's base of support was the Baath Party.


Of course, there's no reason to assume that older Americans could do better. Jay Leno's man-on-the-street interviews have disabused us of any fantasy that Joe Blow — the same fellow driving all those political polls out there — is fluent in current events.


But shouldn't we expect more from college graduates?


Part of the problem is that many schools don't require students to study history. Another is that schools tend to measure their quality in terms of expenditures, ethnic diversity and class size, rather than by knowledge imparted. Thus, if there's a problem, they don't see it.


Frank Newman, the now-deceased former president of the Education Commission of the States, explained this phenomenon in The New York Times:


"If we start measuring, we will start finding out that you didn't learn ... about the great traditions of Western thought. Then we have a nasty little problem on our hands.''


That nasty little problem has its roots in a nasty little attitude of contempt toward history as written by and about white males. The spirit of equal outcomes that has dumbed down education also has distorted the teaching of American history. Too much George, not enough Martha.


Obviously, important Americans of both sexes and all races should be included in history books, but not all participants in history are equal, no matter how many stars we wish upon.


The extent to which white males have been devalued can be clearly seen in Washington's face. His portrait, that is.


Once ubiquitous in American classrooms, Washington's portrait has all but disappeared from schools. When Bill Sanders, a New Jersey businessman, noticed the first president was missing from his daughter's classroom, he set out to correct the oversight and started a project called Portraits of Patriots.


He began producing high-quality prints of Washington from an 1862 engraving based on Gilbert Stuart's famous portrait, which he sells for about $250 to cover the costs of printing and framing. He also lobbied for state legislation proposing that at least one Washington portrait be placed in each school district.


Although a bill passed the House several years ago, it died in a Senate committee after the New Jersey Education Association (NJEA) objected. Nancy Volte, spokeswoman for the NJEA, summed up the general sentiment to USA Today:


"Requiring legislation to honor one person does a disservice to many individuals,'' she said. "There are so many others who were also instrumental in securing our country's freedom.''


Maybe so, but only one person was the first president of the United States. Only one man was Gen. George Washington, who led American troops in the decisive battle of the revolution.


Such silly sensitivity has displaced intellectual honesty in American education. We've produced a generation with no sense of national identity and little connection to the nation's collective memory.


In the process, we've traded life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness for fat, dumb and happy.


And, of course, cheap sheets.

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