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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 Oct 3, 2011 / 6 Tishrei, 5772

Our unprepared graduates

By Kathleen Parker

Kathleen Parker


http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | Jobs, jobs, jobs, we keep hearing. But for whom, whom, whom?

Certainly not for the many young Americans being graduated from colleges that have prepared them inadequately for the competitive marketplace. The failure of colleges and universities to teach basic skills, while coddling them with plush dorms and self-directed “study,” is a dot-connecting exercise for Uncle Shoulda, who someday will say — in Chinese — “How could we have let this happen?”

We often hear lamentations about declining educational quality, but the focus is usually misplaced on SAT scores and graduation rates. Missing from the conversation is the quality of what’s being taught. Meanwhile, we are mistakenly wed to the notion that more people going to college means more people will find jobs.

Obviously the weak economy is a factor in the highest unemployment rate for those ages 16 to 29 since World War II. But there’s more to the story. Fundamentally, students aren’t learning what they need to compete for the jobs that do exist.

These facts have been well documented by a variety of sources, not to mention the common experience of employers who can’t find applicants who can express themselves grammatically.

A 2010 study published by the Association of American Colleges and Universities found that 87 percent of employers believe that higher-education institutions have to raise student achievement if the United States is to be competitive in the global market. Sixty-three percent say that recent college grads don’t have the skills they need to succeed. And, according to a separate survey, more than a quarter of employers say entry-level writing skills are deficient.

One of the most damning indictments of higher education came this year with a book, “Academically Adrift: Limited Learning on College Campuses,” by Richard Arum of New York University and Josipa Roksa of the University of Virginia. It’s a dense tome that could put Ambien out of business, but the authors’ findings are compelling. Just two examples:

?Gains in critical thinking, complex reasoning and writing skills are either “exceedingly small or nonexistent for a larger proportion of students.”

?Thirty-six percent of students experience no significant improvement in learning (as measured by the Collegiate Learning Assessment) over four years of higher education.

Undoubtedly, critics of Arum and Roksa will find reason to diminish their findings. But Americans know that something is wrong with higher education, and the consensus is growing that young adults aren’t being taught the basic skills that lead to critical thinking.

Most universities don’t require the courses considered core educational subjects — math, science, foreign languages at the intermediate level, U.S government or history, composition, literature, and economics.

The nonprofit American Council of Trustees and Alumni (ACTA) has rated schools according to how many of the core subjects are required. A review of more than 1,000 colleges and universities found that 29 percent of schools require two or fewer subjects. Only 5 percent require economics. Less than 20 percent require U.S. government or history.

Critics of ACTA’s findings insist that the core curriculum is outdated and accuse the organization of being “conservative.” (Founders included Lynne Cheney and Sen. Joseph I. Lieberman.) Some also insist that such “old-fashioned” curricula merely encourage memorization and rote learning rather than critical thinking.

Ridiculous, says ACTA President Anne Neal: “How can one think critically about anything if one does not have a foundation of skills and knowledge? It’s like suggesting that our future leaders only need to go to Wikipedia to determine the direction of our country.”

College students may be undereducated, but they’re not dumb and many feel short-changed. A recent Roper Organization study found that nearly half of recent graduates don’t think they got their money’s worth. The problem with education isn’t money — we spend plenty — but quality. Yet, instead of figuring out how to make education pay future dividends, higher-educational institutions are building better dorms with flat-screen TVs, movie theaters and tanning salons, according to a recent CNN report. If parents aren’t furious, they’re not paying attention.

In the lost spirit of in loco parentis, Neal and Arum have teamed up to take these findings to those upon whom ultimate responsibility falls: the nation’s 10,000 college and university trustees. In a letter sent a few weeks ago, Arum wrote that institutions not demanding a rigorous curriculum “are actively contributing to the degradation of teaching and learning. They are putting these students and our country’s future at risk.”

That’s a provocative charge and a call to arms. Let’s hope trustees hear it and heed.

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