In this issue

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 10, 2008 5 Nissan 5768

The Ignorant Fool's Errand: How We're Encouraging the High School Dropouts

By Suzanne Fields

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http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | It's a lot later than we think. We're raising an illiterate and uneducated generation, and there's more to come. On April 1, America's Promise Alliance released a detailed study revealing that fewer than half of the teenagers in 17 of the largest U.S. cities drop out of high school before they graduate — more than 1.2 million of them. The cost of this is enormous: billions of dollars in lost productivity for expensive social services and (because ignorance begets crime) to build more prisons. This report sounded like an April Fool's joke on the growing number of fools, meaning all of us.

The high school dropout resembles the fool depicted on Tarot cards — standing at the edge of a precipice, with no idea how far he'll fall, when fall he will. It's no coincidence that the number symbol for the fool is a zero. A hundred times zero is still zero.

"When more than 1 million students a year drop out of high school, it's more than a problem, it's a catastrophe," says Colin Powell, the former secretary of State and founding chairman of America's Promise Alliance. His wife Alma chairs the Alliance now. Speaking as the old soldier he is, he describes these statistics as "a call to arms." The Powells are joining Margaret Spellings, secretary of Education, to call for summits in every state to figure out how to halt the decline in graduation rates, as well as to better prepare public school graduates for work and college.

But do we really need more meetings to talk endlessly (and tediously) about shopworn educational ideas and stale theories? Alma Powell answers the question before someone asks it: The summits won't be jabber-jabber sessions. "They will be about action," and demand that local, state and federal policymakers, grass roots communities, parents, students and advocates confront the reality now.

The statistics show what seems obvious to everybody: City kids are far more likely to live on the precipice than kids from the suburbs. The Editorial Projects in Education Research Center finds that graduation rates in city schools are 15 percentage points lower than those in the suburbs. In some cities, the disparity is as wide as 35 percent. It's the kids in the largest cities who can't see the value of an education. Life on the street and the grunt jobs found there ought to make even homework look attractive.

Knowledge is power, and this is the lesson we have to find a way to teach. Only by identifying horrific statistical disparities can we begin to demand change. But, we must be careful about what kind of change to make.

No Child Left Behind legislation has left troublesome, unintended consequences. When the legislation imposed rigid standards, teachers began to "teach to the test" instead of imparting actual knowledge. Secretary Spellings wants to require states to provide more uniform graduation data, but this will require careful monitoring, too. States sometimes inflate graduation rates, so they won't invite sanctions from the federal bureaucrats who dole out the money.

Solutions to the education crisis cannot be determined on a one-size-fits-all basis. We've learned a lot about the different ways different children learn. Older children in kindergarten, for example, generally do better than younger children, so parents have learned to put their kids in schools where the cut-off age puts them in classes with slightly younger classmates. Charter schools offer a choice to parents eager to rescue their children from failing schools and put them in schools emphasizing math, science, arts and languages. Unfortunately, the good charters usually have long waiting lists. The charter movement needs more public support.

Parents who participate in their children's schools, who pay attention to what and how their children perform, are likely to raise achievers. We don't need another study to tell us that. Children who grow up in poor single-parent families, without fathers to help guide them, start out behind the proverbial eight ball. We don't need another study to tell us that, either.

The catechism of liberalism inevitably prescribes more money as the key to changing all this, but the real key is how the money is spent. The public schools in the nation's capital spend about $25,000 per student per year, considerably more than a good private school education. Nevertheless, Washington's schools are among the worst in the country. That's why few congressmen send their kids to public schools. In some years, none do.

Dropping out is a fool's errand, but getting children to stay in school requires encouragement from all of us. "A knowledgeable fool," as Moliere observed, "is a greater fool than an ignorant fool." We've been forewarned.

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