Tuesday, December 30

A Brief History of Single-Sex Education

Perhaps a little too brief, but Teachers College Record gets it into about two pages.

Sunday, December 28

Good Stuff for Teachers

This website, supported by the Verizon Foundation, is a treasure trove of good materials for teachers on a host of topics.

Thursday, December 25

Not Enough Talented Teachers

Many in Jewish education complain that part of "the problem" is that there are not enough talented teachers. (In an article in the forthcoming Orthodox Forum volume, I've argued that this claim is problematic. Contact me if you want more information). But we Jews are not the only ones who make this claim, and Richard Ingersoll is one person who makes it his business to actually study the claim by looking at facts rather than vague impressions. See his policy statement here, and blog comment here (BTW, Eduwonkette often makes for interesting reading). From a slightly different perspective, Education Week explains how difficult educational reform can be when the staff is not up to snuff, and what might be done to help.

Tuesday, December 23

Does This Bode Well For Day Schools?

Despite the economic downturn, The New York Times reports that applications and donations to private schools are not slowing? Wonder why? (Of course, some of these schools have multi-million dollar endowments, and most yeshiva day schools do not...) Also see The Boston Globe's reflections on how religous congregations are gearing up for the decline in donations.

Sunday, December 21

Money on the Mind

As the financial crisis moves into high gear, here is a fantastic resource, with blog posts by many people on a whole range of topics related to making Orthodox ends meet. (I haven't come close to exploring all of it, but there is a lot there).

Thursday, December 18

Notable Children's Books of 2008

Recommendations for the best children's books of 2008 (and, as everyone knows, children's books aren't really only for children).

Tuesday, December 16

WebYeshiva Get Together

Students of Rabbi Chaim Brovender from throughout the years are invited to join the First Annual "Real World" Gathering of WebYeshiva.

Meet WebYeshiva's teachers, fellow students, and their families at a Hannukah reception - food and music by Shlomo Katz - to be followed by a special shiur with Rabbi Brovender. If you ever studied with Rabbi Brovender – online or the "old-fashioned" way – and you live in Israel or will be visiting Jerusalem that week, please join us for a Hannukah gathering and reunion. Spouses and families welcome to attend!Thursday evening, 5th night of Hannukah, December 25thReception 6:30-8:00 PMShiur 8:00 - 9:00 PM (followed by Maariv)at Ohel Nehama, 3 Chopin Street, JerusalemRSVP to office@webyeshiva.org or 02.567.1719

Visit http://www.webyeshiva.org/ to learn more about the world's first fully interactive, online yeshiva.

Sunday, December 14

College: A Too Expensive Neccesity

This was written before the current economic collapse, and people's financial worries have only gotten more severe. Is college education too expensive? Do students and parents get enough education and long-term earning power for the tens of thousands of dollars a year that they pay? Many Americans think not. Public Agenda asks Americans what they think about the high cost of higher education., and the NY Times comments as well. (And see this polemical piece by an angry parent in the Wall Street Journal).

Thursday, December 11

Duh! Dept.

You heard it here first: "Children who tried alcohol or drugs early on were... more likely than non-early-exposed adolescents to be substance dependent, to have herpes infection, to have had an early pregnancy, and to have failed to obtain educational qualifications, the study showed."

Tuesday, December 9

Teaching Toward Tomorrow

ATID is proud to announce the publication of a symposium that I edited (pardon the self-promotion), entitled Teaching Toward Tomorrow: Setting an Agenda for Modern Orthodox Education. We have asked seventeen leading educators to articulate what they expect to be the biggest challenges facing Orthodox education, how they would go about researching sollutions, and what they would do to plan in advance. There is certainly no consensus, but the discussion does make it clear that education is an ever-changing and ever-challenging business. You can veiw part of the symposium online here, and purchase it here or at Amazon. The symposium has also created some energy on Lookjed and on Hirhurim (be sure to see the comments section as well).

Sunday, December 7

Drop Out is Not What It Used to Be

Some drop outs haven't actually dropped out. They will finish school, it will just take them a bit longer.

Thursday, December 4

Do "The Great Books" Matter?

There was once a day when people actually read and cared about "The Great Books." Then again, maybe not. The Wall Street Journal comments, as does the New York Times.

Tuesday, December 2


If you try to push your child to maximize his or her potential, make the most out of opportunities, you may end up with a whiny, immature, self-centered brat. Be warned. (The great thing about The New Yorker is that it is fun to read even when it is kvetching.)