Volume 15 Number 4
                       Produced: Thu Aug 25 19:37:15 1994

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Double Coverings
         [Yosef Bechhofer]
Fair Testing
         [Aryeh Blaut]
         [Danny Skaist]
Microwaves and Airlines
         [Eli Turkel]
Milk Cow Herd Information
         [Doni Zivotofsky]
Stupid signatures
         [Joshua W. Burton]
Test Medians (2)
         [Aryeh Blaut, Frank Silbermann]
         [Aaron Seidman]
Two Microwaves
         [Jeffv Woolf]


From: <YOSEF_BECHHOFER@...> (Yosef Bechhofer)
Date: Thu, 25 Aug 1994 02:07:22 -0400
Subject: Double Coverings

As Eli Turkel pointed out (I believe), the need for double coverings
(this is from memory, so please correct me if I am wrong) is only a
"meat that disappears from the eye" issue. If you are watching your own
food heat in a non-kosher oven or microwave, a double wrap seems quite


From: Aryeh Blaut <ny000592@...>
Date: Thu, 25 Aug 1994 03:15:04 -0400
Subject: Re: Fair Testing

Dr. Juni wrote:
>   The notion of grading a student compared to their own previous
>performance is useful in tracking student progress.  I can't see how
>this would be useful in an academic grading scheme.

In any given subject/skill which is being evaluated, the teacher is able
to report exactly what the student knows instead of summarizing it as a
number or letter grade.

For example:  when I teach Chumash - I am looking at 3 areas, at least:  
a) story line, b) vocabulary - translation and c) root identification.
(Obviously reading is worked on but not as part of a Chumash evaluation.)

To say that a student has a "B" in Chumash tells everybody absolutly
nothing.  To say that the student was exposed x story and was able to
deminstrate a knowledge of y & z parts of the story.  The adverage
student in this grade was exposed to these 300 vocabulary words and
student "m" now knows all but these 20 words.

P.S. -- for the record - I teach mid to lower elementary school and am 
commenting on these grade levels.  My thoughts may in fact be modified 
for upper school levels.

>From: <david@...> (David Charlap)
>A student who knows all the material should get 100%.  And if
>everybody gets 100%, that's great - it means they were all successful
>in learning the subject.  Why should you care how they rank against
>each other if they all know the material?

(I would not make the following arguement, but...) some people would
argue that if every student received 100%, then the children may not
have been challenged and therefore, may be didn't learn anything new.

>I had one professor in college who opened each semester by stating
>that 50% of the class will receive a failing grade.  How does such an
>attitude help anyone?

I had a physics teacher in _High School_ (public) who told us at the
beginning of school, that over 50% of the class would fail.  He then
proceeded to load on an unreasonalbe amount of work - both in class and
 for homework.  After 50% or more of the class dropped out of the class, 
he informed the 10 of us who remained that all of the work we had done 
thus far, would not count.  He only gave us this amount to seperate 
those who really wanted to be there from those who didn't.  He also 
stated that he wanted a class with no more than 10 students in it.

I think that the story speaks for itself.

Aryeh Blaut


From: DANNY%<ILNCRD@...> (Danny Skaist)
Date: Thu, 25 Aug 1994 10:59:17 -0400
Subject: Microwaves

>Binyomin Segal
>those particles.  Those particles can under the right circumstances be
>absorbed (through steam transfer) into the next dish. Also, the oven may
>absorb both milk & meat particles making it not kosher.
>b. one type (meat or milk) is ALWAYS covered

This is what I was taught. Since one type is always covered, the steam that
gets through is cooler having touched the cover (plastic wrap or otherwise),
and the steam from the walls will not enter as steam.



From: Eli Turkel <turkel@...>
Date: Thu, 25 Aug 1994 11:57:58 -0400
Subject: Microwaves and Airlines

    Several people have mentioned that airlines do not use microwaves
to heat the airline food. In any case they are heating them quite hot
(sometimes- I have also gotten frozen kosher meals) in a treif heater
of some type. Does anyone know what the airlines really use for heating
the food?



From: <DONIZ@...> (Doni Zivotofsky)
Date: Thu, 25 Aug 1994 01:04:12 -0400
Subject: Milk Cow Herd Information

In response to I think it was Meshulum Laks' post re: the milk issue:
the issue is in fact not related at all to classic bloating as Riva
mentioned (which is extremely uncommon in dairy animals.)  It is due to
the surgery for correction of displaced abomasum which was summarized
very well in the post from Janice Gelb (Sheldon Blech).  I feel
qualified to comment as i did one this morning and as also the morning
of that posting.  (Have done close to 500 in the last 4 years by a
variety of techniques described in the o-u letter).  For people that
drink "regular" the number of cows affected is probably less than
5%/year.  Something that only occured to me after reading M-L Jewish
today was that if halav yisroel for particular brands comes from a
limited number of herds or one large herd the incidence may be much
higher.  It is clearly a cow feeding-management issue.  Within my own
practice some herds hardly have any while some have very many or go
through times of very many.  Some of our herds these last two springs
had incidences as high as 20-40%.  This of course is also undesireable
to the farmer as it costs him dearly and all involved try to correct
the inciting cause.  None the less, if these would have been the sole
suppliers of a halav yisroel company, and you consider the punctured
abomasum, torn omentum or whatever a treifah it might be a problem.
	just food for thought.			Doni Zivotofsky, DVM

Nathan Friedman asked about the issue out of the US.  The "disease" is
about as common in the UK as the US (Vet. Med. Blood and Radostits,
1989). A survey of dairy herds in the USA (pre1974) reported that 24% of
herds had at least one DA.  Prevalence was 1.16% among affected herd and
.35% when all herds surveyed were considered.  I imagine it is higher
now but don't have published figures to back that up. Australia and New
Zealand have very few cases as cows are pastured rather than fed grain.
In Denmark, published figures have a mean rate of .62% with a range of
.2-1.6%.  Regarding Israel, I have not seen published figures but have
it on Reva Katz' word that the dairy commuinty there prides itself on
feeding plenty of roughage and having very few DA's.  i think there are
M-J readers that talk to her so she can correct me if I am misquoting


From: <burton@...> (Joshua W. Burton)
Date: Thu, 25 Aug 94 15:49:57 -0400
Subject: Stupid signatures

I let some real Purim Torah slip through in a recent posting, since my random
signature gadget doesn't know that Elul is not the time to be throwing jokes
around in my name.  I've reprogrammed it so it won't happen again, and would
like to publicly ask forgiveness of anyone who found the Tractate Bubba Ma'aseh
foolishness out of line.  May we all be signed and sealed for a good year....

                    _._ _  _ ___ _ ___   _  _ _ _ _ _ _ _   _  _ _ _ _._ ___ _ 
Joshua W. Burton     | |( ' )   |.| . |  ( ' ) | | | | | |   \  )( (  ) |   | |
(401)435-6370        | | )_/    | |___|_  )_/   /|_|   | |  __)/  \_)/  ||  |  
<burton@...> |                          ..      .     -    `.         :


From: Aryeh Blaut <ny000592@...>
Date: Thu, 25 Aug 1994 03:15:06 -0400
Subject: Re: Test Medians

>From: <burton@...> (Joshua W. Burton)
>In fifth grade, a passing mark of 70% makes some sense, because it never
>does any harm to have the students drill the material one more time, by
>taking the test itself.

As a fourth grade Rebbe, I take issue with this statement.  Today, after
a full day of inservice, I had to meet with the Headmaster, General
Studies Director, English teachers of grade 4 and a parent (who is also
a teacher in the school).  Two years ago, two of her sons had to leave
our school in order to go to a secular school which could service their
special needs.  The current incoming 4th grader (he left for the secular
school beginning 2nd) thinks that he "is too stupid and far behind to
ever be able to come back to the Jewish school".  Because of his
learning needs, if he comes into my class, my expectations for him will
be lower than others.  Does this mean that this boy will never receive
an "A"?  Does this mean that if he works his tail off to receive a +30%
- that he shouldn't feel a sense of acomplishment?!

You are correct, it doesn't do harm to have the students drill the 
material over and over, but the grade can kill a students self-worth.

Aryeh Blaut

From: Frank Silbermann <fs@...>
Date: Thu, 25 Aug 1994 10:13:11 -0400
Subject: Test Medians

It has been pointed out that in order to get the maximize information
about the relative capabilities of the students in a class, the median
score should be 50%, with the highest score near 100% and the lowest
score near 0%.  Those scoring 50% would receive the average grade (B or

If students don't like seeing such a wide range of numbers, the solution
is trival.  Multiply each score by 0.4, then add 60.

> A student is required to know a certain amount of material
> in order to pass a course.  If a student knows all that material,
> he should be capable of answering every question you ask.

Your suggestion assumes the the course relies on only very low-level
intellectual skills (regurgitation of information).

Frank Silbermann	<fs@...>


From: Aaron Seidman <seidman@...>
Date: Thu, 25 Aug 1994 16:41:23 -0400
Subject: Re: Testing

Yet another comment on testing and scoring.

Under some circumstances, low scores do indicate instructional failure, and
if a large proportion of the class fails the course, I would lay the blame at
the feet of the professor. However, I think Joshua Burton's post called
attention to the fact that exams serve both an educational and a
discrimination function.  

 From an educational standpoint, giving a student a difficult problem to
solve that requires the student to synthesize (rather than regurgitate)
knowledge, can help the student gain new insights into the material
covered in the course.  I know that the exams I appreciated most as an
undergraduate and as a graduate student were the ones that taught me
more, rather than simply verified what I had already learned.  When I
was teaching college students I attempted to make my exams educational.

With respect to discrimination, a good exam will test for advanced
understanding, not basic material, and will distinguish among those
students who are competent and those that are outstanding.  I expected
my students to master the fundamentals (and there are ways of verifying
that has happened before one gets to the exam); what I wanted to know
was how far they could go beyond that.  (E.g. A review of homework would
tell me if they understood how to compute a standard deviation; on the
exam I wanted to see if they could apply what they knew about SDs to
make sense of sample survey data--I'm simplifying the example.)

(FWIW, I once startled a professor by complaining about an exam in a
graduate course--on which I got an A--because it was not challanging
enough.  It only tested those things I knew I knew; I wanted to see if I
had mastered the material well enough to handle something difficult.)



From: Jeffv Woolf <F12043@...>
Date: Thu, 25 Aug 1994 13:18:29 -0400
Subject: Two Microwaves

My rebbe, Rav Gedalia Felder,ztl, one of the great poskim of this
generation told me explicitly that only one is needed and that no
kashering is required between Dairy and Meat as long as it is kept

                                                     Jeffre Woolf


End of Volume 15 Issue 4