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The Theft of Education

"The Theft of Education" by James Lindsay at New Discourses

Feb 21, 2024

In this episode of New Discourses Bullets, host James Lindsay shares Jennifer McWilliams’s example of how a simple subtraction lesson can be turned into any number of political conversations about poverty, race, sex, gender, sexuality, family, parental authority or climate a manipulative teacher-activist using the Freirean generative themes approach.

The Theft of Education by James Lindsay at New Discourses. In this episode of New Discourses Bullets, host James Lindsay shares Jennifer McWilliams’s example of how a simple subtraction lesson can be turned into any number of political conversations about poverty, race, sex, gender, sexuality, family, parental authority or climate a manipulative teacher-activist using the Freirean generative themes approach. Read


Catholics Need Poetry by Andrew Tolkmith at Word on Fire. Much more than mere words on a page expressing lofty feelings or emotions, poetry is the act of giving voice to the otherwise incommunicable facets of life...When the fog is cleared and we get at the true definition of poetry, we find its presence everywhere in Catholicism: the Scriptures, the Mass, the prayers of mystics and monks, and the very nature of God. God himself is a poet. Read


The Dragon Has Gotten Smarter: AI and the Teaching of Writing in High School by Michael Ortiz at The Heights Forum. The experience of literature—or any fine art for that matter—is intensely personal, intensely inward, involving an incalculability of the spirit. Depth calling out to depth, as scripture puts it. Artificial intelligence may sift and repackage the insight enfolded in the language of such master spirits. But it won’t adorn your child’s soul with the playfulness of wisdom, or the compassion wrought by lessons over the ages of suffering nobly endured. Short of God’s grace, I know of no transformative power equal to words received into our inmost being written by the great story-tellers and poets of the world. Read


Cassidy Highlights Literacy Crisis Rooted in ‘Disproven’ Teaching Method by Breccan F. Thies at Washington Examiner. Sen. Bill Cassidy (R-LA), ranking member of the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee, released a report Tuesday morning sounding the alarm on dismal child literacy scores and the “ineffective” tools used to teach students to read. The report...highlighted the most recent National Assessment of Educational Progress review, showing two-thirds of fourth and eighth graders and 63% of 12th graders lacking proficiency in reading. Fourth graders reached a more than 20-year low, while eighth and 12th graders are at around a 30-year low. Read


Education Initiative Seeks to Bolster Catholic Schools with ‘Treasury’ of Church’s Tradition by Daniel Payne at Catholic News Agency. A K–12 education initiative out of the Catholic University of America (CUA) seeks to bolster what its director calls “the distinctive excellence of Catholic education” by offering school accreditation and fostering professional development of Catholic school leadership around the country. The Institute for the Transformation of Catholic Education (ITCE) was founded at CUA in October 2021 following several years of consultation and exploration of how the university might contribute more to Catholic education in the United States. Read


First of Its Kind Catholic Trade High School Debuts in Houston by Peter Pinedo at The Catholic World Report. The Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston has opened a first of its kind Catholic trade school for high schoolers in Texas’ largest city. Called St. Peter Catholic, the school officially opened this past fall with an inaugural class of 10 students...Billed as a co-ed “career and technical high school,” St. Peter’s offers students a hands-on, practical curriculum in the fields of information technology, education, architecture, construction, business, marketing, and finance, all rooted “in the truth and beauty of the Catholic faith.” Read


SCOTUS Declines to Hear Case on ‘Diversity’ School Admissions by CatholicVote. The U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday declined to hear a case regarding a Virginia school that revised its admissions process in the name of “diversity.” The case’s plaintiffs argued that the new admissions policy discriminated against Asian Americans. The proportion of students at Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology (“TJ”) of Asian descent fell dramatically – by around 20 percentage points – after the new policy was instituted. In declining to hear Coalition for TJ v. Fairfax County School Board, the Court allowed a May 2023 decision by the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit to stand. The Fourth Circuit then upheld TJ’s pro-“diversity” admissions process and overturned a federal district court’s prior ruling in favor of the plaintiffs. Associate Justice Samuel Alito wrote a scathing dissent against the Court’s decision not to hear the case. Associate Justice Clarence Thomas joined Alito in the dissent. Read


Teachers Sue Gavin Newsom Over Policy Forcing Them to Lie About Student’s Transgender Status to Parents by Noah Slayter at The Daily Signal. The suit claims that state policies have forced educators to lie to parents by hiding the transgender status of their children from them. Elizabeth Mirabelli and Lori Ann West, two teachers at Rincon Middle School in Escondido, sued the Escondido Union School District in April, alleging violations of their First Amendment rights. They allege that the school district’s “Parental Exclusion Policy” prevents teachers from disclosing “the fact that a student identifies as a new gender, or wants to be addressed by a new name or new pronouns during the school day.” The teachers added Gov. Gavin Newsom and Attorney General Rob Bonta to the lawsuit last month. Read


Almost All Catholic Women’s Colleges Admit Men Who Identify as Women by Matthew McDonald at National Catholic Register. In all, there are about three dozen women’s colleges in the United States. Most of them admit biological males who identify as women. There are eight Catholic colleges in the United States that serve lay women undergraduates, according to the Association of Catholic Colleges and Universities. (Some allow men as graduate students). All of them were founded by Catholic women’s religious orders and maintain an affiliation with their founding congregation but are overseen by an independent board of trustees. The only Catholic women’s college that says publicly that it doesn’t currently admit transgender students is Saint Mary’s College in Notre Dame, Indiana. Read 


Throwback Thursday


Fantasy & the Real World: Tolkien's Philosophy of Myth by Joseph Pearce at The Imaginative Conservative on January, 2 2024. Does so-called fantasy literature have any relevance to the so-called real world? Such a question is worth asking and indeed answering but can only be addressed if we have a clear understanding of what constitutes fantasy and what constitutes reality. If we succumb to the reductionist presumption that fantasy is the absence of realism or reality, we will answer the question with a dogmatic negative before it is even considered. On the other hand, if we succumb to the equally reductionist presumption that reality is whatever the individual perceives it to be, we will answer that reality and fantasy are in the eye of the beholder, rendering the question ultimately meaningless…The fact is that fiction can be as true as any facts. Furthermore, it can be better at revealing reality. Read

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