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How Catholic Are the Catholic Schools?

Jul 20, 2023

How Catholic Are the Catholic Schools? by Joshua Long at Crisis Magazine. While flagrant apostasies easily grab our attention—such as Catholic schools sporting rainbow flags and hiring heterodox catechists—we must remember that the devils we don’t see pose a greater threat than the ones in plain sight. In an effort to compete with public schools, our beloved Catholic schools are flirting with apostasy by far more subtle means: by adopting modern education methods, which are intrinsically materialistic and disordered. Read


Gallup Poll Reveals Americans’ Plummeting Confidence in Public Schools by Kerry McDonald at Intellectual Takeout. Americans’ confidence in public schools is at a low point, with only 26 percent of respondents indicating a “Great deal/Fair amount” of confidence in that institution…. It’s not surprising, then, that more parents are turning away from public schooling and choosing smaller, low-cost private schools and related out-of-system learning models, like homeschooling. It’s also not surprising that there is growing support among Americans for school choice policies that enable education funding to follow students instead of going to school systems. 2023 has become a record year for school choice, with several states now joining Arizona in passing universal education choice legislation for all K-12 students. Read


The Watering Down of World Youth Day? Taking Bishop Aguiar at his Word by John M. Grondelski at Catholic World Report. I see a parallel in this interreligious argument to the kind of spin used by atheists in their arguments to drive religion out of American schools. It goes as follows: if we acknowledged, even in an ecumenical, theologically-scrubbed-and-disinfected graduation ceremony prayer, that “God” might have something to do with the blessings these young people enjoy at this moment, one atheist somewhere in the crowd would feel “excluded.” The Constitution’s protections of freedom of religion, therefore, should be used to drive religion out of the event. Read


Forgetting the Art of Memory by Esmé Partridge at First Things. “The art of memory” is the name of a book by the historian Frances Yates that explores the tradition of mnemonics in Western philosophy and how, for centuries, the practice of remembering information was seen to serve a crucial intellectual—and ultimately spiritual—purpose. Within both Platonic and Christian thought (and their convergence in the European Renaissance), memorization was valued as a means of building an internal repository of terms, patterns, and concepts—all of which, it was believed, were a necessary precursor to divine knowledge. Fascinatingly, this tradition also warned of what can happen when we substitute inhuman technologies for human memory, making it all the more pertinent to the rise of AI. Read


How Social Media May Lead to Lower Birth Rates by Teresa Mull at Crisis Magazine. [Social media is] a leading cause of loneliness, especially among young people. It leads to increased anxiety and depression. It’s also highly (and purposefully) addictive and effective at homogenizing our attitudes, thoughts, and behaviors. Pornography is all over the internet and on social media platforms, and research has shown a connection between social media addiction and pornography addiction. Read  


How 303 Creative v. Elenis Exposed the Ideology of Activist SCOTUS Justices by Charles J. Russo at Catholic World Report. The great significance of 303 Creative is that the Supreme Court wisely applied the First Amendment right to freedom of speech, ruling that no one can be compelled to communicate views through the use of their talents—whether in creating websites, baking cakes, or in other ways—if doing so violates their sincerity held religious beliefs. The Court essentially confirmed that while individuals can agree to disagree, they cannot force their ideas on others. Read


The Real College Scandal: Affirmative Action and Legacies are Red Herrings by Grant Addison at Washington Examiner. [G]rade inflation is a well-recognized phenomenon all across the undergraduate landscape. As remarked recently by Derek Thompson and David Perell, the average GPA at Harvard between 1890 and 1950 was 2.5. It was 3.0 in 1960, and it’s a whopping 3.8 today. A middling six-year graduation rate even as grades improve does not make for much confidence in the level of learning being acquired by undergraduates. What they are acquiring is loads of loan debt, of course, along with routinely liberal-coded social and ideological conditioning. Read


Every State that Passed or Expanded School Choice in 2023 by Jeremiah Poff at Washington Examiner. "These recent wins are monumental," [Corey] DeAngelis said. "The school choice movement has historically made progress incrementally. But now, families are demanding educational freedom for all. Universal school choice is the way forward. No more picking winners and losers. We don't restrict access to government schools based on income. We shouldn't restrict access to school choice based on income, either." …. These are the states that have passed school choice programs in 2023. Read 


Throwback Thursday


Why America’s Obsession with STEM Education is Dangerous by Fareed Zakaria at The Washington Post on March 26, 2015. This dismissal of broad-based learning… comes from a fundamental misreading of the facts — and puts America on a dangerously narrow path for the future. The United States has led the world in economic dynamism, innovation and entrepreneurship thanks to exactly the kind of teaching we are now told to defenestrate. A broad general education helps foster critical thinking and creativity. Exposure to a variety of fields produces synergy and cross fertilization. Yes, science and technology are crucial components of this education, but so are English and philosophy. When unveiling a new edition of the iPad, Steve Jobs explained that "it's in Apple's DNA that technology alone is not enough — that it's technology married with liberal arts, married with the humanities, that yields us the result that makes our hearts sing." Read

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