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What 70% of Americans Believe About Our Schools

Jan 26, 2023

Parents Want a Complete Overhaul of the Education System by Salena Zito at Washington Examiner. A new Purpose of Education Index survey released by the Massachusetts-based national think tank Populace found a radical shift in the way most of us view education and what our children should be getting out of it…. For the study, respondents were given 57 priorities for K-12 education and ranked them using a conjoint analysis that forces them into trade-off scenarios and avoids the distorting effects of social influence. Pre-COVID-19, people ranked preparedness for college as one of the highest priorities for a K-12 education. In this recent survey, it was one of the lowest priorities. The study also showed that 70% believe more things about the educational system should change than stay the same, including 21% who say nearly everything should change. Read 

The K-12 Education Renaissance by Jeremy Tate at First Things. Faith-based schools that kindle wonder within children are multiplying…. The main reason that [these] schools are thriving in the current environment is that parents aren’t interested in enrolling their children in grand social experiments. When they weigh the available options—“modern” schools that embrace the latest educational fads, and classical schools that rely on tried-and-true teaching methods that have worked for centuries—the choice is clear, and the numbers speak for themselves about what parents really want. Read 

The Purpose of Mathematics in a Classical Education by Thomas Treloar at The Imaginative Conservative. What is the purpose of the study of mathematics in a classical education? As one classical school states it: The study of mathematics should instill in students an ever-increasing sense of wonder and awe at the profound way in which the world displays order, pattern, and relation. Mathematics is studied not because it is first useful and then beautiful, but because it reveals the beautiful order inherent in the cosmos (from “The Education Plan of St. Jerome Classical School,” Hyattsville, MD). Read 

Diocese of Des Moines Bans Puberty Blockers, Cross-Dressing, Preferred Pronouns on Property by Lee Brown at New York Post. A Catholic diocese in Iowa has enforced seven strict “gender identity” policies for all its parishes and schools—forbidding puberty blockers, cross-dressing and even preferred pronouns on its property. The Diocese of Des Moines said the policies are mostly aimed at those it says suffer “gender dysphoria” and were produced “after two years of study, prayer, listening and consulting.” “Respect for creation includes respect for one’s biological sex,” according to the six-page policy plan, which was enforced starting Monday. “The human person is a body-soul union, and the body—as created male or female—is an essential aspect of the human person,” its guide says.... [The] rules are “binding” for the 80 parishes, 17 schools and 130,000 members under Bishop William Joensen. Read 

Indiana School Places Counselor Who Leaked Secret Transgender Policy on Leave by Tony Kinnett at The Daily Signal. Following the exposure of a hidden “Gender Support Plan” and policy to conceal student transgender procedures from parents, the whistleblower, counselor Kathy McCord, has been placed on immediate and indefinite leave, and could be facing termination. McCord, a counselor at Pendleton Heights High School in the South Madison Community School Corporation in Indiana, confirmed documents unearthed by parents in Madison County showing that counselors were asking teachers not to reveal a student’s new name and pronouns to parents. Read 

Report: U.S. Is ‘Most Permissive Country’ for Minor Gender Transition by Joshua Arnold at The Washington Stand. “The United States is the most permissive country when it comes to the legal and medical gender transition of children,” according to a 12-country policy review by medical advocacy group Do No Harm. The group…. explained that America has adopted a “gender affirmation” policy for children, which “assumes that gender incongruence can manifest as early as age four and that questioning a minor’s gender self-definition is harmful and unethical…. By contrast, some European countries “have explicitly abandoned” the gender-affirming care model and “now discourage automatic deference to a child’s self-declaration on the grounds that the risks outweigh the benefits.” Read 

School Choice Can Break Gender Ideology's Chokehold on the Public Education System by Kaylee McGhee White at Washington Examiner. No issue better demonstrates the need for school choice than gender ideology.... Gender ideology is not only taught as fact in public school classrooms. It is also enforced administratively. Teachers and peers alike are required to accept a gender-confused student’s new identity by referring to them by their preferred name and pronouns and even allowing them into the restroom of their choice. Refusing to abide by this new identity could get you fired or subjected to a Title IX investigation. Parents who might be concerned about their children’s mental health and gender dysphoria’s impact on it have no say at all in any of this. Most public schools are not required to inform the family if a student switches identities, and in many states, educators are expressly told to hide a student’s new identity from the parents so as to avoid “outing” the student. Read 

Iowa Lawmakers Approve Universal School Choice Bill Championed by Gov. Kim Reynolds by Jeremiah Poff at Washington Examiner. Both chambers of the Iowa Legislature passed legislation to create an education savings account for all K-12 students early Tuesday, priming the Hawkeye State to become the second state to enact a universal school choice program. The legislation, championed by Gov. Kim Reynolds (R-IA), passed the state House on a 54-45 vote and the state Senate on a 31-18 vote. Under the provisions of the legislation, which now heads to Reynolds's desk for her signature, all K-12 students will be afforded over $7,000 each year by 2025 through an education savings account that can be used to cover all sorts of education-related expenses, including private school tuition. Reynolds may sign the bill as soon as Tuesday. Read 

School Choice in 2023: 10 States to Watch by State Policy Network at Washington Examiner. Education Savings Accounts (ESAs) and tax credit scholarship programs are examples of school choice policies that empower parents to make the best educational choices for their children. In 2022, several states adopted these policies, and that momentum is continuing in 2023…. [M]ore states are adopting school choice policies in the new year. Here are 10 states to watch in 2023. Read 

Throwback Thursday 

What Makes Catholic Education Catholic? by Mark Brumley at National Catholic Register on September 3, 2013. [The Vatican’s Congregation for Catholic Education] speaks of liberal education—that is, the education of the “free man,” the person who knows his mind and exercises virtue, who participates thoughtfully and virtuously as a member of civil society, someone who seeks the true, the good and the beautiful in his own pursuit of happiness and in his contribution to that of others. Only liberal education truly develops all the human faculties, as well as prepares one for professional life, forms one ethically and socially and develops one’s awareness of the transcendental—what goes beyond this life. The Church presupposes all of that when she speaks of Catholic or Christian education. Read

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