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Why so serious?

Mar 23, 2023

Why So Serious? By Robert B. Greving at Crisis Magazine. Today, we see the lack of both innocence and mirth in almost everyone over the age of twelve.... It is not their fault, at least not entirely, for they are the children and grandchildren of The Great Seriousness. Today they stand, or, most often sit, with their phones in a solipsistic free fall of detailing their lives for all to see and wondering what everyone thinks of them. If they aren’t doing that, they are following—a most telling word—athletes, actors, entertainers, and politicians with messianic complexes. I cannot think of a better recipe for depression and alienation. Read


A Tale of Two Student Protests by Carl R. Trueman at First Things. The difference between my protesters and those berating Judge Duncan is this: Mine had not lost sight of the fact that they and I both share a common humanity. Nor had they lost sight of the purpose of public discourse: to persuade opponents to change their views for the better, not to terrify them into silence. Why has this become such a rarity in our modern world? One argument is that we have coddled the younger generation and made them incapable of handling any views with which they disagree. There is truth in this, but the problem is more deeply rooted than the pedagogical decisions of my generation. It stems from a longstanding notion of selfhood that identifies personal authenticity with feelings, such that anything that disturbs those feelings is oppressive and evil. Read


Do Kids with Down Syndrome Deserve a Catholic Education? The Church and These 3 Schools Say "Yes" by Kimberly Begg at Catholic School Playbook. Despite the clarity of the Holy’s See’s teaching, many Catholic schools are not “schools for all” when it comes to serving kids with special needs, nor do they plan to be. It is partly a matter of resources, but more a matter of priority.... But some Catholic schools do welcome children with disabilities—and not begrudgingly, but as a core part of their mission as an extension of the Catholic Church. These schools have created beautiful Catholic communities rooted in the saving truth of Christ’s love for humanity. Read


Notre Dame Lectures Dissent from Culture of Life, Bishop Warns by Bishop Kevin Rhoades at Our Sunday Visitor. Through my participation in the life of Notre Dame, I have seen and experienced the university and its leadership’s commitment to Catholic mission. I admire Notre Dame’s extraordinary teaching, scholarship, and service advancing a culture of life (e.g., through the work of the de Nicola Center for Ethics and Culture, the McGrath Institute for Church Life, the student Right to Life Club, and others). But the Gender Studies Program and the Reilly Center’s decision to invite an abortion doula to provide an unanswered activist’s case that abortion is a tool of justice for the marginalized is a grave mistake in judgment that creates scandal. Read


How COVID-19 School Closures Sparked a Parent Movement Driving Politics Three Years On by Jeremiah Poff at Washington Examiner. "COVID pulled back the education curtain for every American parent, and they were able to see what their children were learning and what their children weren't learning," [Tiffany Justice] said. "What we learned is that our children's education is being stolen from them and replaced with ideological garbage that isn't going to unfold their full potential in life." Read


New Wyoming Law Restricts Girls’ Sports to Biological Girls by Tyler Arnold at Catholic World Report. Beginning on July 1, only biological girls will be allowed to participate in seventh- through 12th-grade girls’ athletic competitions in Wyoming, per a new law adopted in the state. The legislation requires schools that participate in interscholastic sports competitions to clearly designate programs as male, female, or coed. Those designations will be based on a student’s biological sex, even if the student identifies as a different gender. The law defines sex as “the biological, physical condition of being male or female, determined by an individual’s genetics and anatomy at birth.” Read


School Choice Primarily Benefits Students Who Weren’t Already in Private Schools by Jay Greeme and Jason Bedrick at The Daily Signal. Let’s leave aside the fact that all families pay taxes and so all deserve greater control over how those resources are used to educate their own children. As education freedom advocate Corey DeAngelis reminds us, we should fund students, not systems. And let’s also ignore the insulting assumption that parents who struggle to pay private school tuition, even as they pay taxes for a public school they don’t use, are somehow unworthy of relief from this double financial burden. The assertion that the vast majority of students who use school choice already were enrolled in private schools is completely untrue. Read


Throwback Thursday


What’s So Great About Teachers? By Louise Cowan at The Dallas Morning News on March 22, 2013. Schools have a unique purpose — the formation of citizens who are knowledgeable and wise enough to govern themselves. And this is one of the things wrong with our educational philosophy. We’ve made teaching more like behavioral instruction (like the training of young animals) than the drawing out of noble aspects in rational and imaginative beings. We’ve neglected the elevating metaphors — those bundles of symbolic content revealing nobility that would otherwise remain hidden. We have become almost completely fact- and skill-centered, and our incessant testing is only one evidence of such reduction. Read

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