I Love You but You Didn’t Do the Reading

Up here in the wilds of upstate New York, Spring has finally Sprung. Your humble editor abandoned his computer screen to poke his nose outside of his cave this week. Nevertheless, stuff kept happenin. Here are some of the stories we might have missed this week…

Does American education willfully neglect the needs of smart kids? That’s the argument Pratik Chougule makes this week at The American Conservative.

reading cat

Words, words, words

When are public-school Bible classes problematic? When they ask kids to imagine Adam & Eve frolicking with dinosaurs. We see yet another case this week. This time, it’s from West Virginia, as reported in WaPo.

You’re sick of hearing about the “Benedict Option” for conservative religious folks. Well, how about the “faithful compromise” of a Daniel Option?

New York City just went all in. Conservatives typically denigrate the effectiveness of government preschool programs. Who’s right? A new nerd report from Brookings highlights our knowledge about pre-K effectiveness.

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  1. Does American education willfully neglect the needs of smart kids?

    Yes, it probably does. And I’m okay with that.

    I came to this realization when my children were young. I finished up sending them to a private school, because I did not think the public schools were adequate. Sending them to a private school was expensive. But, in retrospect, it was worth it.

    My thinking at the time: As a parent, I had a responsibility to provide the best education that I could for my children. As a taxpayer, my responsibility was to support providing an adequate education to the community.

    I rationalized that it was to my economic advantage, to live in a community that provides an adequate education. And therefore I should not resent paying taxes to support the schools. However, as a parent, I had a higher responsibility to my children and should be prepared to pay the higher cost of the kind of education that I wanted for them.

    As an educator (retired), I recognize that the most important source of education is the home and family. The public schools cannot make up for parents who don’t much care about education. So the public schools have to do their best. But that best is not likely to be enough for parents who really want the best education for their children. So best leave the special problems of smart kids to their parents.

  2. Posted for Dan. –The Editors
    Among the proliferation of other “options” in response to Dreher are many attempts to sound more reasonable and accommodating, but they are share the same core pathology: someone’se figural reading of biblical texts or church history is taken as a guide for a political theory and program, in which an embattled, unsettled, minority, subcultural Christian “we” claims to speak for “orthodoxy” and stands in a neurotic dualistic opposition against demonized “secularists.” Rather than seeing other Christians, people of faith and good will, Joustra like Dreher sees cylons, zombies, and barbarians. This is how the radical theocratic right talks about fellow citizens and human beings. That is the real problem.

    However you slice it, that is dangerous theocratic thinking that carries along a lot of metaphysical baggage that for some requires denying equal freedoms and the equal humanity of certain classes of people to stop civilization’s wheels from falling off — because bronze age biblical texts say so. Some on the religious right use figural language casually and may not intend it very literally, but they are probably a minority and should be required to explain exactly what they mean in concrete examples.

    Take note this Canadian Convivium project is being bankrolled by the theocratic disciple and principal financier of Christian Reconstructionist, R. J. Rushdoony whose long record of political action is anti-egalitarian through and through.


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