I Love You but You Didn’t Do the Reading

Here in sunny Binghamton, New York, the school year is back in full swing, but that hasn’t stopped the interwebs from cranking out stories about schools, Jesus, racism, and Joe Biden. Here are some of the top ILYBYGTH stories from this past week:

How do Christian colleges talk about consent? At Deseret.

Many administrators at the hundreds of religiously affiliated colleges in the U.S. remain hopeful that students will wait until after marriage to have sex, and they often help enforce conduct codes that set that expectation. However, increasingly, they no longer believe advocating for chastity requires delaying conversations about healthy sexual encounters.

BYU consent

What does consent pedagogy look like at Christian colleges?

“Progressive to the point of self-parody?” Or a needed corrective to humdrum history? Dana Goldstein looks at the furor over the new ethnic-studies requirement in California schools at NYT.

The materials are unapologetically activist — and jargony. They ask students to “critique empire and its relationship to white supremacy, racism, patriarchy, cisheteropatriarchy, capitalism, ableism, anthropocentrism and other forms of power and oppression.” A goal, the draft states, is to “connect ourselves to past and contemporary resistance movements that struggle for social justice.”

If tuition is sky-high and there are still plenty of college students, why aren’t evangelical colleges rolling in dough? At TGC.

“It’s an arms race,” Dockery said. “We all had to do what we needed to compete.” Colleges upgraded their technology and built new dorms, classrooms, and gyms. . . . “Now we hit a price point, and a lot of parents won’t pay.”. . .  schools are bringing in less money due to discounted tuition while at the same time spending more on upgrades.

Understanding white terrorism as a “fundamentally religious phenomenon,” at NYT.

they fulfill the functions that sociologists generally attribute to a religion: They give their members a meaningful account of why the world is the way it is. They provide them with a sense of purpose and the possibility of sainthood. They offer a sense of community. And they establish clear roles and rituals that allow adherents to feel and act as part of a whole. These aren’t just subcultures; they are churches.

Traversing the “educational upside down.” A review of Wexler’s The Knowledge Gap at Quillette.

the prevailing ideology of teacher education is still ‘progressive education’ as developed in the early 20th Century. Although sharing a name, it has little to do with progressive politics, and has seen its fullest expression in the private schools of America. Wexler describes it as the belief that “education should be a natural, pleasurable process and that learning or (heaven forefend) memorizing is inherently boring and soul-destroying.” In line with their views on education being a natural process, progressive educators prioritise giving children choices, allowing them to decide what to read and write about. They believe that history and science are “developmentally inappropriate” for elementary schools students. Progressive education’s relationship to the science of learning parallels the relationship of herbalism or homeopathy to the science of medicine. As is the case with alternative medicine, progressive education attracts followers from across the political spectrum, not just the Left.

Three recent books raise questions about evangelical “banners,” at JH.

evangelical churches have had a tendency to raise “banners” that separate those who are in (and right) from those who are out (and wrong). This process of creating enemies is important because it breeds in-group solidarity and manages to distance the other.

For white evangelicals, it’s not the racism n stuff…it’s the cussing. At Politico.

For evangelicals, however, Trump’s indelicate language has frustrated religious fans who have otherwise been staunch supporters of his agenda. They agree with his social policies, praise his appointment of conservative judges and extol his commitment to Israel — often tolerating Trump’s character flaws for the continued advancement of all three. But when it comes to “using the Lord’s name in vain,” as Hardesty put it, “the president’s evangelical base might be far less forgiving.”

trump evangelicals

We love you n stuff, but could you PLEASE cut out the cussing?

What does school segregation look like in 2019? The California model at SFC.

Aware that it already operated racially segregated schools, the district voted in 2013 to place a new K-8 public school in majority-minority Marin City while simultaneously providing discretionary funding to a K-8 public school in Sausalito, a wealthier, whiter city just 1 mile away.

The district voted to do this despite the overwhelming objections of the Marin City community and contrary recommendations from outside consultants. Once it had created the new, segregated school, the district promptly slashed its programming — while maintaining stable funding for the Sausalito school.

This is textbook segregationist politics from an earlier era.

Biden on the stump: “Poor kids are just as bright and just as talented as white kids.” Um…Joe? At EW.

Why would a rural Michigan school have 40% substitute teachers? When charter meets rural poverty, at Curmudgucation.

the narrative of a teacher shortage allows folks to justify all sorts of shenanigans. It lets teacher leaders pretend that there is some sort of teacher crop failure, an act of divine deprivation that they are helpless to address, so, hey, might as well just start grabbing warm bodies off the street or hitting up people who apply for other jobs entirely. As long as they have passion and really care hard, they’ll be just like all the other fully trained teachers.

And what sucks more about this is that the students at this school are poor, rural students who really, really need a strong school with strong teachers.

Why do so many white evangelical (still) love Trump? At WaPo.

evangelical voters paint the portrait of the Trump they see: a president who acts like a bully but is fighting for them. A president who sees America like they do, a menacing place where white Christians feel mocked and threatened for their beliefs. A president who’s against abortion and gay rights and who has the economy humming to boot.

Not only did America use to be great, many white evangelicals feel, but America used to be OURS.

Non-surprise of the week: Better funding for schools…improves schools. At CB.

An extra $1,000 in per-pupil spending raised test scores. High school dropout rates fell 2 percentage points, college enrollment jumped 9 percentage points, and college graduation rates increased 4 percentage points. The gains were particularly large for school districts with more students from low-income families and more Hispanic students. Keep in mind this is the effect of extra spending over a number of years — not just a one-time infusion of resources.

Newark tosses out its “revolutionary” merit-pay teachers’ contract, at Chalkbeat.

The contract relied on a finite pool of private money, which helped fund the changes and convince skeptical teachers to sign on. . . . “It was a rigged system,” said a Newark high school teacher. . . . The 2012 contract was forged under extraordinary circumstances. Zuckerberg had made clear to Christie and Cory Booker . . . that he wanted a contract that would reward high-performing teachers and make it easier to remove low-performers.

teachers might be part of the problem for schools, but teachers will always be most of the solution.


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