I Love You but You Didn’t Do the Reading

Another big week. Here are a few headlines you may have missed if you put down your phone at all during the past seven days:

Can Never-Trump conservatives ever prove their case? At NR.

the story of recent right-wing politics has been a nearly unrelieved study in bomb-throwing and icon-smashing, from the ’90s distempers of Gingrichism on through to the neoconservative capture of foreign policy in the George W. Bush administrations to the intersecting bigotries of the Tea Party and Birther movements in the Obama age. To truly brand an honest inquiry into conservative intellectual life as “Never Trump,” such an effort would also have to show how Trumpism is in fact a culmination of long-unruly, demagogic, and cynically jingoistic tendencies in the house of the American right.

Wow: Brigham Young University removes its restriction on same-sex romantic displays. At CNN.

Ouch. Olivet University admits to fraud. At CT.

California-based Olivet University—represented by its president Tracy Davis—pleaded guilty to falsifying business records and engaging in conspiracy, and was fined $1.25 million, according to the DA’s press officer.

Historian John Thelin puts “free college” in historical context, at HNN.

The historic reminder is that creating and funding colleges has been – and remains – the prerogative of state and local governments.

Another big story: CA has to spend $50 million to help kids learn to read, at EdWeek.

The state did not meet its constitutional responsibility to educate all children and had not followed suggestions from its own report on the problem from years earlier, the court filing claimed. . . . The settlement is a “milestone” that represents “a comprehensive, holistic and far-reaching program for achieving literacy in California,” said Public Counsel lawyer Mark Rosenbaum, who sued along with the law firm Morrison & Foerster.

Under the settlement with the state, most of the funding will be awarded over three years to 75 public elementary schools, including charters, with the poorest third-grade reading scores in California over the last two years. The agreement comes after the novel lawsuit contended that the students’ low literacy levels violated California’s constitutional mandate to provide all children with equal access to an education, said attorney Mark Rosenbaum at the pro bono law firm Public Counsel.

Time for your Texas-Man story of the week, from TT.

Almost no one — Democrat or Republican, wealthy or poor, old or young — wants to see [Robert Morrow] elected to the State Board of Education, the 15-member body that decides what millions of public school children learn. Yet according to political pollsters, Morrow’s chances in this March’s Republican primary can’t be ruled out.

Robert Murrow TTE BD TTHistory teacher in hot water for comparing Trump to Nazis and Soviets, at NBC.

A slide used in an Advanced Placement history class at Loch Raven High School in Towson shows a picture of Trump above pictures of a Nazi swastika and a flag of the Soviet Union. Two captions read “wants to round up a group of people and build a giant wall” and “oh, THAT is why it sounds so familiar!”

Trump nazi teacher slide

Michael Petrilli: Watch out: Schools are cramming leftist history down kids’ throats. At NYP.

“In many schools, you are more likely to encounter the 1619 or Zinn version of history than anything positive,” he said. “We’re telling our young people that America is racist and oppressive and has only failed over the years to do right by the most vulnerable, rather than that we were founded with incredible ideals that we have sometimes failed to live up to.”

We had a lively Sunday discussion of this question on the Tweeter. Short version: We settled nothing.

I Love You but You Didn’t Do the Reading

Last week was so busy, our Monday news roundup had to wait until Tuesday. What did you miss? Wacky takes on coronavirus? Trump dumping charter schools? Darwin Day? Christian college closing? How about the new poll numbers about socialist “electability?” Read on!

From the Right: Kooky takes on the coronavirus:

Tough times at Texas State, at CHE.

Davis-Williams, who is black, said one of the conservative students mocked him by saying he didn’t “belong” there. He walked closer to respond, but the student hid behind campus police officers gathered at the scene.

That’s when an officer stopped Davis-Williams — and told him to quit walking in that direction.

Another Christian college shuts its doors, at OL.

Tom Ries, who took the post of interim president in early January, said Concordia’s enrollment plummeted from more than 8,000 four years ago to around 5,000 currently. He said the university has a “significant” debt load and faced significantly higher costs in the coming year.

The shutdown came suddenly. Just last Tuesday, Concordia staged a flashy event that raised $355,000 for its an innovative program with Portland Public Schools. The first some staff and faculty heard anything about a shutdown was when it was announced to them at 9 a.m. Monday. Students got the word an hour later.

Trump’s budget plan cuts funding for education, at Politico.

…and it specifically cuts federal funding for charter schools, at Curmudgucation.

The Trump budget completely axes federal support for charter schools, rolling the federal money for charters into a big fat all-purpose block grant, a big chunk of money retrieved from various programs that have been deemed redundant and ineffective. States will now get a big pile of money that they can spend on a loosely defined bunch of Education Stuff. If they want to spend some of that on charter schools, they can.

What does Trump’s proposed ed budget say? Review at Chalkbeat.

The Trump administration proposed a major reduction in federal education spending Monday that would eliminate nearly 30 standalone programs, including ones that support homeless students, rural students, English learners, and magnet schools.

Perhaps most surprisingly, the proposal would effectively axe a long-standing federal program that has catalyzed charter school growth across the country.

The department packaged this move as part of a bigger effort to give states more decision-making power.

How are charter-school leaders taking the news? Not well, at WaPo.

The hardest electoral positions? “Socialism” or “atheism,” says new Gallup poll.

gallup atheist electabilityWhere are the great TV shows about teachers? At WaPo.

Shows such as “Parks and Recreation,” “Scrubs,” “The Office,” and “Silicon Valley” balance humor with heart and genuine insight. Even through the absurdity, something about the work world these shows create rings true. Not so much with TV teachers.

Darwin Day was Feb. 12. National Center for Science Education collected a series of statements: Why Teach Evolution. You can see them all here.

Teaching and discussing evolution opens so many doors to scientific inquiry and understanding. The very heart of what science is, and is not, is captured in conversations about how we know evolution is happening at the micro and macro levels, the inability of science to consider the metaphysical as an explanation of events, and the nature of science as self-correcting in light of evidence.

I Love You but You Didn’t Do the Reading

What did you miss this week? Trump bashing public schools? Catholic colleges loving LGBTQ students? The latest on “Satanic pregnancies?” It’s all here in our weekly news round up. Plus Kobe Bryant, John Whitcomb Jr., our next Ed Secretary, and Tennessee’s bad plan for funding schools.

Trump talks education at SOTU.

Only snobs would sneer at Paula White’s call to miscarry “Satanic pregnancies,” says DF.

remember that Pentecostal Christianity was born out of America’s poor and working-class communities—people who feel the tremendous, grinding weight of poverty, of addiction, of oppression—and it is sweeping through the global south in communities who face many of these same challenges. These people are not privileged. They don’t have the power and confidence of America’s prosperous Christian class. The Holy Spirit bursts into their lives like a supernova of hope.

How should Catholic colleges treat LGBTQ students? At America.

How can Catholic colleges respond to the needs of L.G.B.T. people? It is often a contentious topic. But it need not be. Because at heart it is about something that Jesuits call cura personalis: care for the whole person, care for the L.G.B.T. person.

Who might be the next Secretary of Education? At EdWeek.

Some you’ve probably heard of, like Jerry Falwell Jr., Lamar Alexander of Tennessee, Deval Patrick of Massachusetts and Tony Evers of Wisconsin. But others you probably haven’t.

Who was the late Kobe Bryant’s biggest inspiration? His English teacher. At WBUR.

Tennessee’s Governor Mike Lee announces new $$$ for schools.

Not so fast: Fifth Third Bank reverses its decision to pull out of scholarship program, at OS. It seems they’re back in after receiving assurances that none of their $$$ would go directly to anti-LGBTQ schools.

Fifth Third said Friday that it changed its views based on “detailed conversations” with the AAA Scholarship Foundation, which administers some of the program. The bank said that the foundation had agreed to “develop a roadmap to help parents navigate the school selection and application process.”

RIP Dr. John Whitcomb Jr. I’m no creationist, but there is no denying the long-lasting influence of Whitcomb’s work. It was Whitcomb more than his more-famous co-author Henry Morris who sparked the rise of young-earth creationism in the 1960s.

I Love You but You Didn’t Do the Reading

Okay, so leaving aside the fact that Kansas City is apparently not in Kansas anymore, here were a couple of the big ILYBYGTH-themed news stories from last week. We’ve got more about school desegregation, Liberty U seceding, vouchers, and LGBTQ+:

School desegregation plans meet fierce opposition from affluent white and Asian parents, at AP.

I heard a lot of things said during these meetings which sounded almost verbatim like the things that were said in the ’50s and ’60s and ’70s to prevent the integration of schools in Richmond and around the country.

VA redistricting meetingNew from Falwell: A new plan to secede from Virginia and join West Virginia. At RNS.

“Many counties (in Virginia) are taking a long hard look at escaping the barbaric, totalitarian and corrupt Democratic regime that is trampling on individual rights throughout the state,” Falwell said.

It’s getting harder and harder to oppose full rights for LGBTQ+: Fifth Third Bank announces it will no longer donate to a Florida charter-school program. Why? Because some schools were accused of anti-LGBTQ bias. At FlaPol.

Larry Cuban: What tech can’t do in classrooms.

no piece of software, portfolio of apps, or learning management system can replace teachers simply because teaching is a helping profession like medicine and psychotherapy. Helping professions are completely dependent upon interactions with patients, clients, and students for success. . . . Designers and entrepreneurs overestimate their product’s power to make change and underestimate the power of organizations to keep things as they are.

Making the case for Espinoza, at L&L.

It is not unreasonable for the Montana Supreme Court to conclude that the state’s scholarship program violates the state’s Blaine Amendment, but there is every reason to conclude that the State’s Blaine Amendment violates the Free Exercise Clause. States should not be able to discriminate on the basis of religion unless they have a compelling reason to do so, and there is certainly no compelling reason in this case.

The weird politics of religious discrimination in today’s SCOTUS, at Atlantic.

But for Montana, to hear conservative justices tell it, the sin of religious bigotry is the mark of Cain, a stain that can never be completely washed out. The state’s educational system must be changed at once to atone for the 1889 no-aid provision. In fact, its guilt is so profound that it must revive a defunct school-scholarship program that included religious schools.

The new (old) eugenicism, at AS.

[Bret] Stephens’s line of argument displays a particularly problematic use of science (or at least an appeal to scientific authority) as a tool to justify specious claims. . . . The problems with Stephens’s column go well beyond the questionable scientific merit of a cherry-picked article. Much more troubling is the invocation of science as a neutral arbiter of truths about race and intelligence.

moral defectives shapiroWhen colleges combine, will non-Christian faculty be purged? At NYT.

Swirling Round the Superbowl

Okay, nerds, here are some greatest Superbowl hits from the ILYBYGTH archives so you can feel involved in today’s festivities.

jesus_football

…to the ten…to the five…JESUS CHRIST with the TOUCHDOWN!!!!!

1.) What’s the deal with football and fundamentalism? Liberty University’s coaching hire last year had us all wondering once again what really matters at evangelical universities.

2.) The teams aren’t the same, but this culture-war drinking game idea from 2015 should still work.

3.) Why is school reform pricier than two entire Superbowls? The question came up back in August, 2017, but it is still sort of depressing.

4.) Tommy Brady and Bill Belichick help explain why school reform is so difficult.

I Love You but You Didn’t Do the Reading

Impeachment, impeachment, impeachment. There were a few other things going on last week that need noticing. Here are a few top stories from around the interwebs:

Ouch. Review of Diane Ravitch’s Slaying Goliath at NYT.

We now have “Slaying Goliath,” in which Ravitch takes a defiant leap over the line separating reasoned case-building from empty sloganeering and ad hominem attacks. The book sets out to chronicle and celebrate the resounding defeat of what people who are not Diane Ravitch refer to as the education reform movement. . . . They are, rather, to be called “the Disrupters” — “masters of chaos, which they inflict on other people’s children, without a twinge of remorse.” . . . even if Ravitch has often been justified in raising alarms, it’s painful to see the absence of nuance she exhibits here.

It’s a big one: SCOTUS heard Espinoza v Montana this week.

Are creationists bored with the giant Kentucky Ark? Attendance drops for two months running, at FA.ark attendance FA

School quality and city maps: How Chicago divides good and bad schools. At Quillette.

Turn north on Larrabee Street and walk seven blocks to Lincoln Elementary, one of the crown jewels of Chicago Public Schools. Lincoln gets a “1+” rating from the district, the highest possible rating. And the school encompasses the prestigious French-American School of Chicago, officially recognized by the French Ministry of Education and open only to students of Lincoln Elementary. Start once again at Larrabee and North. Turn south this time, and walk five blocks to Manierre Elementary, which receives a “3” rating from the district, the lowest possible rating. Manierre doesn’t just lag Lincoln. Manierre, by any objective standard, is a failing school.

How did fancy Democrats lose the confidence of the white working class? At NR.

Now those of us with postgraduate degrees and who are in the elite of the Democratic Party live in our own Versailles, and we don’t know any working-class people either—except perhaps the name of a barista at Starbucks or the woman who comes by at night to clean the office. . . . For this group, there is only one way to do it: Imitate us, the people who are the helicopter parents, whose parents were professionals, whose presidential candidates are Rhodes scholars or presidents of the Harvard Law Review. Can college for all solve the problems of this country? Well, it worked for us. Even some of the social Darwinians were subtler in rubbing it in. . . .

In the last election, it was such political genius for Trump to say: “I love the poorly educated.” Had Hillary Clinton or even Bernie Sanders been capable of saying that, they’d be on their way now to a second term. And it was also genius for Trump to make a point of pumping up his own moral squalor. It’s as if he wanted working people to know that at last they could vote for a president who was incapable of looking down on them.

Impeachment drama got you down? Check out this story from my local paper—GOP voters cheer their Dem Rep who voted for impeachment.

I Love You but You Didn’t Do the Reading

Okay, so now that the Packers are out of the playoffs we can see what else is going on in the world. Here are some top stories from last week:

Kicked out for a gay cake. How conservative school leaders can mess up on LGBTQ stuff, at ILYBYGTH.

gay cake

Out, vile monster!

FL teachers march, at TD.

Teachers, parents and their supporters brought downtown Tallahassee to a standstill Monday as they protested what they said has been a systematic attack on public education dating to the late 1990s — when, coincidentally, Republicans took over the Legislature and Governor’s Office.

fl teacher march

Progressive college has to change to survive, at IHE.

“They have a very different vision of what college would be and have different needs,” [President George] Bridges said. “They want to leave Evergreen with a degree they can use in a career, in a market,” and that’s explicable to employers. Students who attended in past decades grew up in a different economic climate, he said, and weren’t seeking such specific outcomes.

RIP, Roger Scruton. Eulogy at AC.

Taking Edmund Burke and Adam Smith as his exemplars in thought, Scruton’s traditionalist conservatism always revolved around his love of place and the need for real and organic community, held together by habit, custom, and experience. All good in society, then, flows from the bottom up, rather than from the top down.

Who is an evangelical? An interview with Thomas Kidd at R&P.

the media has come to discuss evangelicals in a very narrow way. The implication is that, when we use the term, we are talking specifically about white Republicans in the United States. But when you think about the evangelical movement on the world stage, this is very misleading.

Trump’s new guidelines for school prayer. What’s new? Not much, really, for schools, but a reversal of other rules, at WaPo.

Under current regulations, faith-based providers — such as health care entities, child welfare organizations, educational nonprofits — need to give beneficiaries notice of their religious character and their right to get services elsewhere. They also have to make reasonable efforts to refer beneficiaries to another provider if the person receiving services is uncomfortable. . . . The Trump administration announced rules to end the requirement, created under the previous administration.

god-is-my-heroMormon Sunday-school manual accidentally includes racist Mormon history, at SLT.

several early readers of the 2020 “Come, Follow Me” manual were troubled to see a note in one lesson that is a throwback to previous thinking.

“The dark skin was placed upon the Lamanites so that they could be distinguished from the Nephites and to keep the two peoples from mixing,” the book explains, citing a statement made some 60 years ago by then-apostle and future church President Joseph Fielding Smith.

I Love You but You Didn’t Do the Reading

Well, it looks like the holidays really are over. This week was full of action, from ineffective left-wing college brainwashing to God’s endorsement for 2020:

Are lefty professors turning college students liberal? Short answer: No. The Economist.

Although the survey responses oscillated from year to year, the effects were not big enough to be statistically significant. Such a lack of evidence should discourage people from believing that academic elites push their left-wing agenda onto their impressionable young pupils. But given how often conservative-leaning media rail against leftist indoctrination in universities, it almost certainly will not.

economist college influence

Not a lot of change there…

IS God’s hand on America? A review of Michael Medved’s new book at WaPo.

With every bullet that didn’t hit an intended target and every carriage or car accident that did not end in a fatality, [Medved] sees the hand of God. . . . The shameful, racist, violent aspects of the American narrative are swept away or excused. . . . for good or ill, the book will mostly appeal to listeners of right-wing radio and viewers of Fox News.

medved gods handSome people think it is. A skeptical look at the Evangelicals for Trump rally at USAT.

Trump the strongman was on display. Like autocratic leaders before him, he stirred fear among his people and offered them safety under his regime. . . . I was stunned when I witnessed evangelical Christians — those who identify with the “good news” of Jesus Christ —raising their hands in a posture of worship as Trump talked about socialism and gun rights.

Bernie: Ban high-stakes testing, at USAToday.

The most serious flaw of high-stakes testing . . . is that it ignores the real problems facing our teachers and students: social inequality and underinvestment in our schools.

How to teach history right, at EdWeek.

[Baltimore’s] emphasis on this [local history] approach that allows students to see themselves in history puts their own lives and people they know at the center of what can feel detached and distant. The consequences for this approach, if done right, can be profound, [Superintendent Sonja Santelises] argued. . . . it allows children to see complexity in history and not just (in the case of black Americans, for example) one long and painful struggle against oppression.

Well….yeah. More secure housing helped students do better on high-stakes tests, at Chalkbeat.

“Housing policy is education policy,” said Amy Ellen Schwartz, one of the researchers and a professor at Syracuse University. “We want to improve kids’ outcomes — sometimes what we’re going to have to do is look outside of the schoolhouse door and think about housing.”

God weighs in on 2020 elections:

“Evangelical Christians of every denomination and believers of every faith have never had a greater champion, not even close, in the White House, than you have right now,” Mr. Trump said. “We’ve done things that nobody thought was possible. Together we’re not only defending our constitutional rights. We’re also defending religion itself, which is under siege.”

Student #2 sues evangelical Fuller Seminary for anti-LGBTQ bias, at CT.

“It’s a very important case at this time in our nation’s history,” said Paul Southwick, the attorney representing Maxon and Brittsan. “This case could set an important legal precedent that if an educational institution receives federal funding, even if it’s religiously affiliated, even if it’s a seminary, that it’s required to comply with Title IX prohibitions on sex discrimination as applied to LGBT individuals.”

Richard Mouw comes out against Trump, at R&P.

When Trump’s evangelical supporters tell us that in presidential elections we are not voting for candidates for sainthood, I agree. . . . But Christians do have a responsibility to promote the cause of moral leadership in public life. And I do want Christian leaders to be guided in their decisions by keeping the “What would Nathan do?” question clearly in mind. The writer of the Christianity Today editorial has now done just that in the case of President Trump. I am grateful for the prophetic message.

Methodist split over LGBTQ also a split among colleges, at IHE.

“The younger generation will not want to continue to be involved in a church that continues to discriminate against the LGBQIA community,” said the Reverend Kah-Jin Jeffrey Kuan, the president of Claremont School of Theology. “This will allow for our seminaries to focus on our mission in training leaders regardless of human sexuality.”

Same publisher. Same authors. Different states = different textbooks, at NYT.

Texas says that white Southerners opposed Reconstruction because of tax increases as well as racial resentment. California instead includes primary-source quotations from black historical figures about white resistance to civil rights.

NYT TExtbooks CA TX

What students see in CA is not what they see in TX.

Were You Trumpared, Part Deux

Thank you, The Internet! Yesterday I asked you if you were surprised by the rise of Trumpism. Over on The Twitter, some topnotch academic historians shared their experiences. I’ll share a few highlights here for those SAGLRROILYBYGTH who don’t tweeter.

It started with an offhand comment by blogger Peter Greene. As he reflected on the end of 2019, he noted,

In many ways, becoming a student of ed reform prepared me for a Trump presidency, because it made me really confront the degree to which many of my fellow citizens do not share values that I had somehow assumed were fundamental to being a citizen of this country.

Unlike The Curmudgucrat, my experiences in the 2010s left me utterly unprepared for the rise of Trump. The archives I explored for my book The Other School Reformers led me to conclude that Trumpish tendencies were usually quashed by conservative organizations, in the name of “respectability” and “mainstream” appeal.

It appears I wasn’t alone. As Rick Perlstein shared, he had to re-calibrate his thinking. He had written back in 2016,

I’ve been studying the history of American conservatism full time since 1997—almost 20 years now. I’ve read almost every major book on the subject. I thought I knew what I was talking about. Then along comes Donald Trump to scramble the whole goddamned script.

And, as Natalia Mehlman Petrzela noted, the “time and style” of Trumpish conservatism feels a lot different from the conservatism of the later twentieth century. As Prof. Petrzela asked,

There’s no way “F*CK YOUR FEELINGS” as a tee-shirt saying for the winning GOP presidential candidate in 2016 was foreseeable from the 60s/70s, right?

natalia on TrumpIt seems that Trump’s ascendancy has changed the way historians of conservatism approach the topic, or at least pointed us in slightly different directions. As Kevin Kruse wrote, he is now working on a new book about

“law and order” politics as seen through NYC[.]

It doesn’t usually work this way, but yesterday at least Twitter helped me learn a lot about a complicated topic and gave me a new reading list. I just ordered a copy of Timothy Lombardo’s book about Frank Rizzo and blue-collar conservatism in Philadelphia.

I Love You but You Didn’t Do the Reading

We gathered another week’s worth of stories from around the interwebs, in case you missed em:

Weird story of the week: Corrections cadets gave Hitler salute to an instructor…because the instructor told them to (?) At NBC.

The secretary stated that Byrd directed her to caption the picture “Hail Byrd,” according to the report, and told the secretary the students say that “because I’m a hard-ass like Hitler.”

WV corrections Hitler saluteConservative students at an elite college in an age of anti-elite Trumpism. The Atlantic.

“The primary emotion, I think, on Princeton’s campus is apathy. Or apathy fused with resignation.”

The evangelical Trumpist responds to Christianity Today’s anti-Trump editorial. At Townhall.

I do not think a man of “grossly immoral character” (as Galli alleges) could produce this many good results. . . . Trump’s character is not perfect, and I will not try to defend every single thing that comes out of his mouth. Sometimes his words are coarse and even vulgar, and I object to that. But no leader is going to be perfect, and such coarse language fades in significance compared to these massive actions for the good of the nation. Therefore I still think these results show that he is a good president. A very good president. And I am eager to vote for him again in November.

Gallup asks Americans who they most respect. This year, Trump ties Obama.

Trump obama gallup tieMethodists split over LGBTQ rights, at RS.

Whatever happened to Michelle Rhee? At Curmudgucation.

Rhee entered the decade as the quintessential reformster. She possessed no actual qualifications for the jobs she took on, had never even run a school, let alone a major urban district., She championed every reformy idea beloved at the time, from charters to test-based accountability to gutting teacher job protections and, as was the common back then, the notion that the real problem with schools was all the shitty teachers protected by their shitty unions. . . . Rhee was the Kim Kardashian of ed reform, the popular spokesmodel who did not have one actual success to her name.

Trump tries to rally evangelical support, at RNS.

“Above all else in America we don’t worship government, we worship God,” Trump said as the crowd erupted in applause.

evangelicals for trump