I Love You but You Didn’t Do the Reading

Apparently there was some news this week about a whistle blowing in Ukraine or something. In the ILYBYGTH International Offices, though, the stories below were the top ones to grab our attention:

Whom do Americans trust? Well, nobody, really. But they trust school principals more than they trust religious leaders. From Pew.Pew principals or preachers II

What’s wrong with judging teachers by students’ test scores? The view from Florida at TBT.

teachers who don’t even teach math or reading receive VAM scores based on the school’s average, not what they’ve done in the classroom. They are judged on variables they can’t even influence.

The answer is not that complex. Put in place a good principal — a good leader — and let her run the school and build support. If she rates a teacher “highly effective,” the state should trust her judgment and not micromanage by wielding a flawed VAM score as a cudgel. It’s one thing to measure performance in the classroom. It’s another to use a faulty measurement that unfairly punishes some good teachers and deprives students who need them.

So, wait: ARE religious children more generous? A retracted study leads to more questions at PT.

In 2015, a paper by Jean Decety and co-authors reported that children who were brought up religiously were less generous. The paper received a great deal of attention, and was covered by over 80 media outlets including The Economist, the Boston Globe, the Los Angeles Times, and Scientific American. As it turned out, however, the paper by Decety was wrong.

What should evangelicals do about getting kicked off campus? One piece of evangelical advice at RNS.

Today, evangelicals should not take to social media to complain that Christian conservatism is under attack. Rather, we should grieve that our LGBTQ+ neighbors don’t feel safe on our campuses and do something about it.

Chicago teachers gear up for another strike, at CT.

The union’s demands boil down to a hashtag, #PutInWriting, which social media users have appended to statements of support for CTU and demands that the city codify certain promises in contract language. The mayor has promised and budgeted for more nurses, social workers and special education staff, but the union wants those commitments made in a legally binding contract.

chicago teachers strike

How many kids are praying at your public school? New app hopes to boost numbers, at CT.

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Does she have a K-12 plan? A look at Sen. Warren’s ideas about schools at CB.

She has been a staunch advocate for holding schools accountable for their test scores and graduation rates, describing that data as a tool to push for racial equity, though more recently she’s criticized “high-stakes testing.” She has also praised charter schools in her home state while pushing for greater oversight of the schools nationally, especially those run by for-profit companies.

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When School Prayer Gets Creepy

It’s not because we don’t like conservative Christians. It’s not because we think Christianity is inherently bigoted. It’s not because we misunderstand SCOTUS precedent. But the more we hear this evangelical school group talking, the more likely we are to hear creepy tones of Handmaid’s Tale takeover. I’m hoping there are plenty of evangelicals who agree.

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See You at the Pole, fine. But don’t “Claim My Campus” !

Here’s the latest: Today is See You at the Pole day. That means K-12 students nationwide are encouraged to meet at their schools’ flagpoles to share a prayer.

So far, so good. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with students praying in schools. Teachers, too, as long as they don’t try to impose their religious views on their students.

The problem only comes when the organizers keep talking. The organization in charge partnered with another group to spread the word. This associated group declares its goal to spread prayer groups to every single school in the USA.

Nothing wrong with that, either. The problem only peeks through when we see the name of the sponsoring organization. It’s not “Pray If You Want.” It’s not “We Pray, Okay?” No, the name of the organization is “Claim Your Campus.”

Do we need to spell it out? Non-evangelical people—and I’m guessing most evangelicals, too—don’t want prayer groups to claim our campus! We want them to participate, sure. We want them to feel at home, of course. But we wish that Claim Your Campus and other evangelical groups would realize that they don’t have a right to CLAIM anything.