Category : Education

(BBC) Yeterday Uganda schools reopened after almost two years of Covid closure

Children in Uganda have expressed their joy at finally returning to school nearly two years after they were closed because of Covid.

“I am really excited because it’s been a long time without seeing our teachers. And we have missed out a lot,” Joel Tumusiime told the BBC.

“I am glad to be back at school,” echoed another, Mercy Angel Kebirungi.

But after one of the world’s longest school closures, authorities warned at least 30% of students may never return.

Some have started work, while others have become pregnant or married early, the country’s national planning authority said.

Read it all.

Posted in Children, Education, Health & Medicine, Uganda

A story from a School in Michigan for Christmas

I have a friend who teaches in the upper peninsula in Michigan. He has one of those schools that run from kindergarten all the way up through eighth grade, including special ed. One of his students was intellectually slow, couldn’t do very well in classes. And when Christmas Pageant time came he wanted to have a part in the Pageant. What’s more, he wanted a speaking part. He wouldn’t settle for anything less.

So they made into the innkeeper. They figured he could handle that because all he had to do was say, “No room,” twice: once before Mary spoke, once after she spoke. The night of the Pageant, Mary knocks on the door he opens the door, and he says in a brusque fashion, “No room!” Mary says, “But I’m sick, and I’m cold, and I’m going to have a baby, and if you don’t give me a place to sleep, my baby will be born in the cold, cold night.”

He just stood there. The boy behind him nudged him and said, “No room, No room, say, “No room.’” And finally, he turned and he said, “I know what I’m supposed to say, but she can have my room.”

–Anthony Campolo in William H. Willimon Ed, Sermons from Duke Chapel: Voices from “A Great Towering Church” (Durham: Duke University Press, 2005), p.294; used by yours truly in the Christmas Eve sermon

Posted in Children, Christmas, Education, Preaching / Homiletics

(WSJ) NYU Is Top-Ranked—In Loans That Alumni and Parents Struggle to Repay

Five months after Kassandra Jones earned her master’s in public health from New York University in May 2019, she still hadn’t landed a job in the field. She was staring down a six-figure student-loan balance and had to pay for rent and food.

So she sold her eggs. Again.

Ms. Jones first harvested her eggs before starting at NYU in 2017 to help pay for moving to the city, she said. She received a $12,500 annual scholarship and relied on $131,000 in federal loans to cover the rest of her tuition and expenses. She has given her eggs five times, including to an NYU fertility clinic, earning $50,000.

Now 28 years old, Ms. Jones is working freelance on public-health campaigns for nonprofits making about $1,500 a month, which isn’t covering her living expenses, she said. She is applying for new jobs and considering leaving the field. “There are definitely moments where that number just looms as this tunnel that doesn’t have a light at the end of it,” she said of her debt. “It feels like I’m kind of trapped.”

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, Children, Education, Ethics / Moral Theology, Marriage & Family, Personal Finance & Investing, Women, Young Adults

(L and L) Mark A. Kalthoff–The Purpose of a Liberal Education

My thirty-two years of teaching experience have taught me that most students of the liberal arts become less interested in acquiring the means to get what they want than in figuring out what in life is really worth wanting, what ends are ultimately worth pursuing. The business of education is learning what to love and how to love it in the right way. If done properly, this involves improving one’s heart and character—which involves an ordering of the soul. One must come to recognize that which is genuinely good, true, or beautiful, and one’s soul must learn how those things ought to be loved.

Students young and old must free themselves to enjoy learning for its own sake, not just for the sake of the earning power it bestows. Only when learning is pursued for its own sake will that learning do its most for the student. It will order the soul, discipline the mind, and equip one, not just for the workplace, but for the job of living, that is, for flourishing in all the capacities that await in life. A good liberal education provides the kind of preparation needed to live well—not just for success at the office, but more importantly, beyond it.

Read it all.

Posted in Anthropology, Education, History, Philosophy

(Telegraph) France slips down power rankings amid warnings country is sliding ‘backwards

In other notes, the state auditor took aim at France’s school system saying that despite a raft of reforms and spending above the OCDE average, results remained “mediocre” and “are tending to get worse”, particularly among pupils from underprivileged backgrounds.

It suggested providing school heads with more “managerial” powers to pick their teachers, merit-based bonuses, and evaluation of schools’ performance – highly sensitive issues in France.

Perhaps the most damning note of all was reserved for the French culture ministry.

Once the pride of the nation for fostering France’s sacrosanct “cultural exception” in the face of Anglo-Saxon hegemony, the auditor said the ministry had over the past 40 years effectively morphed into a glorified “ticket office” for state handouts from its €3bn annual budget to a plethora of cultural players all defending their “acquired rights”.

The ministry should “refocus on a limited number of missions and exercise these in a more strategic way,” it said.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, Education, France

(C of E) Heat pump under playing field helps school cut emissions in bid to reach net zero carbon

The effort comes as all parts of the Church are working to reach net-zero carbon by 2030.

To fit the ground source heat pump, The Parish of St Laurence C of E Primary School in Chorley, Lancashire, had to install 4,500 metres of piping under its playing field, and drill seven bore holes to a depth of 150m.

A ground source heat pump works by drawing on heat below the ground with water heated as it is pumped through underground pipes. The water is then pressurised and used to heat a building.

The school’s efforts have received national acclaim, including at the Green Church Showcase – an event hosted in Glasgow during the COP26 summit.

Alongside the heating improvements, all lighting throughout the building has also been converted to more efficient LED bulbs, and solar panels have been added to the roof. Steps have also been taken to make the building more airtight, reducing draughts and heat loss.

Read it all.

Posted in Church of England (CoE), Ecology, Education, England / UK, Religion & Culture

The Bishop of Coventry accepts an invitation to lead Further and Higher Education work

In 2020 the Church of England launched its Vision for Higher Education and in 2021 set out plans for a major shift in engagement with the sector as part of its Vision for Further Education.

Bishop Christopher has been Bishop of Coventry since 2008. After teaching in secondary education, he trained for ordination and pursued doctoral studies. He has served in parochial and chaplaincy ministry and in theological education, latterly as Principal of Ridley Hall, Cambridge and in 2010 was awarded an honorary degree of Doctor of Divinity by the University of London for his services to education. He was also awarded a Lambeth DD earlier this year.

Commenting on his appointment Bishop Christopher said, “Coventry Diocese is home to a number of Further and Higher Education institutions, and I am looking forward to extending my links with other institutions more widely and to demonstrating the Church’s commitment to this vital sector of our national life.”

The Archbishop of York, Stephen Cottrell, said: “We are delighted that Bishop Christopher has accepted this role. His academic background, experience and wisdom will be a blessing to this important area of our work….

Read it all.

Posted in Church of England (CoE), CoE Bishops, Education, England / UK, Religion & Culture

(CT) Can Maine Cover the Cost of Christian School Tuition?

The latest Supreme Court case over public funding for religious schooling examines a policy in Maine, a state dotted with small towns too tiny to run their own public schools. Over half of the state’s school districts (officially called “school administrative units” or SAUs for short) contract with and pay tuition costs to another nearby school of the parents’ choice—public or private.

And that’s where the hangup lies. By law, Maine mandates that partnering private schools be “nonsectarian in nature, in accordance with the First Amendment of the United States Constitution” to receive the funding, and three Christian families in the state are challenging the requirement.

The Supreme Court will hear their case, Carson vs. Makin, this week. The decision could set further precedent in defining the distance between church and state and the approach to religious freedom itself, as it makes a distinction between barring public funding due to religious identity of the recipient and barring funding to the religious purpose it would be used to advance.

Read it all.

Posted in Anthropology, Education, Ethics / Moral Theology, Law & Legal Issues, Religion & Culture, State Government, Supreme Court

Thursday Morning Encouragement–An unforgettable story about the tremendous impact of one teacher

Listen to it all (just under 6 minutes).


(Hat tip: EH)

Posted in America/U.S.A., Children, Education, History, Poetry & Literature

(NPR) Parents are scrambling after schools suddenly cancel class over staffing and burnout

Two weeks’ notice: Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools in North Carolina voted on Oct. 28 to close schools on Nov. 12 for a “day of kindness, community and connection.”

Five days’ notice: On the evening of Wednesday, Nov. 17, Ann Arbor Public Schools in Michigan announced that schools would be closed the following Monday and Tuesday, extending Thanksgiving break for a full week. The district cited rising COVID-19 cases and staff shortages.

Three and even two days’ notice: On Tuesday and Wednesday, Nov. 9 and 10, three different districts in Washington state — in Seattle, Bellevue and Kent — announced schools would be closed that same Friday, the day after Veterans Day, due to staff shortages.

Schools and districts around the country have been canceling classes on short notice. The cancellations aren’t directly for COVID-19 quarantines; instead schools are citing staff shortages, staff fatigue, mental health and sometimes even student fights.

Read it all.

Posted in Children, Education, Health & Medicine, Marriage & Family

(Local Paper) Charleston County School Board votes to end mask requirement

Charleston County School District decided its mask mandate will end on Nov. 10, allowing students, staff and visitors to go to schools without face coverings.

The district’s school board voted overwhelmingly in favor of ending its mask policy during a Nov. 8 meeting, citing a low spread of the COVID-19 virus and the recent availability of vaccines for children ages 5 to 11.

The district reported only 38 cases among about 50,000 students and staff members over the week of Nov. 1 — the eighth consecutive week cases fell. During its peak the week of Aug. 30, there were 473 cases reported among students and staff members.

The district is following guidance from doctors at the Medical University of South Carolina, which said that it’s reasonable to unmask when spread of the virus is low in the community. The COVID-19 activity in Charleston County is currently rated “low” by the S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control.

Read it all.

Posted in * South Carolina, Children, Education, Health & Medicine

(NYT) Election Results Provide a Stark Warning to Democrats

Mr. Youngkin had campaigned heavily on education and seized on Mr. McAuliffe’s remark that he didn’t “believe parents should be telling schools what they should teach.” Mr. Youngkin used the comment, made during a debate, as an entryway to hammer his rival on issues like race and transgender rights in schools. The issues simultaneously motivated the G.O.P. base while casting the matter to moderates as an issue of parental rights.

“This is no longer a campaign,” Mr. Youngkin said. “It is a movement being led by Virginia’s parents.”

Read it all.

Posted in America/U.S.A., Children, Education, Marriage & Family, Office of the President, Politics in General, President Joe Biden, State Government

(PD) Robert Miller–Academic Freedom and the Community of Scholars: A Response to Nathanael Blake

Still, Blake raises a good question when he asks why universities tolerate professors who support morally reprehensible ideas. Blake thinks the answer is “moral relativism,” but that cannot be right, for, as we saw above, universities have no trouble enforcing moral norms against plagiarism, embezzlement, and the rest. So why mention moral relativism? I suspect the answer is that, if the university held that all ideas were equally good and equally bad, then it would make little sense to punish a professor on the basis of his ideas, and so the university would have a strong policy of academic freedom. In other words, moral relativism implies academic freedom. But even conceding this point arguendo, it is just a logical fallacy (the fallacy of affirming the consequent) to infer the converse and conclude that academic freedom implies moral relativism.

The fallacy becomes obvious when we reflect that there are strong arguments for academic freedom based on objective moral theories. For example, although some academic speech is objectively good and other academic speech is objectively bad, nevertheless limiting academic freedom requires empowering university administrators to decide which speech is good and which is bad, which should be allowed and which suppressed. Empowering people in this way is so dangerous that it is objectively wrong, just as giving teenage boys whiskey and automobiles is objectively wrong. Even when university officials act in good faith, there will be many close calls, and history teems with examples of speech once widely considered bad that we now believe is good, and vice versa. Hence, in any system of speech regulation, the decisions of those running the system will involve a very high error rate, and, even worse, the errors will not be randomly distributed but will skew strongly in favor of ideas with which the officials themselves agree and against ideas with which they disagree.

The fact that there are some easy cases (bestiality is wrong) does not change this; once officials are empowered to decide which speech will be allowed and which suppressed, they will decide not only the easy cases but the hard cases as well. Moreover, the people running the system will not always act in good faith but will sometimes abuse their power to punish those with whose speech they disagree. Indeed, the history of censorship strongly suggests that such abuses are common. On this view, although free speech and academic freedom come at a cost (bad speech is permitted and causes real harm), the costs of a system of censorship are much worse.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, America/U.S.A., Education, Ethics / Moral Theology, Philosophy

(World) The search for truth takes a hit at MIT

To test one’s convictions, an honest thinker must consider competing viewpoints to confront one’s own dearly held beliefs and presuppositions. Perhaps, after considering an opposing view, one sees an error in one’s own view. Perhaps a seeker after truth sees how he or she was right all along. But there may be nuances and contours and depths newly discovered through considerations of an opposing view. Or perhaps one sees the same view but now from a new confidence, a different vista, ever enriching the perspective. Truth is likened to a diamond, where beholding different dimensions of it only adds to its beauty and goodness.

Free speech is worth defending not just for the sake of freedom—it is for something far grander. It is worth defending for the sake of truth. Freedom of speech is good and wonderful, but it is an instrumental good in the service of the intrinsic good of knowledge and wisdom—ultimately, truth. As G. K. Chesterton said, “The object of opening the mind, as of opening the mouth, is to shut it again on something solid.” Solid, like rock-solid truth.

These are dark days when free speech is stifled, such that the vocation of academia for truth-seeking is severely hindered. But there are glimmers of hope. The Academic Freedom Alliance (AFA) is a new organization dedicated to defending academic freedom. (I am a member.) It condemned MIT’s decision to disinvite Professor Abbot. After MIT’s embarrassing surrender, one of AFA’s founders, Robert P. George of Princeton University, invited Professor Abbot to lecture at Princeton. Professor Abbot then delivered the same lecture on the same day that he had been scheduled to lecture at MIT—but he spoke at Princeton’s James Madison Program in American Ideals and Institutions instead. Enrollment in the Zoom event for the lecture grew so large that Princeton had to increase its Zoom capacity for it. Thousands of people attended or viewed the lecture.

Read it all.

Posted in Education, Ethics / Moral Theology, Politics in General, Psychology

(CNN) Hats off to Two Georgia Heroes this Week, students Conner Doss and Kane Daugherty

Two middle school students are being praised for their quick action when their bus driver experienced a medical emergency.

Conner Doss and Kane Daugherty are students at East Paulding Middle School outside Atlanta and were on a full bus when the incident happened, according to CNN affiliate WSB-TV.
“I come out, I come in the aisle and look down. Miss Julie’s face is bright red and shaking,” Doss told WSB.

The driver managed to pull over and that’s when they realized something was wrong.

“I hear her say, ‘Hey! Somebody help!’ So, I run up. She’s over here shaking really bad,” said Daugherty. “I picked up the [dispatch radio], I said, ‘Somebody help. Our bus driver feels really dizzy.’ Somebody called her phone.”

The dispatcher was able to call 911, help the boys set the emergency brake, flashing lights and emergency stop arm.

Read it all.

Posted in Education, Health & Medicine, Spirituality/Prayer, Travel

(CBS) Saturday Morning encouragement–Some Louisiana Fathers transform life at a local school

‘When an SOS went up at a troubled Louisiana high school, who answered the call? A bunch of dads. Steve Hartman shares the story in “On the Road.”‘

Watch it all.

Posted in Children, Education, Marriage & Family, Men, Violence

(Local Paper) South Carolina Teacher survey shows educators struggled with school leadership, added work last year

A South Carolina teacher exit survey revealed many of the state’s educators struggled to find reasons to stay in their jobs last year because of concerns with school leadership, their workload and other COVID-related conditions.

Last month, the South Carolina Teacher Education Advancement Consortium released the results of a 2020-21 exit survey revealing why teachers in five school districts across the Midlands region decided to leave their jobs. The survey comes a year after the Center for Education Recruitment, Retention & Advancement found nearly 6,000 teachers left their jobs over the 2019-20 school year.

The survey, which was conducted anonymously, asked 224 teachers about their level of experience, reasons for leaving and plans going forward. Most respondents said a desire to move or take an early retirement were the top reasons they left their jobs. Some 14 percent indicated they were dissatisfied with the school administration and leadership.

The survey also asked teachers how the COVID-19 pandemic factored into their decision to leave. The results showed the consequences of the virus, including added workload, an inability to connect with students and a lack of support from the community, pushed more people out of their jobs than safety concerns surrounding the virus itself.

Read it all.

Posted in * South Carolina, Education, Health & Medicine

(Washington Post front page) College students struggle with mental health as pandemic drags on

People handed flowers to strangers on campus this week, and wrote encouraging notes in chalk. Students played with baby goats and tail-wagging dogs brought in to comfort them. Classes were canceled Tuesday, pop-up counseling centers appeared in dorms and concerned parents brought cookies and hugs to campus.

It has been a week of grief and disbelief at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. There have been reports of two deaths by suicide since the semester began, according to the university, and an attempted suicide last weekend that prompted an outpouring of sadness and worry.

The reasons behind any suicide are complex, and little is publicly known about these deaths. But the response on the Chapel Hill campus has been immediate and intense. And it has resonated nationally, coming at a time when many young people are feeling particularly burdened.

College students nationwide are more stressed — with the coronavirus pandemic adding loneliness, worry about illness, economic distress, relentless uncertainty and churn to a time of life that is already challenging for many. Demand for mental health services had already been high, but a recent study of college students found increased levels of anxiety and isolation during the pandemic.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, America/U.S.A., Anthropology, Education, Ethics / Moral Theology, Health & Medicine, Psychology, Theology, Young Adults

(Washington Post) Back in the classroom, teachers are finding pandemic tech has changed their jobs forever

MaryRita Watson says her job as a fourth- and fifth-grade reading specialist is 110% more stressful these days.

As the delta variant continues to spread across the United States and leads to more coronavirus exposure among students, Watson says she has been forced to embrace the hybrid model of teaching, where she simultaneously has to educate students both in-person and virtually.

“It’s difficult. I feel like the students who are at home aren’t getting the best of me, and then at times, the students at school aren’t getting best of me,” says Watson, who teaches at Oakbrook Elementary School in Summerville, S.C. She has switched between in-person and virtual classes over the last year and half due to the pandemic.

Watson is among millions of teachers across the nation who are in their second year of teaching either in-person, online or both – depending on the state, city and district they live in. Like many other professions, teachers’ jobs have become increasingly complex due to the pandemic. This year, many students are back in the classroom, but teachers have to constantly adapt if there is virus exposure. There aren’t specific guidelines on how best to teach students using the many technologies that are available. Teachers are also struggling to keep students engaged while learning new tech tools that are required to make online classes successful.

Read it all.

Posted in * South Carolina, Blogging & the Internet, Education, Health & Medicine, Labor/Labor Unions/Labor Market, Science & Technology

(BBC South) A Report from an Oxfordshire primary school that is among the first to use ‘Space Makers’-a collection of five contemplative practices for children created by the Diocese of Oxford

‘BBC South Today visit Goring CE Primary School to find out how Space Makers, the contemplative toolkit for schools and Sunday groups, helps their pupils navigate the world around them.’

Posted in Children, Education, England / UK, Religion & Culture

(The State) South Carolina school nurses say they’re ‘overwhelmed,’ ‘unsafe’ with COVID surge in schools

Elizabeth Clark has had days when she felt unsafe. Days when she hasn’t felt like she can help everyone who needs it. When she’s overwhelmed. When she’s dealt with frustrated people who “say things they wouldn’t in another situation.”

Clark is the only full-time school nurse at Gilbert High School, in the middle of a school district that has had some of the highest rates in the Midlands of COVID-19 spread and exposure since the new school year started just weeks ago.

Since classes resumed in mid-August, the normal maladies that come to a school nurse — from the minor but incessant to the potentially quite serious — have competed for attention with the near-constant focus on COVID-19. At one point, more than 6,000 students in Lexington 1 were excluded from class and multiple schools were teaching online-only classes.

“Two weeks before school, we get health cards on all our students,” Clark said. “I have 1,100 students, and I try to read through every single one by the first couple weeks of school. We just started on those this week. I try to orient myself to my students, but… COVID is so huge and in our face, it’s almost the only thing you can see.”

Read it all.

Posted in * South Carolina, Children, Education, Health & Medicine

(CT) Evangelical Colleges Join Effort to Promote Vaccination

Dozens of evangelical schools belonging to the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities (CCCU) have joined an interfaith effort called Faith in the Vaccine, designed to recruit students and faculty to help inform their communities about vaccination and recognize the role religious identity might play in people’s hesitation.

“This was not about hounding people into getting the vaccine or shaming them if they were hesitant,” said Eboo Patel, founder of Interfaith Youth Corps (IFYC), which launched the effort last spring and has disbursed $4 million to fund the campaign so far. “It was very much about engaging with great respect and sensitivity … and helping them kind of talk their own way into vaccination.”

Nearly 50 CCCU member schools signed up for the program. IFYC, along with medical professionals from the Rush University Medical School, trained campus ambassadors in conversational tactics and medical information about the vaccines.

But what started out as a campaign to promote education around vaccination within these faith communities has shifted to efforts to actually get shots in arms. The Faith in the Vaccine ambassadors, according to IFYC, have helped promote or host hundreds of clinics and events across the country, accounting for an estimated 10,000 or more vaccinations.

Read it all.

Posted in Education, Evangelicals, Health & Medicine, Young Adults

(Local Paper) COVID19 rate in South Carolina remains highest in US; DHEC reports more than 20,000 new cases

Even as COVID-19 cases start to level off in some Southern states, the virus is showing no signs of slowing down in South Carolina, where more than 20,000 confirmed and probable cases were recorded by the state Department of Health and Environmental Control over the Labor Day weekend.

Compared with the rest of the country, COVID-19 rates are very high in South Carolina. The New York Times calculated Sept. 7 that, once again, the rate of new cases in the Palmetto State is higher than anywhere else in the U.S….

Dr. Celine Gounder, an infectious disease specialist at Bellevue Hospital in New York City, said on PBS Newshour on Sept. 6 that a South Carolina resident who is fully vaccinated now runs the same risk of catching COVID-19 as does a New York state resident who is unvaccinated.

“And that is simply because there is so much more virus circulating right now in South Carolina,” Gounder said, “that even with the protection of the vaccine, you could still get infected.”

Read it all.

Posted in * South Carolina, Children, Education, Health & Medicine, State Government

(WSJ) A Generation of American Men Give Up on College: ‘I Just Feel Lost’

Men are abandoning higher education in such numbers that they now trail female college students by record levels.

At the close of the 2020-21 academic year, women made up 59.5% of college students, an all-time high, and men 40.5%, according to a Wall Street Journal analysis of enrollment data from the National Student Clearinghouse, a nonprofit research group. U.S. colleges and universities had 1.5 million fewer students compared with five years ago, and men accounted for 71% of the decline, the Journal analysis found.

This education gap, which holds at both two- and four-year colleges, has been slowly widening for 40 years. The divergence increases at graduation: After six years of college, 65% of women in the U.S. who started a four-year university in 2012 received diplomas by 2018 compared with 59% of men during the same period, according to the U.S. Department of Education.

In the next few years, two women will earn a college degree for every man, if the trend continues, said Douglas Shapiro, executive director of the research center at the National Student Clearinghouse.

Read it all.

Posted in Education, Men, Young Adults

(America) ‘When does it end?’ Parents on the most stressful back-to-school season of the pandemic

In my sister’s case, as in many others, the school board delayed its decision about mask wearing until the very last minute. It also reversed course: After saying two weeks ago masks would be encouraged but optional, the board held a 4.5 hour public meeting this week, which ended with the announcement that they would require them.

And then, said my sister, “People flipped out.” Those opposed to masks are now promising boycotts, walkouts and protests in front of the school. Threats being made online suggest even worse. My sister looks on, feeling helpless as she thinks about her three children, two of whom have had to endure this seemingly endless combat for most of high school. “It’s just, when does it end?” she said to me.

The question is particularly acute for parents of younger children. They have spent most of the last 18 months trying to negotiate the changing needs of their children’s education and well-being while also managing their own jobs and health. And while teenagers and adults have been able to enjoy much greater freedom since getting vaccinated, there is no vaccine yet for children under 12.

I spoke to 10 parents from across the country to hear how they are doing in the midst of it all. While their situations varied greatly—sometimes to the point that it seemed like they lived in different countries—what I found were people wanting to be hopeful, trying to keep perspective and yet also in many cases anxious, frustrated and exhausted by their schools, states, fellow parents and our current reality….

Read it all.

Posted in Children, Education, Health & Medicine, Marriage & Family

(AP) Court Upholds Ruling in Favor of InterVarsity at U of Iowa–“We are hard-pressed to find a clearer example of viewpoint discrimination”

Attorneys with the Iowa Attorney General’s Office listed on court filings as representing the university in the lawsuit did not immediately return phone messages Friday seeking comment.

A UI spokeswoman, Anne Bassett, said in an email Friday afternoon that the university “respects the decision of the court and will move forward in accordance with the decision.”

Daniel Blomberg, an attorney for InterVarsity, said Friday’s ruling puts other schools on notice.

“Schools are supposed to be a place of free inquiry and open thought, but the school officials here punished opinions they didn’t like and promoted ones they did — all while using taxpayer dollars to do it,” Blomberg said.

Posted in Education, Ethics / Moral Theology, Law & Legal Issues, Religion & Culture, Young Adults

(NBC) Boko Haram Kidnapping Survivors Now Pursuing Graduate Degrees To Help Others

“Joy Bishara and Lydia Pogu were among the hundreds of girls kidnapped in 2014 by Boko Haram in Nigeria. After escaping, both women have now graduated from Florida’s Southeastern University and plan to pursue graduate degrees. They’re determined to be a voice for those still missing.”

Watch it all.

Posted in Education, Nigeria, Terrorism, Violence, Women, Young Adults

(NYT Op-ed) Ross Douthat–The Excesses of Antiracist Education

What’s really inflaming today’s fights, though, is that the structural-racist diagnosis isn’t being offered on its own. Instead it’s yoked to two sweeping theories about how to fight the problem it describes.

First, there is a novel theory of moral education, according to which the best way to deal with systemic inequality is to confront its white beneficiaries with their privileges and encourage them to wrestle with their sins.

Second, there is a Manichaean vision of public policy, in which all policymaking is either racist or antiracist, all racial disparities are the result of racism — and the measurement of any outcome short of perfect “equity” may be a form of structural racism itself.

The first idea is associated with Robin DiAngelo, the second with Ibram X. Kendi, and they converge in places like the work of Tema Okun, whose presentations train educators to see “white-supremacy culture” at work in traditional measures of academic attainment.

The impulses these ideas encourage take different forms in different institutions, but they usually circle around to similar goals…..

Read it all.

Posted in Anthropology, Children, Education, Ethics / Moral Theology, History, Philosophy, Race/Race Relations

Tuesday Midday encouragement–Kansas teachers’ students participate in their wedding

“Kansas teachers Mason McDowell and Alexandra Stamps, both first-year teachers, invited their third and fifth grade students to be junior bridesmaids and groomsmen at their wedding.”

Watch it all.

Posted in Children, Education, Marriage & Family

(FE Week) Nigel Genders–The Church of England wants to serve a new generation in education as we have always done

An article in FE Week last week by the National Secular Society rather bizarrely tried to argue that this was part of some secret plan.

On the contrary, we are unapologetic about seeking to engage with and serve a new generation, as this is what we have always done.

Suggestions that spiritual guidance and support offered by chaplaincies is either unwanted or a niche provision also miss the mark.

A recent ComRes poll showed that almost half of adults (44 per cent) say they pray. And one in four people pray regularly (at least once a month) ̶ a number that has increased six percentage points since a pre-pandemic survey.

Positive responses are even higher in the 18-to-34 age group, with 30 per cent saying they pray regularly, and 34 per cent having watched a broadcast religious service during the pandemic.

By this measure, the idea that faith has no place in modern society is decidedly pre-pandemic in its worldview, especially among younger age groups.

Read it all.

Posted in Children, Church of England (CoE), Education, England / UK, Religion & Culture