Culture Wars, Real And Imagined Implemented? Plus, Urban Rural & The Pandemic, Corporal Punishment, More…

Bellwether’s Ebony Lambert on student mental health.

Math wars, begun they have! No really, they have.

On the CRT wars, today, I’d recommend this op-ed from the Indy Star and this discussion with NYT’s Jane Coaston and Michelle Goldberg, and linguist John McWhorter. I’m left with a sort of pedestrian question – is a big part of this issue the same problem we see with a slew of other education issues – inconsistent implementation? In other words, the gap between critical theory or critical race theory in academic disciplines as a way of thinking about racism in society and some of what schools are doing (which might better albeit imprecisely be described as wokeism) appears pretty vast in a lot of cases?* There are certainly some hard core culture warriors who aren’t ever going to agree here, of course, and the incentives work against agreement. Yet it seems like there is more space in between than the social media driven debate allows. In other words, what might help here is some better curriculum and PD than teachers generally get?

Elsewhere in things everyone likes to fight about, I don’t understand this emerging Title IX sexual assault strategy as anything other than base pleasing performative politics? It’s pretty clear at this point from case law that neither the Obama Title IX sexual assault policy or any Biden replacement in a similar vein with regard to due process is going to survive contact with the federal courts. So why bother? Seems like here, too, there is some pretty reasonable middle ground for people who think campus sexual assault is a problem but due process is a thing, too?

I don’t have some elaborate heuristic to offer on corporal punishment per this in 74 today. Just don’t hit kids. C’mon.

This RAND analysis on rural and urban schools and the pandemic is important.

I’ve never said charters are perfect or flawless, on the contrary like everything lots of tradeoffs and I’ve written about that a lot, won awards for it, etc…but the debate is constrained and dumb so if you like charters these days, and I still do, you’re considered a zealot. That’s all by way of saying, allow yourself to be surprised – either way. Robert Pondiciso’s book changed my thinking about some things charter and this new study in Newark might change yours about making sweeping claims. It’s…wait for it…a complicated issue. All the interesting ones are.

Greg Forster says school choice is the best disrupter of the school to prison pipeline there is. I tend to agree that empowering families in education will, well, empower them. That seems like a good thing. And, the schools and criminal justice intersection is a complicated one that eludes simple solutions.

Last year Wesley Lowery wrote an op-ed about how the old model of journalism was a false one and he proposed a new ethos that’s been pretty influential. Will this argument about social science land the same way, especially in the ed sector?

Per this tweet, I offer you this time machine to summer past.

*To use an example from a different issue, my kids came home from school a few years ago completely freaked from some overstated claims about climate change. They thought the world was basically ending for them, and pretty soon. I want them to learn about climate change and environmentalism more generally, both as a matter of citizenship and it’s extremely important to me. But this was just a sloppy way to do it both because they were then little kids and because the teaching was overheated. It’s like the difference between teaching honestly about American history (which we often fail to do) and teaching that America is nothing more than a litany of sins. Some folks will freak out at the honest version, sure, but many fewer than will at the highly ideological one and there will be more allies. We’re not great at any of this at any scale, though.