This week on “The Learning Curve,” co-host Gerard Robinson and guest co-host Kerry McDonald talk with Howard Bryant, a senior writer for ESPN and the author of nine books, including Full Dissidence: Notes From an Uneven Playing Field and The Heritage: Black Athletes, A Divided America, and the Politics of Patriotism. Bryant shares how his experiences as a student, baseball fan, and sportswriter growing up in 1970s-era Boston have shaped his understanding of race relations and sports. He discusses celebrated American athletes who have broken barriers, from Jackie Robinson and Celtics legend Bill Russell to the Williams sisters and Tiger Woods. Bryant describes how these pioneering athletes were treated, and how they handled their celebrity status. He also offers thoughts on how the multi-billion-dollar professional sports industry is addressing larger racial disparities.

Stories of the Week: In San Francisco, a recall election ousted three members of the Board of Education, after a period of remote learning challenges, controversial school renaming process, admissions policy changes, and other issues. Democratic strategists are raising concerns about their party’s weak positioning on education issues, which will likely continue to play a major role in this election cycle.

Member Post

 

I’m old, and haven’t had a child in public school (K-12) for over 30 years, so I only know what I read. But, from what I can gather, pubic schools have become mostly venues for state-approved child abuse. There are reports of enrollment declining in public schools in some cities at around 10% since the […]

Join Ricochet!

This is a members-only post on Ricochet's Member Feed. Want to read it? Join Ricochet’s community of conservatives and be part of the conversation. Join Ricochet for Free.

Tricks Up Their Sleeves

 

My family spent this past Christmas at a resort in the red part of a blue state. There was much fuss about masking and vaccination status at check-in, and many signs mandating masks indoors for the vaccinated and masks everywhere for the un-. But in actual practice, nobody cared. Some folks were masked, some were not, and I witnessed no conflicts between the two.

It seemed like a joyful sign that yes, we can all get along, and everything was going to be all right. Then one afternoon, we attended a magic show in the main auditorium, and things got grinchy.

Join Jim and Greg as they salute Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin’s decisive victory over forced masking in schools. They also highlight former Obama advisor Steve Rattner admitting that too much COVID stimulus is a big reason for the current inflation crisis. And Prime Minister Justin Trudeau groups a Jewish member of the Canadian Parliament with Nazis while Minnesota Rep. Ilhan Omar slams reporters for tracking down donors to the Freedom Convoy.

Join Jim and Greg as they welcome stunningly good news out of San Francisco, where three woke school board members were overwhelmingly recalled. They also cringe as White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki has no details of any plans President Biden has to bring down energy prices other than to argue that we should be thanking the president for opening the Strategic Petroleum Reserve last year. And they spend time remembering the matchless wit, prose, insight of author and commentator P.J. O’Rourke, who died on Tuesday.

This week on “The Learning Curve,” co-host Cara Candal and guest co-host Prof. Robert Maranto talk with Dr. Mark Bauerlein, Senior Editor at First Things, Professor of English Emeritus at Emory University, and the author of The Dumbest Generation Grows Up. Dr. Bauerlein shares his views about the kinds of content American K-12 students should be reading for preparation for college and meaningful lives. He describes the main findings of his books, including how overuse of technology, excessive screen time, and social media have prevented our youth from pursuing more elevated intellectual endeavors and delayed their maturation into adulthood. He draws linkages between the narcissism of these habits and an illiberal and closeminded outlook on society among too many Millennials and follow-on generations. Dr. Bauerlein offers thoughts on how teachers, parents, and leaders can use higher academic-quality education as a counterbalance to this trend.

Stories of the Week: In Pennsylvania and other states, school districts have filed lawsuits forcing legislatures to allocate equitable funding for K-12 public education. A new book by Larry Cuban, former Virginia teacher and school superintendent, offers some sobering realities about our K-12 education system, as well as reasons for optimism.
Guest:

Member Post

 

Remember, if you speak out against this, President Brandon (IDVFH) says you’re a domestic terrorist. A school district in Enfield, Connecticut asked eighth-graders to share their sexual desires in the form of pizza toppings for a school assignment.  A school district in Enfield, Connecticut asked eighth graders to share their sexual desires in the form […]

Join Ricochet!

This is a members-only post on Ricochet's Member Feed. Want to read it? Join Ricochet’s community of conservatives and be part of the conversation. Join Ricochet for Free.

Join Jim and Greg as they praise Virginia state senators for voting to strike down school mask mandates in a lopsided vote. They also feign astonishment as high profile Democrats change their tune after failing to pass their radical agenda and the midterm elections get closer. And they analyze Chris Cuomo’s ridiculous demand to keep quiet about information he allegedly has about CNN’s dealings with his brother, former New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo.

Daniel Buck (Photo: The Chalkboard Review)

In this episode of Take Back Our Schools, Bethany and Andrew talk to Daniel Buck, middle school English teacher and co-founder of the website, The Chalkboard Review. We discuss Twitter’s recent censorship and deplatforming of The Chalkboard Review account as well as Daniel’s views on how to fix our education system.

This week on “The Learning Curve,” co-host Gerard Robinson and guest co-host Derrell Bradford talk with Virginia Walden Ford, education advocate and author of Voices, Choices, and Second Chances, and School Choice: A Legacy to Keep. She shares her experiences growing up and desegregating high schools in Little Rock, Arkansas in the mid-1960s, and the lessons she carried forward in her school choice advocacy in Washington, D.C. She describes how her role as a student, mother, and grandmother informed her leadership in the nation’s capital, and the steps it took to mobilize parents, work with politicians and policymakers, and successfully launch the city’s school voucher program. She offers insights on what school choice advocates need to do today to expand educational opportunity at a time of heightened partisanship. They also discuss what it was like working on her two books and 2019 film, Miss Virginia, based on her involvement with the civil rights movement and the fight for educational equality. Ms. Walden Ford concludes the interview with a reading from one of her books.

Stories of the Week: In New Jersey, school districts will no longer require mask wearing for the first time since the pandemic began – leaving the decision up to hundreds of local school leaders. In Boston, school superintendent Brenda Cassellius has announced plans to step down at the end of the school year, amid growing calls for state receivership.

Join Jim and Greg as they applaud their countrymen for their refusal to watch the Beijing Winter Olympics, handing NBC terrible ratings. They laugh at the sudden change in “The Science” as Democratic governors realize mask mandates in schools are unpopular. And President Biden’s tough talk on workplace bullying proves ineffective as it took a two month investigation to fire science advisor Eric Lander.

Maus: Censorship from the Right?

 

Maus is a graphic novel (fancy talk for comic book) by cartoonist Art Spiegelman. In the story, Spiegelman interviews his father about his experiences as a Holocaust survivor. It features anthropomorphized versions of the players in these events: Jews are mice, Germans are cats, Poles are pigs, Americans are dogs, and so on. As a fan of sequential art, I can attest to it being very well done. It is also the only graphic novel to win a Pulitzer Prize.

It’s also been in the news as of late. Apparently, it’s the latest victim of right-wing Holocaust denial and censorship. Take a look at some of these articles:

‘Maus’ controversy: A Tennessee school board removed the graphic novel about the Holocaust from curriculum – CNN

Member Post

 

The kid in the link, (and I am deliberately formatting this with two paragraphs so the link is after the jump and doesn’t choke the Member Feed) shows more coherence than anyone in the Biden administration and more leadership than anyone in the GOP.  I am told this is from Washington state. Cannot confirm. Also, […]

Join Ricochet!

This is a members-only post on Ricochet's Member Feed. Want to read it? Join Ricochet’s community of conservatives and be part of the conversation. Join Ricochet for Free.

Chad Benson is in for Jim. Join Chad and Greg as they breathe a sigh of relief for California as the legislature pulls the plug on single payer health care legislation – for now. They also suggest the sudden departure of Jeff Zucker from CNN is not just about his failure to admit his extramarital affair in a timely fashion. And they roll their eyes as law students at Georgetown University Law School demand a cry room and reparations in the form of pizza after they were offended by a conservative professor’s tweets about the Biden criteria for choosing a Supreme Court nominee.

 

As we celebrate National Catholic Schools Week, “The Learning Curve” co-host Cara Candal talks with Dr. Jennifer Frey, an associate Professor of Philosophy at the University of South Carolina and fellow of the Institute for Human Ecology at the Catholic University of America. Dr. Frey shares why Catholic education is so vitally important in the lives of families, schoolchildren, and communities, with its commitment to nurturing an appreciation for “the true, the good, and the beautiful” among students from all faith backgrounds. She offers thoughts on the steps educators must follow to confirm a strong faith-based role in students’ lives. They next discuss the life of Southern fiction writer Flannery O’Connor, among the most important Catholic authors of the 20th century, and how her powerful writing about grace can impart timeless truths to high schoolers. Dr. Frey describes O’Connor’s mix of humor, tragedy, and satire, some of the troubling elements of our age that she depicted, and how her life, faith, and fiction can guide readers toward moral courage in the face of adversity. Dr. Frey concludes the interview with a reading from one of Flannery O’Connor’s works.

Related: A Vision of Hope – Catholic Schooling in Massachusetts

Coping with the Trauma of Free Speech

 

A sign at Colorado State University offers 17 separate campus resources for students who can’t even and are literally shaking because someone expressed an opinion they disagree with.

Yeah, it’s real. Colorado State University offers 17 separate campus resources for students who “can’t even” and are “literally shaking” ( a “Victim’s Assistance Hotline”) because someone expressed an opinion they disagree with..  They didn’t even have to hear the “offensive” opinion to be traumatized by it. Just knowing that someone, somewhere on campus may have expressed an “offensive” opinion is enough. And even if the opinion wasn’t directed at you, you can be offended on behalf of “someone you know” who should have been offended by it.

Join Jim and Greg as they analyze a tense exchange between the AP’s Matt Lee and State Department spokesman Ned Price over the UN’s approach to Russia. They also review a new poll that shows Americans are ready to move on from COVID-19. And they cheer for West Virginia Senator Joe Manchin as he pronounces the Build Back Better Bill dead again.

This week on “The Learning Curve,” co-hosts Gerard Robinson and Cara Candal talk with Andrew Campanella, the president of National School Choice Week. They discuss why 2021 was called the “Year of School Choice,” and the implications of more academic options for K-12 education reform across America. They delve into the reasons why political support for even the highest performing charter public schools has eroded, the path forward to rebuild wider coalitions, and why for-profit school management companies for charters are so controversial. Andrew offers insights on innovative models that thrived during the pandemic, including micro-schools and learning pods, lessons we can draw from digital and blended learning, and how state policymakers have responded, in some cases with restrictive measures to undermine these models. Lastly, they discuss the Supreme Court’s 2020 ruling in favor of school choice advocates in the landmark Espinoza v. Montana Department of Revenue decision, the follow-on Carson v. Makin case, and its likely impact.

Related: Read Cara Candal’s new report for Pioneer Institute, “Modeling an Education Savings Account for Massachusetts.”