Sometimes the very strategies meant to help children have the opposite effect. Join AEI’s Naomi Schaefer Riley and Ian Rowe as they look behind the headlines at the public policies and cultural agendas driving child welfare and education. Rowe and Riley bring to light practices that will make you ask, “Are you kidding me?”
Ilana Horwitz on Religion, Education, and Social Capital
Public policy often looks at race, social class, and gender when analyzing educational inequality. But what impact could religion have on academic performance?
In this episode, Naomi and Ian are joined by https://liberalarts.tulane.edu/departments/jewish-studies/people/ilana-horwitz (Ilana Horwitz), Assistant Professor in the Department of Jewish Studies at Tulane University and the author of God, Grades, and Graduation. Ilana breaks down the findings from a nationally representative study out of Notre Dame, which showed that students raised in Christian backgrounds get better grades in middle and high school regardless of their socioeconomic status. However, middle and upper-class students tend to choose less selective colleges, in part because college selection for religious students is more of a social decision than an economic one.
Ilana explains that children who grow up religious tend to be conscientious, kind to others, and more self-disciplined, all qualities useful for performing well in school. Yet she does not argue that the country needs to be more religious. Instead, she advocates for identifying other institutions that offer the same kind of social capital as religion in order to instill a greater sense of purpose and hope among youth.
• https://www.aei.org/op-eds/god-grades-and-graduation-review-a-faithful-way-to-learn/ (‘God, Grades, and Graduation’ Review: A Faithful Way to Learn) | Naomi Schaefer Riley | Wall Street Journal
• https://www.nytimes.com/2022/03/15/opinion/religion-school-success.html (I Followed the Lives of 3,290 Teenagers. This Is What I Learned About Religion and Education.) | Ilana Horwitz | New York Times
• 01:15 | Describing some results from the National Study on Youth and Religion
• 04:30 | Religious students get better grades in middle and high school
• 06:30 | How do religious students choose colleges?
• 17:45 | Religion provides a sense of purpose
• 21:25 | Is this a call to action to be more religious?
Scott Yenor on Cancel Culture and the Problems with Modern Feminism
Are college professors allowed to write about the differences between men and women? Can they speak out about the importance of strong families in creating strong societies? The short answer is no.
In this episode, Naomi and Ian are joined by Scott Yenor, Professor of Political Science at Boise State University and the author of The Recovery of Family Life. Scott was recently investigated by his employer after sharing his thoughts on these matters. After fifty years during which conservatives have tried to accommodate the basic principles of feminism, Scott explains that we need to celebrate the natural differences between men and women instead of socially engineering gender roles based on political ideology. Scott objects to gender equity programs in professional development and believes that K-12 schools should focus more on teaching students how they can build a solid marriage and happy family.
• Inside the Title IX Tribunal | Scott Yenor | Law and Liberty
• The Recovery of Family Life: Exposing the Limits of Modern Ideologies | Scott Yenor | Baylor University Press
• 00:50 | What is behind Scott’s Title IX investigation?
• 05:55 | Strong countries need strong families
• 08:11 | The problem with gender equity programs
• 15:05 | Feminism only works under a certain policy environment
• 23:40 | The impact of cancel culture
The Fight for Education Freedom
A new AEI report found that the COVID-19 pandemic caused the largest enrollment declines in the history of American public Schools. 85 percent of school districts across the country had enrollment losses the year after the pandemic started, and almost half of districts saw declines of 3 percent, a seven-fold increase from the prior year. Why are Americans fleeing public schools?
In this episode, Naomi and Ian are joined by https://betsydevos.com/ (Betsy DeVos), former secretary of education and author of the new book Hostages No More. Over the last two years, parents have witnessed school closures, mask mandates, and seen the impact of a curriculum focused more on social justice than preparing students for high levels of academic achievement. Secretary DeVos explains the flaws in the public school system that pre-date the pandemic and believes broadening school choice will return a standard of excellence to the classroom. Despite efforts in some states to return to remote learning or require masks in schools, Secretary DeVos is optimistic the public’s opposition to these measures will force politicians to put the interests of families and children first.
• https://www.amazon.com/Hostages-No-More-Education-American/dp/1546002014 (Hostages No More: The Fight for Education Freedom and the Future of the American Child) | Betsy DeVos
• https://www.aei.org/research-products/report/pandemic-enrollment-fallout-school-district-enrollment-changes-across-covid-19-response/ (Pandemic Enrollment Fallout: School District Enrollment Changes Across COVID-19 Response) | Nat Malkus | American Enterprise Institute
• 01:20 | Why are Americans fleeing public schools?
• 06:30 | Why is it difficult to address the failings of public school?
• 11:10 | The problems with the Department of Education
• 16:00 | Should we have a national referendum on what topics should be taught in public school?
• 17:30 | The way we run K-12 education is very outdated
Empowering Women Through the Choice of Adoption
Following the Dobbs decision, pregnant women uncertain about their future should be informed of all the options available to them, including adoption. For many, though, encouraging adoption is seen as coercive. Is this accurate?
In this episode, Naomi and Ian are joined by https://spence-chapin.org/leadership_team/kate-trambitskaya/ (Kate Trambitskaya), CEO of Spence-Chapin Services to Families and Children. For over 125 years, Spence-Chapin has supported women in crisis through comprehensive counseling. Kate explains Spence Chapin’s recent efforts to explain the differences between private adoption and public adoption out of the foster care system. The former does not involve government intrusion. Rather, private adoption is an alternative to parenting. Every expectant parent deserves to know that at adoption agencies nationwide, there is a waiting list filled with stable families who are ready, willing, and able to adopt children.
• https://www.aei.org/op-eds/adoption-after-dobbs/ (Adoption After Dobbs) | Naomi Schaefer Riley | City Journal
• https://spence-chapin.org/birth-parent-support-the-spence-chapin-way/ (Birth Parent Support: The Spence-Chapin Way) | Leslie Nobel | Spence-Chapin Services to Families and Children
• 1:40 | What has changed after Dobbs
• 2:40 | Adoption as an empowering option
• 5:37 | Comparing adoption at birth with adoption from foster care system
• 9:45 | What does Legal Defense look like in the Foster Care System?
• 10:35 | The benefits of Open Adoption
• 14:55 | Is adoption an alternative to abortion?
• 21:45 | Who chooses adoption?
• 24:10 | Race and Adoption
To Embrace Classical Texts or to Decolonize: A Third Way Conversation with Dr. Anika Prather
What should kids be reading in school? A movement has swept through K-12 classrooms to cancel classic texts and replace them with more racially diverse voices. Yet the very authors these activists are seeking to eliminate from school curricula influenced prominent African-American thinkers like Martin Luther King Jr. and James Baldwin.
In this episode, Naomi and Ian are joined by https://drprather.com/about-2/ (Dr. Anika Prather), professor in the Classics department at Howard University and founder of The Living Water School. To “decolonize” the curriculum, eliminating works by Shakespeare and Socrates, explained Dr. Prather, is to create holes in our understanding of black authors and the interconnected history of people today. While these educators might mean well, their decision to stop reading the classics in the name of social justice will only prevent our children from forming a broader worldview.
For a better understanding of how to teach the classics, educators should draw inspiration from Dr. Prather’s own https://thelwschool.org/ (classically inspired school) based on the Sudbury model.
• https://www.amazon.com/dp/172493337X/ref=cm_sw_em_r_mt_dp_U_DJo9EbDYGWCEV (Living in the Constellation of the Canon: The Lived Experiences of African-American Students Reading Great Books Literature) | Dr. Anika Prather
• https://thelwschool.org/ (The Living Water School: A Classically Inspired School for Independent Learners in a Global Community)
• 1:45 | Background of the fight over literature education
• 3:10 | Using literature to understand the Civil Rights Movement
• 5:20 | Accessibility in Literature Education
• 7:20 | The Harlem Renaissance and Classical Education
• 9:30 | Decolonization Literary Movement
• 13:20 | Background of the Living Waters School
• 20:25 | Recommended Reading
• 24:30 | Responding to Pushback
• 29:15 | Chinua Achebe and the classics
Gender-Affirming Therapy and Youth Suicide: How Strong is the Evidence?
The push for gender-affirming therapy for young people is driven by the empirical claim that if this type of healthcare is not made widely and readily available, kids who are questioning their identity are in danger of committing suicide. This emotional extortion has caused adults to see this care as the only solution to help these children. What does the data really tell us?
In this episode, Naomi and Ian are joined by https://www.heritage.org/staff/jay-p-greene-phd (Jay Greene), a Senior Research Fellow for the Center for Education Policy at the Heritage Foundation. Jay explains that previous studies making this claim fail to capture a representative sample of young people with gender dysphoria. In his new paper, Jay finds a 14 percent increase in annual suicide rates in states where minors are able to access gender-affirming care compared to states that prevent minors from undergoing this care without parental consent. Jay also suggests that the effort by guidance counselors, teachers, and school administrators to automatically affirm a child’s gender identity undermines parents and fails to address any underlying mental health conditions that would help everyone work together to determine what is in the best interest of each child.
• https://www.heritage.org/gender/report/puberty-blockers-cross-sex-hormones-and-youth-suicide (Puberty Blockers, Cross-Sex Hormones, and Youth Suicide) | Jay Greene | Heritage Foundation
• https://www.city-journal.org/transgender-identifying-adolescents-threats-to-parental-rights (When the State Comes for Your Kids) | Abigail Shrier | City Journal
• 2:28 | Claims regarding gender-affirming therapy
• 6:37 | Problems with prior studies on gender-affirming drugs
• 8:28 | Relation to severe mental health issues
• 14:30 | Background of Dr. Greene’s study
• 16:55 | Discussing Dr. Greene’s study and his findings
• 20:40 | Comparing suicide rates across generations
• 24:10 | Title IX and new Biden Regulations
Social workers in school
Are you kidding me? Are You Kidding Me? More social workers in the schools with access to young children? You do know that SEL is psychotherapy combined with Buddhism( meditation and mindfulness). Children are in therapy in schools and the schools frankly have caused the need for therapy—alongside therapy they counsel in ‘hate speech’ what you can say and what you can’t say and give them ‘scientific’ documentation of how gender fluid they are—replace the Social workers with time for the religious studies of each families choice —those who are atheists can choose a social worker. SEL begins with emotions—our emotions begin with thoughts and with images—SEL does nothing but indoctrinate and program children to be docile and receptive to elite programs of state welfare (schools are training girls to believe their period care products should be paid for by the state, more dependence on the state and indoctrination of young women)
Are you kidding me? .
What a load of reactionary horse manure.
As someone in the child welfare policy space, I find this podcast really insightful and useful in my work, as well as entertaining