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    Recently visiting Northern Ireland for the G8 meeting at Lough Erne, President Obama said this during his now-traditional speech to local young people: If towns remain divided—if Catholics have their schools and buildings and Protestants have theirs, if we can’t…

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    Saving the Uncommon Core of Catholic Education

    by Emmett McGroarty and Jane Robbins

    As Catholic institutions have come under unprecedented pressure from government to trim their religious and social mission, it seems incredible that Catholic educators would consider voluntarily placing their schools under an onerous federal yoke.  But that incongruous prospect may be…

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    Stupidity: A Malady of the Cultural Elite

    by James Kalb

    We live in something of a meritocracy, and our rulers believe they are by far the most enlightened and well-informed people who ever lived. For that reason they feel entitled to make the aspirations of the present day, or what…

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    The Purpose of Education: A Catholic Primer

    by Stratford Caldecott

    Our society, indeed what remains of Western civilization, seems to many people to be falling apart. The economic crisis, the moral crisis, the ecological crisis, and the political crisis combine to create a “perfect storm.” But they all stem from…

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    Dewey or Don’t We? Why Our Kids are Messed Up

    by Randall B. Smith

    In the first part of this essay, I suggested that an educational system dominated by the philosophical baggage of logical positivism and reductivist materialism, animated by fear of “falling behind” others in math, science, and technology, and focused primarily on…

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    In Praise of Noisy Villages: Homeschooling and the Common Good

    by William Fahey

    A simple premise: nothing short of the complete family being engaged in learning will secure a proper education. Behind this premise is a simple principle: Education is communal. It is communal because that which deals with the formation and perfection…

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    Raising the Bar: Christianity and Liberal Arts in the University

    by Randall B. Smith

    I fear we Christians have lived so long in the shadow of the Enlightenment that, in our apologetic mode, we sometimes forget something we should undoubtedly remember:  that in an earlier time, the question was not (as it so often…

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    Nathaniel Hawthorne’s A Wonder Book

    by Mitchell Kalpakgian

    “They are three very strange old ladies,” said Quicksilver, laughing. “They have but one eye among them, and only one tooth.  Moreover, you must find them out by starlight, or in the dusk of evening; for they never show themselves…

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    How to Get to the Real Issue in an Argument

    by Martin Cothran

    Have you ever found yourself having a hard time responding to someone in an argument and not exactly knowing what the problem is? Many times, the problem is that your opponent is making an assumption that you have not identified….

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    What is Poetic Knowledge?

    by Kirk Kramer

    Editor’s note: Since so many people have responded favorably to the Civilized Reader column with requests for more information about John Senior and his educational vision, it seemed appropriate to republish this review of James Taylor’s Poetic Knowledge: The Recovery…

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    Knowledge without Wisdom

    by Steven Schwartz

    There is nothing wrong with vocational training; a fulfilling career is an important part of a good life. Much of my academic work over the years has been devoted to career preparation. I was once a Dean of Medicine and…

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    Shakespeare Good and Great

    by Michael Platt

    Well did John Senior advise parents and teachers to prepare today’s youngsters for great study, with experiences of the good, such as gardening, graceful dancing, and gazing at the stars dancing above, and also making sure to delight in a…

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    Will Rascals Defend Our Civilization… and What Books will they Read?

    by William Fahey

    He faces execution each day.  Seven days a week, his jury of peers votes unanimously for capital punishment.  The judge’s hand is typically stayed.  Mercy reigns because the accused shows signs of improvement.  Perhaps, this little boy will one day…

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    Rising Black Social Pathology

    by Walter E. Williams

    The Philadelphia Inquirer‘s big story Feb. 4 was about how a budget crunch at the Philadelphia School District had caused the district to lay off 91 school police officers. Over the years, there’s been no discussion of what has happened…

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    Why We Study “Useless” Things

    by Rev. James V. Schall, S.J.

    “You amuse me: You’re like someone who’s afraid that the majority will think he is prescribing useless subjects. It is no easy task—indeed it’s very difficult—to realize that that in every soul there is an instrument that is purified and…

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    Is Multiculturalism Evil?

    by Robert Spencer

    Who is the Tolstoy of the Zulus? The Proust of the Papuans? I’d be glad to read him. – Saul Bellow.   In asking about the Papuan Proust, novelist Saul Bellow summed up the core problem with the twin idols…

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    What is a Person Worth? Support the Personhood Campaign

    by Jason Jones

      On Tuesday, Nov. 8,  the voters of Mississippi will have a very rare privilege in today’s America, so much of which is governed by unelected judges and unaccountable bureaucrats, where so many basic issues seem invulnerable to change: Those…

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    Scandalous Education

    by Walter E. Williams

    Last December, I reported on Harvard University professor Stephan Thernstrom’s essay “Minorities in College — Good News, But…,” on Minding the Campus, a website sponsored by the New York-based Manhattan Institute. He was commenting on the results of the most…

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    Public School Indoctrination

    by Kevin Ryan

    Earlier this month, the left-leaning California State Legislature overwhelmingly passed The FAIR Education Act (SB 48) and has sent the bill on Governor Jerry Brown for what will surely be a celebratory signing. The FAIR Education Act is the seventh sexual…

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    Faith in a Public School

    by Joanna Bogle

    I’m collecting the essays day by day in big batches from a post office in central London. By the end of this month, when the deadline arrives, there will be hundreds and hundreds of them, and I’ve already made arrangements,…

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