My Two Cents

  • What is a conservative to do? Campus protests have stifled conservative speakers. Some lawmakers are fighting back, by passing “campus free speech” laws. Will they work? Not a chance, as I argue at History News Network.
  • Have you heard the latest from Cedarville University? This year, they passed a new “purity” rule for their classrooms. At Righting America at the Creation Museum, I offer some historical perspective for this sort of purification campaign.
  • President Trump asked Ed Secretary Betsy DeVos to fulfill the dreams of twentieth-century educational conservatives. Sort of. In a piece that Newsweek picked up, I make the case for a more complicated conservative yearning for “local control” of schools.
  • Ben Carson, Betsy DeVos…some of the comings and goings in the new White House seem a lot like the comings and goings in the pages of I Love You but You’re Going to Hell.  Even in these days of flabbergasting presidential proclamations, President Trump’s appointment of Jerry Falwell Jr. to head a new higher-education task force stands out.  With an evangelical college president leading the way, it seems just possible that evangelicals might have finally come in from the higher-education cold.  Does this mark a major shake-up in the history of American higher education?  See my comments on History News Network.
  • What the $*&% just happened?  That’s what lots of us academic types were asking in the aftermath of Trump’s election victory.  At least one surprising factor was the enthusiasm for President Trump among white evangelical voters.  Pulling from my current research into the history of evangelical higher education, I make the case that Trump-ish attitudes have long been an integral part of the intellectual landscape of white evangelicalism.
  • We all want to be perfect parents, right?  These days, young-earth creationist parents have an extra worry to keep them up at night, and creationist colleges work hard to reassure them.  In this June 2016 guest post at the new Righting America at the Creation Museum blog, I talk about the history of this creationist dilemma.
  • What are public schools supposed to teach kids about evolution?  In an April 2016 commentary in Education Week, my co-author Harvey Siegel and I argue that evolution education needs to focus on helping students know and understand evolutionary theory.  Creationist students have every right not to believe it.
  • Where do too many evolution educators go wrong?  In this 2013 essay in the Reports of the National Center for Science Education, I argue that too many of us suffer from “The Missionary Supposition.”
  • My article about Professor Larycia Hawkins’s ouster from Wheaton College was picked up by outlets such as the Chicago Sun-Times, early 2016.
  • Why don’t Republicans like to talk about federal aid to schools?  They used to!  See my historical take on the issue at, April 2015.
  • Is the common core “conservative?”  In the Albany Times-Union, September 21, 2014.
  • In some ways, conservative educational activists in the twentieth century sounded an awful lot like the progressives they loved to hate.  See my commentary in Education Week, March 4, 2014.
  • How can creationists and anti-creationists ever hope to get along?  My two cents in the pages of The Chronicle of Higher Education, from late 2012.
  • The really dangerous wall of separation in public schools is not what you think.  I take aim at some new populist/conservative laws in the pages of the Washington Post’s Answer Sheet blog, late 2012.