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Posted by on Aug 6, 2013 in Education | 0 comments

Writing About Bill Kurtz, CEO of Denver School of Science and Technology

Writing About Bill Kurtz, CEO of Denver School of Science and Technology

  Recently Christianity Today published my essay on Bill Kurtz, CEO of Denver School of Science and Technology (DSST). (Read the complete essay here.) Having learned about Kurtz only this last Fall, his work was relatively new to me. As a charter school leader, and one who had spoken at both Q Cities Denver and at the Center for Faith & Work, I thought I should investigate his story to see if I couldn’t learn something about how he integrates his faith and work. As we sat down at Udi’s in Stapleton on June 18 for a brief lunch interview, Bill was kind, humble, and self-effacing, not exactly what I expected from a successful charter school executive. We spoke for about 45 minutes on the challenges of public school education, his motivation & leadership style, and the secret to DSST’s success. I went home, typed up the interview, and got working on the article. Little did I understand sheer magnitude and far-reaching impact of his work. As I began...

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Posted by on Aug 6, 2013 in Education | 0 comments

Interview with Bill Kurtz

Interview with Bill Kurtz

  June 18, 2013 What motivated you to serve in public education? I always liked working with kids and I always liked challenges, and it seemed to me this is one of the biggest challenges our country faces. Also, it didn’t seem to me we were doing very well solving it. It was a great opportunity to serve and tackle something that interested me and work with people at the same time. Why then public education? It felt like the right opportunity to have an impact and, again, in a place where very few people were having the kind of success that we needed to have for kids and our communities.  It felt like an opportunity to solve a much bigger problem. Not that private education isn’t good. But this seems to be the core…obviously most kids in this country are educated in a public school. What is the biggest challenge in public education today? Ah, the biggest challenge is finding great people. We’re going to hire about 120...

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Posted by on Jun 18, 2013 in Education | 0 comments

The Music of the Universe

The Music of the Universe

  Rarely do I finish a book and exclaim, “I have never even thought about most of these ideas.” Yet when I finished Stratford Caldecott’s Beauty for Truth’s Sake, I was dumbfounded. Although a bit heavy in quotations in some spots, this book opened a new world to me. That new world was the unity of knowledge. Christians often teach about not dividing sacred from secular and integrating the Bible into all of life, but most of these efforts amount to very little other than applying obscure Bible passages in strange ways. Caldecott, a Catholic theologian at Oxford, has given Christians interested in education a new vocabulary for “Christian worldview.” The book is about the classical Liberal Arts tradition of the West that “once offered a form of humane education that sought the integration of faith and reason, and that combined the arts and the sciences, before these things became separated, fragmented, and trivialized.” For Caldecott, this tradition can only be recovered by going back to the sources (ressourcement)....

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Posted by on Jan 10, 2013 in Education | 0 comments

A New Liberal Arts

A New Liberal Arts

Several years ago, Liz Coleman, the president of Bennington College, gave a talk at TED about “A New Liberal Arts.” At a conference usually reserved for technology whizzes or scientists, she gave a convincing argument for the worth of a liberal arts education in an age where hyper-specialization is seen as the apex of human endeavor. Yet what was most compelling to me was her central idea: the liberal arts must be intentionally focused on thinking about and solving the world’s biggest problems. Here’s the idea: in today’s world, not only do we need people who can think in interdisciplinary ways, but we need people using the best tools of thought from history (literature, science, history, economics, philosophy, rhetoric, mathematics) to be intentionally engaged in solving difficult problems. From climate change and education reform to international conflict and malnutrition, Coleman doesn’t believe the technician can solve these problems alone. They need broad thinkers, and they need a moral vision. Now, I significantly disagree with several aspects of Coleman’s vision....

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