On this episode, Chris is joined by Dr. Kevin Baxter, former superintendent of Catholic schools for the largest U.S. archdiocese, Chief Innovation Officer for the National Catholic Education Association, and current director of the Mary Ann Remick Leadership Program at the Alliance for Catholic Education at the University of Notre Dame. They discuss Dr. Baxter’s recent book, Greatness in Smallness: A Vision for Catholic Microschools, published by the NCEA. As Dr. Baxter describes it, a “microschool” isn’t defined so much by total enrollment, but is rather an attitudinal posture that isn’t afraid to depart from historical paradigms. For example, he describes how multi-age instruction (multiple ages of kids in one classroom) couldn’t be further from a “desperate” measure, but rather is a model with many, many benefits for children, and which is being used in some premier, high-tuition schools. Looking to the future, he sees leadership and innovation as the two pillars on which Catholic schools can newly thrive (again, not defined in enrollment data) in the years ahead.
South Dakota’s 2023 legislative session marked the first time that state lawmakers had gathered since the U.S. Supreme Court handed down its June 24, 2022 decision in the case of Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, which overturned Roe v. Wade and restored to the states the ability to set their own public policy on abortion. Host Michael Pauley is joined by Dale Bartscher, the Executive Director of South Dakota Right to Life, for a discussion on how state lawmakers responded to the Dobbs decision, and how South Dakota’s pro-life community is responding to a citizen-initiated amendment that proposes to create an unlimited right to abortion in the state constitution.