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### Embrace Traditional Education: The Timeless Charm of Old-School Learning

“There’s no educational experience quite like traditional schooling.” This sly acknowledgment is made by the two seasoned characters in the movie The Incredibles from 2004, as our protagonists emerge from retirement to save the day. A more candid version of this sentiment can be found in the film RocknRolla released in 2008. However, this type of homage seems to have lost its popularity in contemporary times. The rejection of conventional norms is evident in today’s culture of “OK, boomer,” characterized by post-liberalism, performative populism, cancel culture, and the rise of teenage TikTok sensations.

This blog serves as a response to these prevailing trends. While it may appear unconventional to launch a blog titled “Old School” within a publication named Education Next, it is actually quite fitting. Over the past twenty-five years, my fellow editors at EdNext and I have been committed to “maintaining a steady course, presenting facts to the best of our knowledge, and providing a platform (without bias) for valuable research, sound concepts, and reasoned arguments.” In the year 2024, adhering to these principles requires a significant dose of traditional resilience.

The core belief of “Old School” lies in the notion that staying on course necessitates a revival of our dedication to timeless virtues such as perspective, experience, humility, and a willingness to challenge prevailing trends. This approach emphasizes the importance of established wisdom over trendy jargon—a truly old-school mindset.

The blog’s content will cover a wide array of topics, ranging from K–12 education, pre-K initiatives, and higher education to research findings, policy suggestions, student financial aid, social-emotional learning, educators, educational technology, financial matters, diversity, equity, and inclusion, as well as practical improvement strategies and cultural conflicts.

Rather than being defined by specific subjects, the blog’s essence will be shaped by its underlying philosophy. It will embrace a perspective that values the lessons of the past and acknowledges that many of today’s educational reforms are not as groundbreaking as they may seem. By looking back, we can uncover valuable insights and recognize that solutions to current challenges may not be as simple as they appear.

The “Old School” approach will unapologetically uphold values that were once widely embraced. These values include rigor, merit, hard work, knowledge, classroom discipline, personal accountability, civil discourse, religious liberty, patriotism, limited government, two-parent households, due process, equal protection, and fiscal responsibility. While room for complexity and nuance will be acknowledged, these principles are viewed positively as the foundation of the blog’s perspective.

Despite its traditional stance, this blog will not be driven by political agendas. Instead, it will offer context, perspective, and insights with a touch of flair, steering clear of the rapid-fire news cycle and partisan bickering that dominate social media. The goal is to provide readers with thoughtful content rather than quick reactions to trending topics.

Reflecting on the early days of blogging fifteen years ago, there was a sense of freedom and humor that seems to have diminished over time. It’s time to revive that spirit by reintroducing some playful writing devices that have been underutilized. Longtime readers can anticipate the return of familiar elements such as the time machine, wise Uber driver, intercepted FBI communications, and more.

In today’s landscape of Substack publications, which often feature lengthy, heavily referenced essays behind paywalls, “Old School” aims to offer a different experience. The blog posts will be concise, quirky, and light on external links, resembling the style of a spirited metropolitan columnist rather than a lengthy Atlantic article. For those nostalgic for the era of morning newspapers, think of writers like Mike Royko, William Raspberry, Jimmy Breslin, or Herb Caen.

If this approach resonates with you, then I believe we are in for an enjoyable journey together.