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Ridgeview Classical School, best in Colorado

How do you become the best high school in a state? Teach to state standardized tests, or read Plato, Shakespeare, and Homer? Four years after opening, Ridgeview Classical School, a charter school in Ft. Collins, becomes the best high school in Colorado, according to the Department of Education. Congratulations to the headmaster Dr. Terrence Moore, and the two former Ashbrooks who teach there. Here is Ridgeview’s web site.

Discussions - 10 Comments

Mr. Moore looks like he’s running an outstanding school with great faculty - Homer, Shakespeare, et al. At Providence Classical School here in Virginia, the ancient history class that I teach to 7th/8th graders have cut their cut on Gilgamesh, the Old Testament, Homer, and Herodotus. After break, we plunge into Plutarch, Sophocles, Euripides, Shakespeare, Virgil, and
Seutonius, as we continue to explore the human condition. These are our future statesmen and orators.

I am sooo jealous of kids who get this kind of education young. I went to publikc skool for 1-8, where we were given just enough learning to be good cogs. The private school I went to 9-12 was aggressively evangelical, so I got a good Bible education - for which I am grateful - but the attention to the classics was pretty spotty.

Yes, wm, I am getting the classical education that I never truly received in public schools, college, or even graduate school. Those dead, white males sure have a keen insight into the human condition! I love teaching at a classical school.


I am surprised you teach Suetonius. I assume you are referring to his Lives of the Twelve Caesars, that is the only work by him I’ve ever heard of. He seems a bit mature for 7th and 8th graders, do you edit out most of the book, or how do you teach him?


I share your sentiments. I am an Evangelical myself, but the general fear of the classics bothers me. I, too, attended a Christian high school, and learned nothing of philosophy or antiquity.

Encountering the classics is an encounter with Truth which transcends generations; and wherever we find the Truth, there we find Christ. At least that’s how I see it.


Paul said to test all things, and hold fast to that which is good. The immediate context in this passage in Thessalonians 5 is prophetic utterances, but I have always understood it to have broader application to wisdom outside the church. How can the wisdom of Aurelius, Epictitus, Aristotle, or Lao Tzu be harmful to us, provided we test these ideas first against the revealed wisdom of Christianity?

Cornerstone, First Things, and other Christian publications periodically revisit the issue of anti-intellectualism in American Evangelicalism. This friendly criticism from Catholics and even self criticism from thinkers who consider themselves evangelical is healthy and constructive. I hope our children will encounterin their Christian schools an education more friendly and open to the classics than ours were.

Steve, there has been mature content in the Bible, Gilgamesh, Homer, Hammurabi’s Code, and Herodotus, so we handle it maturely and from a critical, Christian perspective. The kids can handle it and must understand the great heights to which humanity can rise and the depths to which it can plunge. It helps contrast right from wrong - sometimes starkly.


I think in some way kids that age can be more morally serious than adults. I applaud your trusting them.


I cannot speak about Gilgamesh, but I would not want any of my children reading about Tiberius’ sexual adventures on the island of capri, they are much worse than anything in the Bible, Herodotus, etc. I am curious if you (yourself) have read all of Suetonius, and how you teach him. Do you edit out all of those parts, or do you have very understanding parents?

Many of you NLT readers know this, but Terrence Moore is also the author of the two best essays on the topic of "practical ethics for young persons and the inescapable facts of gender and the sexual revolution"(my description) out there. The essays are "Wimps and Barbarians" and "Heather’s Compromise," the first about the character/situation of contemporary young men, the latter about the same with respect to contemporary young women. Both should be available at the Claremont Review of Books website. I used the first as a supplement to my teaching of Plato’s Republic, bks III-IV, and can’t recommend both highly enough. Of course I don’t agree with every one of Moore’s claims or nuances, yada yada, but bottom line: both essays should be handed to every American seventeen-year-old right now. Recommended also for feminism-friendly readers, who will discover they have to revise an opinion or two.

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