Posted on May 29, 2011
Tying One On
"Green ribbon schools" defy sobriety
Our federal Department of Education has got a lot to worry about, if it chooses to do so. American students now rank only 48th in math and science, according to the latest survey by the World Economic Forum. History textbooks are riddled with factual errors. Language skills, already suffering from decades of rot under "whole language" theory, must now contend with the corrosive influences of text messaging and social media.
High school education has grown so insufficient that remedial courses are now taught at many universities. Public schools are often unsafe, as well as ineffective, prompting parents to try to help their children escape with the help of school vouchers. Home schooling has become an attractive option to more and more people, who have generally produced superior academic performances to those of the government schools.
So what's a man like Education Secretary Arne Duncan to do? Why, initiate a "Green Ribbon Schools" project "to recognize schools that are creating healthy and sustainable learning environments and teaching environmental literacy," of course.
This initiative is bound to absorb a great deal of the department's time and effort. What's worse, schools across America will become even more distracted from the things that matter, while trying to out-grovel each other in a maudlin, year-long pageant of embarrassing liberal suckuppery.
Had there been only one person implementing this policy, one might question his sobriety, but the Green Ribbon Schools plan is a collaboration among the Education Department, the Environmental Protection Agency, and the White House Council for Environmental Quality. It's not just Duncan, but the entire administration that seems to be wandering around in a besotted stupor.
The demand for "sustainable learning environments" is an invitation to another massive waste of taxpayer dollars, justified by liberal delusions of grandeur about "saving the planet." It could cost billions to equip schools with solar panels, windmills, rain barrels, and other things that will do as little to educate the kids as they will to change the temperature of the earth. No amount of money will ever be enough. Public schools could be constructed of gold bricks for all it matters. If the curriculum is dominated by eco-poppycock, and the kids come out ignorant, insufficient funding will receive the blame.
The Education Department is promoting "environmental literacy," but what does that mean? Today, it means perpetuating the global warming fraud, but just how literate will that seem a decade or two from now? Forty years ago, "environmental literacy" would have consisted of hand-wringing over "the coming Ice Age," as well as the "knowledge" that overpopulation would cause a worldwide famine by the year 2000, and that the earth was just about to run out of oil. An education consisting of material like that would be worth its weight in carbon credits.
Tragically, our "educators" -- from the federal level on down -- aren't as interested in teaching legitimate academic subjects as they are in greenwashing the students' brains with collectivist dogma. If they were, our schools would be the envy of the world. In fact, they teach the things they want to teach very effectively. Just try to find a middle school student who doesn't "know" that America's consumption of fossil fuels is causing hurricanes, drowning polar bears, and ultimately burning the earth to a cinder.
What will follow are the "solutions," which conveniently cross the spectrum of liberal causes, from wealth redistribution to anti-industrialism, to vegetarianism, to population control. The endgame is for liberal opinion to be taught as "knowledge," and therefore no longer be open to question.
"Preparing our children to be good environmental citizens is some of the most important work any of us can do," Secretary Duncan says in a departmental press release. "It's work that will serve future generations and quite literally sustain our world."
American students are not citizens of the environment, except in the theoretical, post-American world of liberal intellectuals. In that world, education is not something to be obtained by individuals for their own purposes. Rather, it is a mechanism to subordinate the individual to a global collective, commonly referred to as "the environment" or "the planet." That's the "our world" to which Duncan refers. The physical mass we call Earth is only its receptacle.
Alcohol would be a poor excuse for doing this to America's children, but at least it would be a more innocent explanation than the truth. Instead, the promoters of this anti-academic curriculum are drunk on the power of bureaucracy, fueled by their own 200-proof liberal egos.
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