"Environmental Ed" House Vote Thursday
September 8, 2008
What HR 3036 does:
HR 3036, the No Child Left Inside Act (chief author John Sarbanes, Democrat, MD), gives states and schools incentives (federal grants) to conduct "environmental education" programs within existing classes. This means that when children are enrolled in history, literature, math or science, during some of their class time, they will actually be schooled in "environmental education" instead of academic subjects. (See EdAction update of July 22, 2008, "The Fed's Cure for "Nature-Deficit Discorder.")
HR 3036 will be up for a vote on the floor of the House this Thursday, September 11th.
HR 3036 is a bad idea for numerous reasons. For starters whenever schools expand the subject matter students are required to learn, less time and attention is available for the basic skills, such as reading, math and science, that are necessary for our kids to learn in order to be successful.
A second concern is the question of who will define what "environmental education" means? That question was largely answered by the original form of the bill which required every student to be "environmentally literate" in order to graduate. The bill also said in the original form that it was created to cure what it called "nature-deficit disorder" and even had the bureaucrats in the Department of Education writing "model" environmental education curriculum for the schools.
Besides incorporating environmentalism into any and all academic subjects, these grants will fund environmental education programs that do the following:
Establish curriculum that is supposed to improve "self-esteem, personal responsibility, community involvement, personal health (including addressing child obesity issues), or their understanding of nature." All of these things are very subjective, non-scientific, and very difficult, if not impossible, to accurately teach or assess. It is not the role of the federal government and the schools to decide what constitutes adequate self esteem or to determine how children will be involved in their communities.
- Impose recycling and composting programs in the schools at further cost to time spent teaching academic subjects.
- "Address issues of environmental justice, including policies and methods for eliminating disparate enforcement of environmental laws and regulations with respect to minority and low-income communities, with particular attention to the development of environmental justice curriculum at the middle and high school level." How can one deal with "environmental justice" if there is so much scientific, political and cultural disagreement on the nature of environmental problems and how to deal with them?
What this really means is this: the liberals in Congress want America's taxpayers to fund, and legitimize, the imposition of the Al Gore type of green propaganda on our kids in our schools.
It is this mentality that has given us $4.00 per gallon gasoline by prohibiting drilling on the outer continental shelf and Alaska's North Slope and has also stymied the building of nuclear power plants and the use of clean coal technology. It is difficult to imagine a worse bill than this!