The Maryland State Board of Education will begin putting all students through an environmental education program from pre-school through high school.
According to a Washington Post Report found today at Yahoo News, environmental studies will occur during class time but not as a separate course. There will also be projects outside of the classroom.
This adds to an already full national slate of “social conditioning” for American students that came into vogue with the U.S. Dept of Education’s “Goals 2000” and “Outcome Based Education,” which overtook “standards based” education in the late 1990s.
In this curriculum, standards-based classroom topics (math, science, English, etc) are preempted by or sprinkled with discussions about diversity training, tolerance and becoming a global world community — including de-emphasis of American history and patriotism.
Results: New Report shows our kids behind other countries:
On Sept. 15, 2010, the National Center for Education Statistics put out their 2006-2007 results. Out of 35 countries, the “Fast Facts” page of the report shows U.S. students ahead of 23 but behind 12 countries, including some we consider third-world or tyrannically governed.
In another report released earlier for the same period, U.S. students fourth to ninth grade ranked in eighth place out of 12 countries (American Institutes for Research Winter 2007).
Oprah Winfrey and Bill Gates further expose poor public education:
The Oprah Winfrey Show on Monday, Sept. 20 (full transcript here), also offered an exposé that the American public school system is failing for various reasons.
Among other things, Oprah and guest Bill Gates discussed an upcoming movie, Waiting for Superman. The education exposé shows school principals swapping bad teachers to other schools because it is so hard to fire union teachers. Another scene shows parents entering a lottery to see if they can send their child to a better school because of so few open spots.
Blaming teachers is not the solution:
Many teachers are trained with the 1980s-1990s pop psychology of using only positive reinforcement. They can’t give negative grades or enforce discipline. Everyone gets a trophy because you will “bruise the child’s ego” otherwise. Their hands are practically tied regarding unruly students due to the political correctness of letting kids “do whatever they want.”
The non-union Association of American Educators includes teachers who broke away from the NEA for reasons such as this.
My experience scoring FCATs illustrates poor public education:
I don’t often agree with Oprah, but must do so here. Last spring, I assisted in computer scoring eighth grade FCAT essays for a certain state. A student could get anywhere from a “1” to a “6” (“1” being lowest).
The spelling, reasoning and phrasing was horrendous, but we weren’t allowed to score downward for:
-poor spelling or phonetic spelling (the students are allowed to spell words however they sound phonetically to them)
-use of slang or texting lingo instead of proper English (these are accepted now).
Moreover, the only things the majority of students wrote about were the environment and diversity. Those things are great in their place, but the students could have used any subject. Judging by these essays, a huge amount of classroom time is already spent on environmental issues and societal trends.
Will America’s students-future workers-be passed over for jobs because they can’t measure up to graduates from other countries?
“Md. school board approves environment requirements,” Michael Birnbaum, Washington Post, 9/23/10.
The Oprah Winfrey Show, full transcript 9/20/10.
“Other Countries’ Students Surpass U.S.’s on Tests,” AP, 12/5/07.
“U.S. students ‘middle of the pack’ compared with world,” Greg Toppo, USA Today, 11/13/07.
American Institutes for Research Winter 2007 Education Report (a non-partisan think tank in Washington, D.C.)