Maryland: Students must be environmentally literate before they can graduate from high school


By —— Bio and Archives June 28, 2011

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On June 21, 2011, the Maryland State Board of Education proudly announced that students must be environmentally literate before they can graduate from high school. Each child must receive a comprehensive, multi-disciplinary environmental education aligned with the Maryland State Environmental Literacy Standards.

“This is a momentous day not only for Maryland but for educators across the country who are watching what Maryland does, and hoping to increase outdoor learning in their states,” said Don Baugh, Director of the No Child Left Inside Coalition (NCLI).

Governor O’Malley said, “Only through exposure to nature and education about our fragile ecosystem can we create the next generation of stewards.”

The sponsor of the No Child Left Inside Act is Congressman John Sarbanes. “No Child Left Inside will pave the way for a new era of environmental stewardship in this country.” All co-sponsors of the bill were Democrats with the exception of the RINOs Susan Collins (R-ME) and Olympia Snowe (R-ME).

The No Child Left Inside Coalition is a “national partnership of over 2,000 business, health, youth, faith, recreational, environmental, and educational groups representing over 50 million Americans. The chapter in Maryland has over 225 group members, and represents over 635,000 Marylanders.” I checked the list very carefully and found the coalition to represent zoos, day camps, recreational parks, and national and international environmental groups.

No Child Left Inside is an environmentalist legislative effort being pushed at the national and state levels to have pro environment, pro global warming and pro smart growth propaganda as a part of k-12 interdisciplinary education.

The sponsors of the bill claim, “studies show environmental education has a measurable, positive impact on student achievement not only in science but in math, reading, and social studies. Business leaders also increasingly believe an environmentally literate workforce is critical in a burgeoning green economy. Where is this “burgeoning green economy? I see no signs of it.

“Field experiences and related activities, when part of the regular school curriculum in environmental education, also help students become healthier.” I tried very hard to find such a study that makes all of the above claims and I was unsuccessful. At best, there were a few biased university College of Education lab experiments.

I did find plenty of data showing the dismal state of education and schools in Maryland when it comes to math, science, and reading. Students can barely read, write, balance a checkbook, or solve simple math problems yet are now required to be stewards of the environment and explore it in depth across the curriculum. Sarbanes believes that a more holistic approach to the curriculum is necessary. Somehow holistic does not mesh well with curriculum. It sounds like a College of Education new age, feel-good teaching method of the moment; let us throw $500 million in this “green” direction. We failed at teaching students to read, write, and compute, perhaps we can be successful at brainwashing them into believing that human activity is bad, causes global warming, and destroys the planet.

Apparently, who knew environmental study and “green play” helps children cope with ADD and ease obesity rates. I thought proper nutrition, PE classes, competitive sports, and recess time where designed for physical exercise and thus weight control. What is “green play” anyway?

Environmental study also helps with “nature deficit disorder.” The term “nature-deficit disorder” was coined by author Richard Louv in his dramatically titled book “Last Child in the Woods” to describe what happens to young people who become disconnected from their natural world. Louv links lack of nature to some of the most disturbing childhood trends, such as the rise in obesity, attention disorders, and depression.

This reminds me of Rachel Carson’s book, “Silent Spring,” who claimed that DDT killed all the birds, hence the title. Her book started the environmental movement in the U.S. DDT was banned for agricultural use in most developed countries in 1968. Three million people around the globe die unnecessarily each year of mosquito-induced malaria because of Rachel’s half-baked book of irrational statements.

Agenda 21 Armageddon scare tactics to frighten Americans into global compliance

This new No Child Left Inside Act gives “American students the knowledge that they will need to make informed personal decisions and act as responsible citizens as they face environmental challenges that previous generations never imagined.” This is Agenda 21 Armageddon scare tactics to frighten Americans into global compliance to its goals of severely limiting the use of water, electricity, transportation, and denial of human access to wilderness areas all in the name of nature conservation and environmental stewardship.

Americans have been stewards of our environment for generations and resolved issues without any special interdisciplinary curriculum indoctrination from k-12 grades. Maryland curriculum writers, what are the environmental challenges those previous generations never imagined?

The law claims, “environmental education also promotes higher-order thinking skills and is correlated with higher test scores in math and reading.” There is no such evidence and no way to prove that higher test scores are actually connected to environmentalism.

The statement, “Environmental Education is the foundation for creating the green workforce of the new economy,” is a clear intent of this new curriculum, the brainwashing of our children into the Global Management System (GMS), a world-wide blue print for international totalitarian control of earth and resources, including human resources, under the fuzzy excuses that children are fat, need play time outdoors, and re-connect with nature while their ADD is being soothed. Where are this green workforce and the new economy? Is this another example of non-existent shovel-ready jobs?

Here is a short list of National coalition members who support the No Child Left Inside Act in Maryland:

  • Adventure Treks
  • African American Environmentalist Association
  • Alliance for Climate Education
  • Alliance for Community Trees
  • American Camp Association
  • American Canoe Association
  • American Cave Conservation Association
  • American Deer & Wildlife Alliance
  • American Forest Foundation
  • American Horticultural Society
  • American Recreation Coalition
  • American Rivers
  • American Sail Training Association
  • American Society of Landscape Architects
  • American Sports fishing Association
  • American Trails
  • Biosphere Foundation
  • The Early Development of Global Education
  • Earth Day Network
  • Earth Force, Inc.
  • Forest Service Hispanic Employees Association
  • Global Green USA
  • Global Youth Leadership Institute
  • Greening Youth Foundation
  • National Hispanic Environmental Council
  • National Project for Excellence in Environmental Education
  • Sierra Club
  • World Forestry Center


Here is a short list of International supporters of the No Child Left Inside Act in Maryland:

  • African Volunteer Football Academy for the Less privileged (AVFAL) (Cameroon)
  • Assiniboine Park Conservancy (Canada)
  • Patgiri (India)
  • Istituto Pangea Onlus (Italy)
  • Citizenship Leadership Training Centre (Nigeria)
  • Equilibri Naturali
  • NOTL Sustainability Network

NOTL Sustainability Network (Green Feet People) is a “non-profit community environmental organization whose mandate is “greening NOTL one step at a time”. This includes promoting the sustainability of the housing sector, food systems, energy, water and materials consumption, education, transportation and health.” This is one of the thousands of ICLEI (International Council for Local Environmental Initiatives) local chapters in our cities and counties, which are tasked with “smart growth” to usurp property rights and Constitutional rights. They persuade local officials to revise zoning laws to fit into a “smart code zoning template.” As a result, a massive reshuffling of property rights takes place.

UNEP (United Nations Environment Programme) prepared a Global Biodiversity Assessment of the state of the planet in order to validate Global Management System (GMS) by using doomsday predictions:

  • Population reduction
  • Oppressive lifestyle regulations
  • Coercive return to earth-centered religions
  • Self-sustaining human settlements

“Environmental education provides critical tools for a 21st century workforce,” says the No Child Left Inside Act. Agenda 21 is the global contract of the 21st century between the 179 nations that participated in the 1992 Rio de Janeiro conference. Nations plan to change the way we live, eat, earn, learn, and communicate under the aegis of “Save the Earth.”

“The vast majority of Americans are convinced that the environment will become at least one of the dominant issues and challenges of the 21st century, as the growing needs of the growing global population increasingly presses up against the limits of the earth’s resources and ecosystems.” This is a Malthusian prediction that has population reduction and control written all over it.

Charles O. Holliday, Jr., Chairman and CEO of DuPont, declared that “an environmentally sustainable business is just good business, given the growing concern for environmental problems across America. A key component of an environmentally sustainable business is a highly educated work force, particularly involving environmental principles.”

Author of “Walk the Talk- the Business Case for Sustainable Development,” Charles O. Holliday, Jr. is a member/leader of the “U.S. Council on Competitiveness.” This Orwellian leftist organization prizes government/private sector “collaboration.” Its website congratulates Obama for his legislative accomplishments in the manufacturing arena. I was not able to find one such accomplishment in the manufacturing arena involving our country.

It is true that children today spend six hours in front of the computer or television. No parent would object to field trips or caring for the environment. Nobody wants his or her children to be obese. However, forcing a federal law that would spread across the land, indoctrinating children into environmental stewardship smacks eerily of global Marxism.

Parents have no problem with kids getting out of the classroom, for field trips, to learn about ecology, recycling, preservation, and biology. If the state is forcing, advocating, or brainwashing kids to believe that humans are evil, that we shouldn’t drive cars, or live on private property, reproduce, all Agenda 21 propaganda, that is a different matter.

 


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Dr. Ileana Johnson Paugh, Romanian Conservative is a freelance writer, author, radio commentator, and speaker. Her books, “Echoes of Communism”, “Liberty on Life Support” and “U.N. Agenda 21: Environmental Piracy,” “Communism 2.0: 25 Years Later” are available at Amazon in paperback and Kindle.

Her commentaries reflect American Exceptionalism, the economy, immigration, and education.Visit her website, ileanajohnson.com