Ran across this article and wanted to get some response from my readers on it. All emphasis mine.
Environmental Lesson Plans Drawing Praise, Concern
Could environmental education be crossing into environmental indoctrination? Some critics say yes, as schools boast that such curricula simply is teaching children ways of caring for the earth.
Being a "good" student at Western Avenue Elementary School in Flossmoor, Ill., means more than just doing reading, writing and arithmetic well. It also means trying to save the planet.
"It's really important to help the earth and save the polar bears," 9-year-old Duree Everett said, as she colored a "go green" sign at her desk.
The students are taking part in what's called "National Green Week," organized by the Green Education Foundation. Schools across the country are encouraged to teach children about recycling, global warming and carbon footprints.
"It's important to start creating habits now, while children are young, because it can add up over a lifetime to make huge monumental consequences to the environment," said Victoria Waters, president of the Green Education Foundation.
Children as young as 5 years old are told to avoid plastic water bottles, carry lunches in reusable containers, to conserve water and reduce their trash, both at school and at home. They're also taught that planet earth is in trouble and animals' lives could be in danger.
While that may seem politically correct to many people, all the talk of "green" is making some people see red. Critics say using public schools as a means to change habits and opinions on things such as ecology and global warming, amounts to environmental religion, because the beliefs of some are being forced on all children. The kids are then pressured to bring that information home and impose it on their families.
I think it's indoctrination and I think it's intentional based on the remarks here. I don't mind the schools teaching about respecting the environment. I don't mind them teaching conservation. I don't want them brainwashing my kids and this is what they are doing.
My other issue with this is I do not want my kids taught about global warming as fact when the science is so shaky and there are so many detractors. If they want to fairly teach it as a theory and that it has holes in the science, I am okay with it but this is not what they are doing.
I am lucky in that I live in an area in which the school district is fairly balanced in their approach to issues like this. When the kids have come with something I think is a little questionable, I have talked to them and explained that what their teacher has told them is one theory, not the gospel truth.
Let me further say that I am in favor of protecting the environment. My family and I are outdoors people and like to camp, fish, etc. I want the environment protected so we, and future generations, can continue to enjoy the outdoors.
What I do find a little ironic is that environmentalism is essentially becoming a religion. A religion that can be taught in school. I would like to see the response of these people if we were to start teaching creationism as fact.
I have one final issue with spending so much time on these environmental issues. They are taking time away from teaching the 3 R's. Read this article here.
U.S. Teens Trail Peers Around World on Math-Science Test
On the science portion, U.S. students, most of them 10th-graders, received an average score of 489 on a 1,000-point scale, 11 points below the average of the 30 countries. Canada, Japan and Korea were among the countries in which students outperformed U.S. counterparts. U.S. students were on par with peers in eight countries and outperformed those from five others.
In math, only four countries had average scores lower than the United States. Students in 23 countries had a higher average score, and those in two countries did about the same as the Americans.
We are not only behind these other countries, we are below average. To sum it up in a way that is easier to understand, our education system in this country sucks.
We need to to stop spending so much time teaching about the environment, multi-cultural ism, acceptance of gay marriage, etc. (these are topics my kids have been exposed to) As I said above we should teach tolerance for differences. I further believe that the schools should police and prevent harassment for any reason. I'm just of a mind that these are issues that should be taught at home or in church. Based on the numbers above, the schools need to start teaching the kids to do math and science and forget about the other issues.
Finally, if you have been paying attention, you may have noticed I did not give scores for reading. This is why it was omitted.
There is also a reading portion, but results for U.S. students were thrown out because the tests were printed incorrectly.
They undoubtedly were printed by graduates of our education system.