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PULLMANN: Teaching global warming in kindergarten
Public schools shouldn’t be promoting political propaganda
The Public Broadcast Service recently reported that increasing numbers of educators are teaching about the controversy over climate change. This has the scientific establishment doubling down on efforts to feed children their mantra: There is no debate.
There is no man behind the curtain, Dorothy. The "consensus" has spoken.
Except not among the hoi polloi. Eighty-two percent of science teachers report they have faced skepticism about climate change from students, according to the most recent poll from the National Science Teachers Association. Fifty-four percent report encountering the same skepticism from parents.
Those students and parents are not alone. Growing numbers of U.S. citizens are taking a critical look at the outlandish, government-laden "solutions" climate-change alarmists promote. Majorities of Americans in Rasmussen polls consistently disagree that human activity has caused global warming, and over the past five years of Pew Forum polls, fewer have been willing to say solid evidence shows it's a serious problem. In Pew's most recent poll on the subject, global warming slid to be U.S. voters' last priority.
In response to this turn of events, alarmists are engaging in a renewed public-relations campaign, most prominently including the May 11 release of draft science standards for elementary school students intended to apply nationwide.
The Common Core state education standards list what math and language-arts information and skills children should master in each grade. Forty-five states adopted those standards in 2009 and 2010 under heavy incentives from the Obama administration.
The Common Core next expands into science standards, which 26 states have committed to helping develop and implement. The draft standards integrate global warming and other overplayed worries about human impacts on the planet, starting in kindergarten.
This early-grade tendentiousness will create a foundation for ideas that build on long links of suppositions: catastrophic, man-made global warming; the evils of fossil fuels ("explain differences between renewable and nonrenewable sources of energy" in fourth grade) and the need for the Environmental Protection Agency and other government agencies to strangle human liberties in order to "save the planet."
Fifth-graders are to examine Earth's temperature increases and believe they destroy penguin habitat and erode coral reefs. Middle schoolers will have to accept that "human activities have significantly altered the biosphere, geosphere, hydrosphere and atmosphere" and agree continuous monitoring is necessary to undergird "social policies and regulations that can reduce these impacts." They also must acknowledge the "disciplinary core idea" that "human activities, such as the release of greenhouse gases from burning fossil fuels, are major factors in the current rise in Earth's mean surface temperature ('global warming')." High schoolers will have to understand that "though the magnitudes of human impacts are greater than they have ever been, so too are human abilities to model, predict and manage current and future impacts."
There's lots of trust here in big government and phony climate models but not much interest in how all this affects normal folks. That's OK - we have too many of them, the curriculum teaches. High schoolers will be told our rising global population makes "land for agriculture or drinkable water ... scarcer and more valued."
Note the implication that kids who do not accept some very specific and politically motivated scientific claims are not properly educated. This contradicts the Common Core's requirement that students pose and respond to "questions that probe reasoning and evidence; ensure a hearing for a full range of positions on a topic or issue; clarify, verify or challenge ideas and conclusions; and promote divergent and creative perspectives."
Sure, that's exactly what a single set of nationwide science standards created by a technocratic, politicized science establishment will promote. Close that curtain, kid.
Joy Pullmann is managing editor of School Reform News and a research fellow at the Heartland Institute.
© Copyright 2013 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.
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