July 27, 2010
'Avant-Garde Sustainability Curriculum' to Replace Three R's at Nation's Oldest High SchoolBy Peter Wilson
A recent Boston Globe story reveals the destructive effects that Al Gore and global warming activists are having on American education. According to the story,
Boston Latin is not some radical alternative private school; it is the city's preeminent public high school and the nation's oldest school, founded in 1635, one year before Harvard, with an all-star list of former pupils that includes Benjamin Franklin, Samuel Adams, and John Hancock. BLS is consistently ranked one of the nation's best high schools, with a mission to "ground its students in a contemporary classical education." Admission to BLS is based solely on academic performance: standardized test results plus grade point average.
The Youth Climate Action Network is likewise not some obscure student club. Founded at BLS, "Youth CAN" has expanded to eight schools in Massachusetts, with an uncompromising vision: "Imagine many youth climate action groups speaking with one voice, insisting that legislators make the necessary changes pertaining to global warming."
It is common for school administrators to support student activism through school clubs and student councils -- on the scale of, for example, responding to student demands to serve organic milk in the cafeteria. Youth CAN, however, has more ambitious goals; Boston Latin students have dreamed up a new 70,000-square-foot, $6.2-million green roof project for their school, where they can, among other things, grow "local food" in the rooftop greenhouse.
Headmaster Lynne Mooney Teta and faculty are fully on board with the "student-driven" building project and are moving forward with the sustainability curriculum:
"Simply a shift in perspective"? How reassuring.
A physics teacher comments that "he envisions sustainability issues as the 'backbone of the curriculum,' integrated in many subject areas."
Outside environmental activists have come in to "help," notes the Globe:
Many universities have recently instituted sustainability departments, which offer an elective course of study to young adults who theoretically have received a strong educational foundation in their K-12 years. This is insufficient for groups like CELF, which candidly describes its mission on its website:
I'm sure that the people at CELF feel good about what they're doing, and they might even admit their program is radical -- necessarily so because of the ecological Armageddon they believe we face. But to me, this sounds very dangerous. Totalitarians throughout history have understood the power of co-opting youth, and here is an organization advocating what can only be called the indoctrination of a generation of students in our country's public schools, beginning in kindergarten, into radical environmentalism and advocacy for "equitable social systems" -- at the expense of reading, writing and arithmetic! Similarly, the physics teacher quoted above states: "Our goal as educators is to help students understand how to get to a sustainable world." Isn't your goal as a physics teacher teaching physics? The disregard for the essential purpose of education -- -imparting knowledge -- is aggressively blatant.
The current Youth CAN students have not even been subjected to the new sustainability curriculum pushed by CELF, and in the coming years, Boston Latin will turn out students who will be among the leaders of the nation. Imagine putting activists like this in charge of the public fisc.
Gail Sullivan, an architect working with the students, has enthusiastic praise for the students' plans: "'[T]he students said yes, yes, and yes to all the different features.' ... Unfazed by the hefty price tag, students ... have been raising money and applying for grants over the past year to make their green wonderland a reality, piece by piece."
Want to build an expensive "green wonderland"? Get a grant. Yes, yes and yes. The mentality these students have already learned is that when you are in the planet-saving business, you pay for your schemes with someone else's money, just as the Obama administration pays for its current spending sprees. Just as all government pays for anything. "Unfazed by the hefty price tag." Indeed.
Or imagine Sullivan as Energy Secretary. She observed, "If the only goal were reducing energy costs, it might make the most sense to cover the roof with solar panels." In other words, if you need to reduce energy costs, the solution is to install the world's most expensive, least efficient energy source in a northern city with limited sunshine. Need to lower health care costs? Expand coverage. And on and on, ad nauseam.
Of course, they may be a glimmer of hope. The green rooftop will offer students the opportunity to "measure the wind velocity from the rooftop turbines or test how much energy the solar panels generate."
Perhaps when they see the pitiful amount of energy generated by their hefty price tag, they will recognize the importance of nuclear power and fossil fuels. Then again, reality is no impediment to those who believe their cause is just.