President Clinton used veto threats to try to browbeat Congress into accepting national testing of schoolchildren because he knows that whoever writes the tests controls the curriculum, and his Administration’s goal is, indeed, national control of classroom curriculum. Part of the curriculum plan has already been published by Clinton’s Council on Sustainable Development in its 1997 Task Force Report called Public Linkage, Dialogue, and Education.
This report is explicit and straightforward. It calls for a “purposeful refocusing of the nation’s education system,” not merely to teach sustainability, but to use sustainability as a catalyst for the “restructuring of educational institutions, curricula, and teacher training.”
Schools are to be refocused in order “to integrate the tenets of sustainability into our education institutions,” which is defined as “a specific vision of environmental education.” “Tenets”? Is sustainability some new religion?
The Council’s plan for “curriculum development” calls for an “increased number of curricula, material, and training opportunities that teach the principles of sustainable development.” Students are to be taught to deal with the “international factors” that affect our “transition to a sustainable society.”
And what are those international factors? The premise of “sustainability” teaching is that Americans should feel guilty because we consume 25 percent of the earth’s resources even though we are only five percent of the earth’s population. We are expected to be embarrassed because one American uses as much energy as three Japanese, or six Mexicans, or eight American Indians.
To achieve “sustainable development,” Americans are supposed to reduce our “resource consumption.” And, since 35 percent of our resources is consumed in the home, households are expected “to make changes in the way they live.”
“Resource consumption” is what makes American homes such pleasant places in which to live and work. We enjoy single-family dwellings that are heated in the winter, cooled in the summer, and equipped with electric lights and a dozen or more electric and gas appliances.
We achieved this high standard of living through hard work in a free society. It is outrageous to make schoolchildren feel guilty about it and believe that we should submit to taxes and regulations in order to redistribute our wealth to the rest of the world, but that’s the aim of Clinton’s Council.
The report traces the lineage of its sustainability notions from the 1972 Earth Summit in Stockholm, through the 1975 Belgrade conference that defined the goal of environmental education, and Agenda 21, which was adopted at the 1992 Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro. Agenda 21 commits all nations to set national goals to conform to exotic global plans for protecting the environment.
The Council lays out three specific objectives for its “sustainability” curriculum: to ensure that its notions about sustainability “become part of the mainstream consciousness,” to ensure that its “dialogue” produces “consensus”(predetermined by the Council, of course), and to “organize groups to act on issues related to sustainability.” As the report says, “education for sustainability must involve everyone.”
The Council unabashedly plans to use the schools to recruit and energize activists for sustainability politics. The report makes no secret of the political objectives of its so-called work in the schools: “Mandates such as Agenda 21 must trickle down and be incorporated into formal and nonformal educational institutions through curricular and operational changes.”
In its “We Believe Statement,” the Clinton-appointed Council states: “The United States should have policies and programs that contribute to stabilizing global human population.” Al Gore echoed this recently by recommending expanded birth-control and abortion programs in developing countries to “stabilize” their populations.
The sustainability curriculum has little or nothing to do with teaching science or factual information. The report makes clear that “environmental education departed from science education by calling for a strong social component.”
Environmental and sustainability education means teaching “attitudes, motivations, and commitments to work on problems.” “Citizenship skills” are redefined as “skills to organize groups to act on issues related to sustainability.”
The report makes clear that the goal of all this refocusing and restructuring of the schools is to indoctrinate all students, “kindergarten through higher education,” with the Council’s views about “social equity.” The benchmarks for how the sustainability curriculum interrelates with “social equity” involve setting so-called “voluntary standards,” which would then serve as models for subsequent “requirements.”
This Council report lays bare one facet of the federal curriculum which the Clintonian liberals are determined to impose on America’s schoolchildren. It is blatant brainwashing in the classroom to promote Clinton’s political agenda such as, for example, the implementation of Agenda 21 by the Climate Control/Global Warming Treaty he plans to sign in Kyoto.