All Maryland students entering high school this fall will be required to prove they are "environmentally literate" in order to graduate. Maryland is the first state to enact such a requirement. The governor calls it "a defining moment for education." The new regulation requires local school districts to integrate lessons on conservation, "the health of our natural world," and so-called "smart growth," into the core subjects of science, social studies, math, and language arts. Smart growth often means restrictions on private land development and disincentives to drive our personal automobiles. Local school systems will determine how to infuse these environmental standards into their curricula and how to test student mastery of the material. Schools must report to the state every five years on what they are doing to meet these requirements.
Meanwhile, the U.S. Department of Energy has produced lesson plans to persuade kids to use less energy because we use about 50 times as much energy as people living in developing countries. The Department of Energy created an "Energy Awareness Quiz" and activities for grades 9 to 12. The primary learning objective of these resources appears to be to make the kids feel guilty because Americans use so much energy. Another learning activity is called "How Much CO2 Do You Spew?" It teaches that the controversy over global warming is over and it is proven to be a "well-documented" fact.
Another organization seeking to provide Maryland schools with help in implementing this environmental mandate is the U.S. Partnership for the United Nations Decade of Education for Sustainable Development. "Sustainable choices" is a code word for wealth distribution and making private property subject to government or even UN control.
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