The Obama cabinet official who for years headed one of the nation’s worst public school districts has a brilliant plan for American children, to make them “good environmental citizens” with costly school programs that teach them about climate change and green jobs.
Education Secretary Arne Duncan, the former longtime chief executive officer of the disastrous Chicago Public School system, will spend hundreds of millions of dollars next year on “environmental education” that will begin in kindergarten. In the end, children across the U.S. will be prepared “to contribute to the workforce through green jobs,” Duncan asserts.
The grand plan was proudly announced this week at a hokey “Green Economy” summit hosted by the Department of Education in conjunction with other federal agencies. The Washington D.C. powwow brought together businesses, government, environmental advocates and education officials to “promote the transition to a sustainable green economy,” mainly via academia.
In a speech to summit attendees Duncan said his agency, which has a $63.7 billion annual budget, will take a leadership role in educating the “next generation of green citizens.” Teachers have a central role, Duncan said, because they explain the science behind climate change and how humans can adjust their daily practices to save the planet. Educators also have a role in preparing students for jobs in the “green economy,” according to Duncan, who assures his department will help advance the “sustainability movement” in public schools.
Considering that public school students across the nation are struggling in basic subjects like English and math, the new multi million-dollar green curriculum seems like a misplaced priority. Then again Duncan is just pushing his boss’s environmental agenda, which the president guarantees will transform the U.S. economy, protect security and, most importantly “save our planet.”
Who cares about America’s perpetually failing public schools? For seven years Duncan was the boss of the Chicago Public School system, an urban mess that routinely makes headlines as one of the nation’s worst and most crime-infested.With 408,600 students in 655 schools, it’s the country’s third-largest public school system and one of the worst.
Just this week, a bipartisan education advocacy group in Illinois issued a report blasting the state’s public schools—including the Chicago system—for the dismal education they provide children in kindergarten through high school. Among the findings is that Illinois children are consistently among the worst performers in national assessments. But, like their counterparts across the country, they will at least be good environmental citizens.