By Holly Swanson
August 19, 2015
The reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, the ESEA, (S. 1177) was passed by the U.S. Senate on July 16, 2015. This legislation, which impacts the education and the lives of our children, was placed on the Senate calendar on July 7th and passed in less than 10 days.
The ESEA is not set in stone yet. A House and Senate conference on the final version of the ESEA is the next step and that should begin in September. Decisions regarding the final version of the ESEA need to be postponed until the American people and our political leaders have more time to understand, scrutinize and debate the objectives, outcomes and amendments attached to the current version of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act.
The new version of the ESEA has been adamantly opposed and remains under fire due to some controversial and far reaching goals. The inclusion of environmental education and environmental literacy in the reauthorization of the ESEA is a major concern because:
1) documentation confirms the curriculum attached to teaching these subjects is directly aligned with the political indoctrination agenda of the Education for Sustainability movement and;
2) the entire focus of the Education for Sustainability movement is to use public education to train America’s children, our future voters, to support their political agenda and;
3) the political ideology and agenda of the Education for Sustainability movement mirrors Green Party goals and communism.
Stopping the political indoctrination of America’s children is imperative. Preserving free thought, individual freedom and the democratic process for future generations requires immediate action.
Many Americans are not aware of the political agenda behind Education for Sustainability programs, nor this movement’s plan to change the ‘cultural, religious, social, economic and political structure’ of our nation.
Leading groups in the Education for Sustainability movement are the driving force behind initiatives like the Campaign for Environmental Literacy and partner with many groups, like the No Child Left Inside Coalition, to advance their goals. The following statement, from the No Child Left Inside Coalition, reveals the plan to slip the goals of the ‘No Child Left Inside Act’ (NCLI) into law as part of the final version of the ESEA:
“The intent of the NCLI Act is to amend the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) to provide support for environmental literacy programs in public education.” …
“… our champions on the Senate and House committees have assured us they are prepared to offer amendments to any version of ESEA that would embed the principles of the NCLI Act into the final education bill.
We continue to closely monitor this process and pursue all opportunities to work with our sponsors and coalition partners to build on our success and pursue additional opportunities to advance environmental literacy through ESEA.”
The principles of the No Child Left Inside Act (H.R. 882 and S. 492) are evident in the new version of the ESEA. Congressman John Sarbanes (D-Maryland) is a sponsor of the No Child Left Inside Act (NCLI) and is also recognized for his work to make Education for Sustainability a national priority. Sarbanes was a featured speaker at the ‘Sustainability Education Summit’ hosted by the US Department of Education in 2010. The official summit report, published by the US Department of Education, included the following statement:
“Sarbanes excitedly explained that the NCLI was just an arm of an advocacy movement that has grown into a sizeable coalition across the country.”
Congressman Sarbanes confirmed the ‘No Child Left Inside Act’ (NCLI) is the “arm of an advocacy movement” and therefore, the NCLI is a tool to impose the goals of that advocacy movement on America’s children through education. Using schools, classrooms and field trips to train our children to adopt the political ideology of this movement is political indoctrination.
The Department of Education’s summit report also links the No Child Left Inside Act to advancing Education for Sustainability (sustainability education) and environmental literacy goals. The following points, made by Gary Heath (a former superintendent of schools (state of Maryland) and a ‘No Child Left Inside Coalition’ representative) were highlighted in the report:
“Gary Heath, representing the state of Maryland, reported on the need to start sustainability education in elementary schools and emphasized that fundamental policy initiatives are necessary to make sustainability an integrative theme for the whole school.”…
“He said initiatives such as the No Child Left Inside Act (NCLI), which would incentivize states to create plans that ensure every student graduates environmentally literate, should be the fundamental first step in addressing sustainability education.”
Environmental literacy and Education for Sustainability are one in the same. Making sustainability a goal or “theme for the whole school” means imposing the political agenda of the Education for Sustainability movement on the whole school. The Department’s summit report included recommendations to push Education for Sustainability into our schools; including the following ‘Federal Legislation and Policy’ recommendation:
“Ensure policies of the No Child Left Inside Act are incorporated into the reauthorization of ESEA, including requiring state environmental literacy plans and annual funding for sustainability education.”
This strategy, laid out in 2010, has been executed. The July 17, 2015 legislative update from the No Child Left Inside Coalition confirms their goals are included in the current version of the ESEA:
“The U.S. Senate's Every Child Achieves Act, S.1177, passed the Senate yesterday, 81-17. This is the federal funding bill for education, previously known as the No Child Left Behind Act.
Intact were provisions drawn from the No Child Left Inside Act, that represent historic wins for environmental education:
1. Environmental science education would be an allowable subject included in the STEM education grants.
2. Environmental literacy would be part of the after school programming sections of the bill.
This is a significant symbolic victory that allows us to make the case to schools across the nation that the Senate voted overwhelmingly, in a bi-partisan vote, to support Environmental Education.”
Allowing the environmental education and environmental literacy goals of this movement to remain in the final version of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act would be a step toward a national political indoctrination program based on the goals of the Education for Sustainability movement. According to the No Child Left Inside Act:
“Forty-eight States have developed, or are in the process of developing, environmental literacy plans to effectively integrate environmental education into the prekindergarten through grade 12 curriculum and ensure that students graduate from high school environmentally literate.”
Teaching environmental literacy from prekindergarten through high school and making environmental literacy a graduation requirement would ensure that no child could escape the political indoctrination process. Existing environmental literacy plans, such as the ‘No Child Left Inside’ approved Oregon Environmental Literacy Plan, emphasize the political ideology of the Education for Sustainability movement. Preventing the goals of the No Child Left Inside Act (NCLI) and the goals of the Education for Sustainability movement from being included in the final version of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) is vital because:
1) the NCLI is the “arm of an advocacy movement”
2) the ESEA is a tool to impose the goals of that movement on our children
3) NCLI environmental literacy goals mirror Education for Sustainability goals
4) Education for Sustainability goals mirror Green Party goals and communism
America’s children need our help. Call your representatives and ask them to:
1) take immediate steps to remove the goals of the No Child Left Inside Act and the goals of the Education for Sustainability movement from the final version of the ESEA based on the issue of political indoctrination and;
2) postpone the final passage of the ESEA until every goal and every amendment can be thoroughly and publicly scrutinized to ensure that a national political indoctrination program is not inadvertently legalized, funded and imposed.
The future of our children is far too important to allow the new version of the ESEA to be slammed into law.
For more information see ‘Training for Treason, The Harmful Agenda Behind Education for Sustainability’ by Holly Swanson. To find out what you can do to help stop the political indoctrination of America’s children, email firstname.lastname@example.org
� 2015 Holly Swanson - All Rights Reserved
Swanson is a leading authority on the harmful political agenda of the
Education for Sustainability movement. She is a national speaker; a frequent
guest on regional and national talk radio and the author of the acclaimed
Up & Sold Out’ and ‘Training
for Treason’. Swanson is the founder and director of We Choose
Freedom® and Operation Green Out!®.