|Back to October Ed Reporter|
|NUMBER 249||THE NEWSPAPER OF EDUCATION RIGHTS||OCTOBER 2006|
|Education for Sustainable Tyranny |
The United Nations Plan for Our Children
On September 10, 2003 in Prague at the International Conference on Education for a Sustainable Future, the United Nations declared 2005 through 2015, "The Decade of Education for Sustainable Development (ESD)." To nobody's surprise, the UN also named UNESCO (United Nations Education, Scientific, and Cultural Organization) as the lead agency for this global effort. The official launch ceremony took place on March 1, 2005 in New York City.1
Few Americans paid attention. They should have. On June 12, 2002, President Bush announced that America would rejoin UNESCO and ".participate fully in its mission. . . ."2 According to UNESCO, "The Decade of ESD is a far-reaching and complex undertaking. that potentially touches on every aspect of life. The basic vision . . . is a world where everyone . . . learns the values, behavior, and lifestyles required for a sustainable future and for positive societal transformation."3
Unfortunately for America, the "values, behavior, and lifestyles" that UNESCO requires for "societal transformation" run contrary to a Christian Worldview and American principles of liberty.
What is Sustainable Development?
Our Common Future, for example, reveals that SD involves ". . . a progressive transformation of the economy and society (p.43), . . . international interdependence (p.47), . . . redistribution [of wealth] (p.50) . . . less material and more equitable growth (p.50-52), . . . ensuring a sustainable level of population (p.55), . . . merging environment and economics in decision making (p.62); . . . and a new ethic that will include the relationship between man and nature above all (p.71). Clearly there is more to SD than simply good stewardship of natural resources.
At the September 2002 World Summit on Sustainable Development, so-called "representatives of the peoples of the world" adopted a document called Agenda 21, the global roadmap for SD implementation.5
The Chapter Titles of Agenda 21 reveal the extent of government control necessary to implement SD, including goals to: Change Consumption Patterns; Promote Sustainable Human Settlements; Plan & Manage All Land Resources, Ecosystems, Deserts, Forests, Mountains, Oceans, Fresh Water; Agriculture; Rural Development; Biotechnology; Ensuring Equity; an increased role for Non-Government Organizations (NGOs); and even defining the role of Business and Financial Resources. All this is to be accomplished on a global, national, and local scale.6
Since freedom-loving people would never willingly submit to such totalitarian control, education is the "key" to sustainable development. Chapter 36 of Agenda 21, called Education, Public Awareness, and Training, makes clear an intention to integrate Agenda 21 into ALL curriculum as a de facto international education standard.
America's Education Standards
On Oct. 3, 2003, celebrating our new partnership with UNESCO, then-Secretary Paige addressed the UN Round Table on Education. He explained: "The United States is pleased to return to UNESCO . . . There and here, we agree that we must make education a universal reality. Our governments have entrusted us with the responsibility of preparing our children to become citizens of the world. . . . UNESCO . . . knows the importance of education on a global level by coordinating the Education for All initiative (EFA). EFA is consistent with our recent legislation, the No Child Left Behind Act."7 (Emphasis added)
In other words, the United States and UNESCO's goals for education are one in the same and mandated through No Child Left Behind.
In fact, ESD has been a goal in America for many years. To save space, I'll connect the dots only as far back as 1990 the year President Bush Sr. endorsed UNESCO's EFA Initiative and promised implementation by the year 2000. In June 1993, President Clinton signed an executive order to create the President's Council on Sustainable Development (PCSD). In 1994, the PCSD published "Education for Sustainability: an agenda for action," calling on educators "to serve society by fostering the transformations needed to set us on the path to sustainable development."8 That same year, the EFA/ESD goals became President Clinton's Goals 2000, establishing the framework for our National Standards, Curriculum, and Assessments. All 50 states adopted Goals 2000 in order to receive the funding that came with it.9
Today, President Bush's No Child Left Behind (NCLB) holds states "accountable" to implement their previously signed agreements. States and districts that refuse to "align" their standards, curriculum, and assessments with these so-called "world-class standards" will lose federal funding. NCLB requires full implementation by the end of 2014 which just so happens to be the final year of The United Nations Decade of Education for Sustainable Development.
The US Department of Education insulated themselves from critics of this radical agenda by funding tax-exempt, non-government organizations (NGOs). Sometimes the NGO is several layers removed from its true funding source.
For example, the Education for Sustainable Development Toolkit, published through the University of Tennessee in July 2002, was "made possible by a grant from The Waste Management Research and Education Institution," (an NGO funded by the US Dept. of Education).10
According to the Toolkit: "From the time sustainable development was first endorsed . . . in 1987, the parallel concept of education to support sustainable development has also been explored. . . . Initial thoughts concerning ESD were captured in Chapter 36 of Agenda 21 . . ." 11 One goal the Toolkit holds for education is: "World Citizenship: A Global Ethic for Sustainable Development" defined as "encompassing the constellation of principles, values, attitudes and behavior that the people of the world must embrace if sustainable development is to be realized."12
ESD, Global Citizenship, and America's National Curriculum
To illustrate their mission, the CCE posted an article on their website called "Teaching Democracy Globally, Internationally, and Comparatively: The 21st Century Mission of Schools." It explains: "In the past century, the civic mission of schools . . . was education for democracy in a sovereign state. . . . In this century, by contrast . . . education will become everywhere more global. . . . And we ought to . . . improve our curricular frameworks and standards for a world transformed by globally accepted and internationally transcendent principles." 14 (Emphasis added)
In other words, education is no longer about preserving liberty based on American principles, but transforming America based on international principles.
The international "constellation of principles, values, attitudes, and behaviors" that our children "must embrace" are imbedded in today's curriculum and divided into three major themes as explained in Agenda 21, the US Agenda for Action, and the US ESD Toolkit. They are: Sustainable Environment, Economy, and Society.
Sustainable Environment A New Ethic
In the United States, the tenets of the Earth Charter are included in the ESD Toolkit, including its goal of "a shared vision of basic values to provide an ethical foundation for the emerging world community."17
One good example of the "new Earth ethic" is Dear Children of the Earth, a popular children's book written as a letter from Mother Earth. Heavily illustrated with mystical paintings of animals, children are frightened into believing people are a cancer and threat to the sustainability of the planet. The text, under one illustration of a dying Rhinoceros, explains: "The animals have told me, 'We are worried, Mother Earth. We are afraid because our homes are being destroyed by people who don't know better, or don't care. . . . Tell me, my children, where will the animals live when my forests are gone? Where will the whales and dolphins swim when my oceans are too dirty to live in?" 18
Likewise, mainstream textbooks include such scare tactics based on questionable science. For example, one popular second grade textbook celebrates Earth Day by asking second graders: "How would you feel if there were no trees?"19 Another popular fifth grade social studies textbook parrots the dying-earth theme by summarizing: "The Earth needs your help . . . we are all children of the Earth. It does not matter what country you look at. We are all Earth's children and we should treat her as our Mother."20
Do these lessons have an effect on our children's worldview? A recent St. Paul Pioneer Press "letter to the editor" from a second-grader indicates the message is taking root: "The black rhinoceros is becoming extinct because of us. . . . When we cut down trees to build homes for us, we are destroying homes that were already there. Some people say, 'why should we help save the black rhinoceros?' I say because to me they are no more or less than we are. . . . The animals are dying 1,000 times faster than they would be if it were just plants and animals in the world."21 So much for this 7-year-old's self-esteem lessons!
Sustainable Economy Socialist Global State
The message for our children: True economic success comes from government control, but in America, success came from imperial aggression. Missing are the failures of socialism. McMillan's The World Past and Present for example, ends a lesson on the Soviet Union by asking 7th graders: "How do people in Moscow recycle some products?" [Teachers answer:] "Torn stockings are used to stuff pillows or to scrub dishes; milk cartons take the place of pots and pans."27 Apparently, these measures were not the result of economic failure, but an ecologically conscious Soviet citizenry!
Are these lessons having an effect? According to the National Center for Education Statistics report, What Democracy Means to Ninth-Graders, the answer is YES:
The US Dept. of Education considers these "attitudes" correct answers and identifies them as "international principles of democracy!"
Sustainable Society Global Interdependence
Here are some social studies lesson examples from a variety of grades and publishers:
Publishers all sound the same because the National Standards for Civics and Government written by the CCE require conformance. The CCE's model textbook funded through No Child Left Behind is called We the People, the Citizen and the Constitution. In reality, it functions to shift children away from our Founding Principles toward accepting new citizenship ideals. Chapter 37, titled "How May Citizenship Change in the Nation's Third Century" explains the goal: "This lesson looks to the future. You focus on some major developments taking place in our society that are likely to affect the very nature of citizenship during your lifetime."35 A critical thinking question at the end of the lesson reveals what they mean: "Do you think that world citizenship will be possible in your lifetime?"36
By following the book sequence, one may see how students are programmed to respond, "Yes" to world citizenship and prepare to accept new principles. For example, the textbook demotes America's Bill of Rights as an antiquated "document of the eighteenth century, reflecting the issues and concerns of the age in which it was written."37 The lesson then promotes the Universal Declaration of Human Rights as "positive" rights and the next phase in mankind's social evolution.38 Although the entire Universal Declaration of Human Rights is contained in the appendix, the textbook fails to teach what it says about the source of human rights in contrast to America's Declaration.
According to America's Declaration of Independence, our Founders understood the self-evident truth that "all men are created equal and endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights . . ." Therefore, they recognized the primary function of government was to protect those unalienable Creator-given rights. The Universal Declaration by contrast, limits Human Rights to an enumerated list, and then gives government the power to take them away. According to Article 29.3: "These rights and freedoms may in no case be exercised contrary to the purposes and principles of the United Nations." In other words, under the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, man as represented by the United Nations becomes god!
Once government becomes our god, citizenship takes on a new meaning. According to the CCE, "citizenship" is defined as "the status of being a member of a state, one who owes allegiance to the government."39 NOT allegiance to the principles of liberty, but allegiance to government the ultimate source of rights. That was Hitler's definition of citizenship!
According to the CCE, "civic virtue" now means: "The dedication of citizens to the common good, even at the cost of their individual interests."40 . . . Even at the cost of liberty.
Are these lessons taking hold? One distraught mother showed me her daughter's test response to the question: "Is the United States a 'sovereign state'?" Her "correct" answer: "Yes; because our government has absolute authority over the citizenry."41 Our children America's future citizens, voters, and government officials are being prepared to accept total government control in the name of "sustainable development!"
Twenty million American children have now graduated from the Center for Civic Education's program of indoctrination. Many Christian schools have also adopted the We the People textbooks unaware. Please don't build your house on the sand, simply because the sand is free! The warnings of scripture are clear: While we were sleeping, the enemy came and sowed weeds among the wheat.
Our Founders sacrificed their lives, fortunes, and sacred honor to give us our liberty. Don't let the torch of freedom flicker and die on our watch! Wake up oh sleeper and strengthen what remains . . .!
Michael J. Chapman, founder of American Heritage Research , is an author, speaker, and education researcher.
Education for Sustainable Tyranny by Mike Chapman may be purchased in a live multimedia presentation with an interactive DVD menu: http://www.AmericanHeritageResearch.com
1. portal.unesco.org/education/en/ev.php-URL_ID= 38477&URL_DO=DO_TOPIC&URL_SECTION=201.html