The New Yorker Magazine ran a six-page flattering profile of Tom Steyer, a guy who made billions on Wall Street and now spends millions to stop the Keystone Pipeline. He is a full-tilt environmentalist. He makes ads, backs candidates, and pesters President Obama.
Steyer explains his commitment this way: “In every generation, there is an overwhelming issue that people may not recognize at the time but that becomes the issue that is the measure of what you did… Look back to where people came out on civil rights in the 50s and 60s: maybe you were right about economic policy then, but, if you blew it on the big issue, then that’s the measure.”
So it’s clear, Tom Steyer knows how the cosmos works and the one most important thing is to stop a pipeline that can bring cheap energy down from Canada. (Note that Mitt Romney, the Republican candidate for president in 2012, supported Keystone and promised to “build it myself” if necessary.)
Steyer claims that the level of CO2 tells us how bad things are. The essential points are that carbon dioxide is benign, it’s a trace element (only a tiny fraction of 1%), and has been more prevalent in the distant past. CO2 is what we exhale, and what every plant needs to grow. The more CO2, the bigger plants will get, and the more oxygen we have to breathe. Scientist call this a self-buffering system.
But let’s leave the science to the climatologist, if we can find honest ones. Some are famous for warping the data.
What no one can warp or cover-up is the fact that our public schools do an unsatisfactory job. People are less informed. A smaller percentage of the population can read for pleasure; a smaller percentage can read at all. All this is happening despite a vast apparatus and vast expenditures.
Here’s a thought: maybe bad public schools are the “overwhelming issue that people may not recognize at the time.”
To a remarkable degree, this country’s Education Establishment, going back almost 100 years, has degraded the educational system in order to push their progressive political views. The amazing part is that they were allowed to get away with this. Where were the Tom Steyers on this?
Let’s look at one crucial step in this history. In 1955 Rudolf Flesch wrote a book called Why Johnny Can’t Read. It sold 8 million copies. Flesch explained what schools were doing wrong. Now, at that point, did all the movers and shakers in the country demand that the public schools stop their nonsense? Did professors from Princeton, Harvard, Yale rush out to testify? Did parents refuse to let kids go to public schools until they stop destroying their young minds?
No. Instead, the professors of education set up an organization called the International Reading Association to destroy Flesch. Every top rank professor belonged to this organization. Many of them made fortunes by selling destructive little look-say books for children.
We don’t know whether Tom Steyer is right or wrong about the environment. We do know he’s smart and can analyze numbers ten times faster than most of us can. Why doesn’t he look at the education numbers and make the obvious deduction? Something is rotten in the DOE.
Every few years the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) announces that two-thirds of fourth-graders (and eighth-graders as well) are below "proficient" in reading. That sounds like a really big issue. Education professors seem to promote only dysfunctional theories. Why isn’t Tom Steyer indignant about that?
Climate change is complex and debatable. You can make a case in lots of directions. For example, some people say the latest data show temperatures have dropped in recent years. Consider that this is a year virtually without hurricanes. That’s very rare and suggests the oceans are not so warm.
Point is, it’s difficult to be sure about anything in the weather arena. With the schools there’s no question that the professional experts somehow find all the worst methods and force them into our classrooms, resulting in what Charlotte Iserbyt described as “the deliberate dumbing down of America.” (See "The Big Issue" video.)
The $64,000 question is why don’t Tom Steyer and other high-powered activists take an interest in education the same way they obsess over the environment? indeed it might be the environment is doing just fine. But our country is not doing fine if the public schools continue to do a mediocre job.
“Good School? Bad school?” Short video shows how public schools are dragged down by bad methods.