Heartland “Denialgate” Can’t Obscure Disdain for Education

February 17, 2012  |  permalink

My Sunday piece for the Guardian notes that the Heartland Institute, a Chicago-based right-wing think tank promoting climate change skepticism, has something in common with the anti-evolution Discovery Institute: namely, a commitment to defunding public education in the name of “school choice.” This week, the controversy around “leaked” documents revealed the extent of Heartland’s disdain for education. Most disturbing is one document’s revelation that Heartland is actively developing a “Global Warming Curriculum for K-12 Classrooms”:

In spite of “Denialgate”—Heartland’s claims that at least one of the “leaked” documents was a forgery—the evidence is damning.

“Principals and teachers are heavily biased toward the alarmist perspective,” reads one document whose authenticity has been confirmed. “To counter this we are considering launching an effort to develop alternative materials for K-12 classrooms. We are pursuing a proposal from Dr. David Wojick to produce a global warming curriculum for K-12 schools. Dr. Wojick is a consultant with the Office of Scientific and Technical Information at the U.S. Department of Energy in the area of information and communication science. His effort will focus on providing curriculum that shows that the topic of climate change is controversial and uncertain - two key points that are effective at dissuading teachers from teaching science. We tentatively plan to pay Dr. Wojick $100,000 for 20 modules in 2012, with funding pledged by the Anonymous Donor.”

The Book
The Good News Club, by Katherine Stewart

The Good News Club: The Christian Right’s Stealth Assault on America’s Children

About the Author
author Katherine Stewart Katherine Stewart has written for The New York Times, the Atlantic, and the Guardian. She lives in New York City. Contact her. More →


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