SELLING COAL IN ILLINOIS CLASSROOMS
The education of our children is a sacred trust that we give to our teachers. Yet, educators in Illinois are being asked to violate that trust for the economic gain and vested interests of the coal industry.
In May of 2011 a New York Times editorial sharply criticized educational publisher Scholastic for distributing a poster funded by the American Coal Foundation that gave a one-sided view of coal usage. After receiving comments from 60,000 concerned parents and educators, Scholastic withdrew the curriculum, stating that “… the mere fact of (industry) sponsorship may call into question the authenticity of the information….”
Shortly after the Scholastic debacle, the Heartland Coalfield Alliance obtained a copy of “FROM THE COAL MINES TO THE POWER LINES”, a taxpayer supported curriculum developed by the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO) to teach elementary and high school students that coal is the clean, safe fuel of the future.
Virtually no mention is made of coal’s liabilities, of the environmental damage that is unavoidable in its extraction and use, nor of its documented social and environmental costs. Taken as a whole, it is a highly biased program aimed at casting coal and coal companies in the most positive light possible and encouraging public allegiance to the coal industry, beginning with the youngest and most impressionable members of society – our children.
Despite claims to the contrary, the coal curriculum fails to live up to Illinois Learning Standards for Science, which require that students be able to know and apply concepts that describe the interaction between science, technology and society in historical and contemporary contexts.
Join us in calling on the Governor and the Illinois Department of Commerce and economic Opportunity to stop misinforming our kids; stop this misuse of public funds; and instead support measures that will build a clean energy future for our children.
Be sure to sign the electronic petition and forward to colleagues, friends and family.
Use these resources under to help us spread the word about the misuse of taxpayer funds that underwrite the coal industry. Help us gain support for a science-based curriculum that tells the full truth about coal and supports measures that will build a clean energy future for our children!
For more information and to get involved in this campaign, contact: Lan Richart at: firstname.lastname@example.org.