ustxtxb_obs_1984_09_28_50_00024-00000_000.pdf

Page 8

by

Pho to by Alic ia Dan ie l State Purchasing Director Homer Foerster in promoting landscaping with native plants, a project developed by Mary Sanger of the agriculture department. There’s even time for the ancient art of lecturing in Leonard’s school, after which students take part in Socratic-type discussion. “The integration of all learning the theoretical with the practical, understanding with the senses is the essence of [his futuristic school],” he explains. Along with Leonard, other educational philosophers Carl Rogers, Carl Bereiter, Howard Kirschenbaum continue to lash out against the encroachment of the right-wing philosophy in public schools. The contributions of these and other modern-day Progressives, though unfashionable, are invaluable to those of us who believe that our schools, in order to be a positive influence upon our society, must take another direction. Their alternatives to the mounds of adverse rules and regulations that plague our schools today sustain a democratic promise for tomorrow. Parents, teachers and administrators need to communicate with policymakers. As Holt so aptly explains, “If public pressure makes us do things we think are harmful, or at least not helpful, the very least we can do is say to the public that we think they are wrong and that we are doing these things under protest.” POLITICAL INTELLIGENCE Chemical Caveat r/ Beware of public concern. In a brochure, headed “The Pest Control Industry and Texas A&M University Challenges [sic] You,” members of the pest control industry make a pitch to endow a chair at Texas A&M in urban pest studies because “the future of the pest control industry is in jeopardy as our hands are tied by government regulations and public concern.” According to the Texas Pest Control Association Executive Director Don McCulloch, “The public relations climate and the attitude of public officials is negative to the pest control industry. We have no counter attacks. Large chemical companies are concerned, but we must help too. Instead of letting things happen to us, help us to take a bold positive step and turn our crisis into a challenge [by endowing an urban pest control chair, to be matched dollar for dollar by Texas A&M].” Accompanying McCulloch’s statement in the brochure is a picture of a door labeled “Regulations, Environmental Pollution, Public Concern” being closed on the words “DDT, Dieldrin, Lindane, Chlordane, 1080, Mirex, and EDB.” Apparently this is a bad thing. The pamphlet also contains statements by Dr. Fowden Maxwell, head of the Entomology Department at A&M, and by Terry Greathouse, Dean of Texas A&M. Says Maxwell: “As department head, we will push for this plan. The endowed chair will enhance research, [integrated pest management]. This will result in quality graduates who will benefit from the knowledge of the industry representative.” Dean Greathouse assures potential donors: “Our office will take the project forward to provide trained students for the pest control industry. This will meet the challenges of the future. The Endowed Chair will be the first matched in the College of Agriculture.” A Mobil ad appearing on August 21 in the Los Angeles Times seemed to be borrowing the rhetoric of the Republican Convention. Under the heading, “Lies they tell our children,” the ad decries the fact that textbooks are only telling schoolchildren bad things about the environment. Among the good things the textbooks could be telling children, the ad says, is the fact that “total automobile emissions of hydrocarbons, carbon monoxide, and nitrogen oxide in the U.S. are less than half what they were from 1957 to 1967; the amount of unhealthy sulfur dioxide in the air has been steadily declining since 1970; the bacteria level in the Hudson River declined by more than 30 percent between 1966 and 1980.” Of course, you would not want to tell schoolchildren that the energy industry fought many of the reforms that improved the environment. That would be negativism again. 24 SEPTEMBER 28, 1984