Frank Ruff Jr.: Teaching all the wrong stuff

Published 12:30 pm Thursday, June 22, 2023

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Frank RuffDespite having great teachers, much has been written about the content of our classroom education at every level in the last decade. Examples abound that I could point toward to question why all of us should be concerned. The movement away from math and reading excellence has been documented repeatedly across America and in Virginia. Some, of course, occurred because of COVID. The test scores in those states that locked down for longer periods tended to lag behind those states that reopened their schools sooner.

During those COVID Zoom classes, some parents monitored those classes. Parents were astonished by some of what was being taught. Unless there are required standards, as we have in Virginia, frequently what was being taught instead of math was socialism and anti-capitalism. Likewise, instead of working on proficiency in reading, some teachers seemed determined to push the issue of gender on young children.


On top of all of the above mischief, instead of teaching true science, too many teachers have talked so much about climate change that many young people, from kindergarten through advanced college degrees, believe that life is doomed in the next few years. They took their cue from former Vice President Al Gore who assured us in the early 2000s that in a dozen years all would be lost. That global warming, since renamed climate change, would make life unsustainable. Never mind that we are a decade past that prediction, the media still reinforces such predictions.


If professors and teachers were honest, they would teach young people to consider all the facts, not just biased ones. There is nothing wrong with teaching that we can do a better job of protecting our environment. But that education should also point out that the issue is not just an issue of what the United States does but also what is happening around the globe.

The United States has done much to reduce pollution since the 50s and 60s. At the same time, we have seen China and India building scores of new coal-burning power plants. The same type of plants that we have been closing in this country.

While the United States has focused the nation on electric cars and trucks that are far more expensive than traditional vehicles, we are buying rare earth minerals from countries that have no interest in protecting the environment, mining tons of dirt to get a few pounds of the elements needed for the batteries and electric vehicles.

What the propagandists fail to tell the public is that, for all our efforts, the difference between the temperatures since the 1880s until last year has risen only 1.42 degrees, less than one and a half degrees in 140 years!


Currently, a group of young people in Montana, between the age of five and twenty-two, have brought a case before the courts of that state. They charge that Montana’s leaders are destroying the state’s natural splendor and creating an unhealthy environment. They say the state is running afoul of its own constitutional mandate to “maintain and improve a clean and healthful environment in Montana for present and future generations.”

Understand that Montana is ten times larger than the state of Virginia. I doubt that the leaders of the state are allowing it to be destroyed. I would be far more concerned about where a five-year-old would be worldly enough to be involved in such a suit without major prompting from an adult. It could be a parent or teacher that lacked the fortitude to put their own name on a lawsuit.

On the East Coast, students and adults are being told that rising sea levels will make life on the coasts of Virginia and other states uninhabitable in the near future. That is interesting considering former President Barack Obama, who preaches climate change woes, built a mansion on Cape Cod. Real research has been telling us for a decade that the problem in certain coastal areas is that the underground water is being overused faster than it can be recharged. Therefore, the land is sinking, like a balloon that is slowly losing its air.

I am not a scientist nor expert, but I do have the common sense to consider all the facts prior to telling people my opinions.

Frank Ruff Jr. represents Lunenburg in the state Senate. His email address is