FRONTLINE (PBS) and The GroundTruth Project Announce Launch of First Book Project, Exposing the Red-Blue Divide on Climate Education in America’s Public Schools
"Miseducation: How Climate Change Is Taught in America" publishes Nov. 16, 2021.
By former FRONTLINE investigative reporter Katie Worth and published by Columbia Global Reports, “MISEDUCATION: How Climate Change Is Taught in America” debuts this fall
No matter where they live, today’s kids will bear witness to human-caused climate catastrophes in their communities. What they learn about climate change now will directly impact the speed and ambition of action taken for decades to come. Yet one-third of young adults believe that climate change is not human-made.
Former FRONTLINE (PBS) investigative journalist Katie Worth (The Last Generation) explores this pressing issue in her debut nonfiction book, MISEDUCATION: How Climate Change Is Taught in America. An alarming exposé on the climate denialism that’s being taught in the classrooms of millions of school kids, MISEDUCATION will be available to general audiences on Nov. 16 from Columbia Global Reports, with support from FRONTLINE (PBS) and The GroundTruth Project.
Why are American children learning mixed or false messages about climate change? Who has tried to influence what children learn? How successful have they been? Worth spent years tracking down the answers to these questions.
In MISEDUCATION, she connects the dots between oil corporations, state legislatures, school boards, think tanks, lobbyists and textbook publishers who have played a key role in sowing uncertainty, confusion and distrust about climate science in American classrooms.
“All the kids I met in three years of reporting were born into a century that will be absolutely defined by the climate crisis,” Worth says. “But some of them have never heard the words ‘climate change’ in a classroom. Others had heard about it but were told it wasn’t happening or it was natural, or it was no big deal. Climate denial didn’t appear in schools spontaneously or by accident — to the contrary, there was a campaign to inculcate climate disinformation in the minds of American children. This book, which exists because of the support of FRONTLINE and The GroundTruth Project, digs into how and why that happened.”
“FRONTLINE and The GroundTruth Project’s support of this book and of Katie Worth’s intensive, multiyear investigative reporting was crucial and helped make this book a reality,” said Nicholas Lemann, director of Columbia Global Reports and a professor at Columbia Journalism School.
Worth reviewed scores of textbooks, built a 50-state database and traveled to more than a dozen communities to talk to kids about what they have learned about the environmental crisis. In MISEDUCATION, she offers damning evidence, based on her original investigative reporting, revealing that, in much of the country, children learn climate change may or may not actually be happening — even when alarming evidence can be found in their own backyards.
“Katie’s reporting on climate change for FRONTLINE has been essential — from examining the threat of rising seas on the Marshall Islands, to exploring the dire reality wildfires present to the West Coast, and now, to exposing the grave impact today’s science education could have on the future of our planet,” says FRONTLINE’s executive producer, Raney Aronson-Rath. “We’re so pleased to support Katie’s mission to tell this critical story through the debut of her first book alongside The GroundTruth Project, and we are grateful to Columbia Global Reports for their help bringing Katie’s journalism to audiences across the country.”
“GroundTruth is proud to be part of this partnership with FRONTLINE and Columbia University to support an extraordinary body of work by Katie Worth,” says Charles Sennott, CEO of The GroundTruth Project. “Her reporting journey on this book embodies the best of on-the-ground reporting that also steps back and calibrates the big forces at work in how America shapes its energy policy and the human narratives of the consequences of climate change, and what we can all do to be sure we are holding our leaders accountable to the future generations of this planet.”
A starred review from Publishers Weekly lauds MISEDUCATION as “a striking look at how climate change is taught in American primary and secondary schools.” Bill Keller, former executive editor of The New York Times and founding editor of The Marshall Project, calls MISEDUCATION “a disheartening story, richly reported, clearly told,” adding, “Katie Worth discovers widespread climate denialism in our nation’s schools.”
Additionally, FRONTLINE and Columbia Journalism School will present a virtual discussion forum about MISEDUCATION and the climate change education divide on Monday, Nov. 15. The program will feature Worth; Charles Sennott, CEO of The GroundTruth Project; Raney Aronson-Rath, FRONTLINE’s executive producer; and Lee Bollinger, president of Columbia University. Read more about the event and RSVP here.
FRONTLINE, U.S. television’s longest running investigative documentary series, explores the issues of our times through powerful storytelling. FRONTLINE has won every major journalism and broadcasting award, including 100 Emmy Awards and 26 Peabody Awards. Visit pbs.org/frontline and follow us on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and YouTube to learn more. FRONTLINE is produced at GBH in Boston and is broadcast nationwide on PBS. Funding for FRONTLINE is provided through the support of PBS viewers and by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. Major funding for FRONTLINE is provided by the Ford Foundation. Additional funding is provided by the Abrams Foundation; the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation; Park Foundation; and the FRONTLINE Journalism Fund with major support from Jon and Jo Ann Hagler on behalf of the Jon L. Hagler Foundation and additional support from Koo and Patricia Yuen.
About KATIE WORTH
KATIE WORTH is an Emmy Award-winning investigative journalist and was the inaugural FRONTLINE-Columbia Tow Journalism Fellow in 2015. Her work has appeared in Scientific American, National Geographic, Slate, The Wall Street Journal and was included in The Best American Science and Nature Writing 2016.
Worth grew up in Chico, California, just a few miles from the site of one of the massive fires that is currently devastating the American West. During her reporting for Miseducation, she returned to her old middle school to find that climate change is being taught as the subject of an unresolved scientific dispute, not a proven reality.
Members of the press requesting a review copy of the book/scheduling an interview with Katie Worth, contact:
Megan Posco| 978-790-5415 | email@example.com
For media queries related to FRONTLINE (PBS):
Anne Husted | 617-300-5312 | firstname.lastname@example.org