A state board of education in Maryland has bought into the green agenda. So much so that it just voted to require “environmental literacy” in order to graduate high school.
“This is a defining moment for education in Maryland,” Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley said. “By approving this environmental graduation requirement, the Board of Education is ensuring that our young people graduate with a keen understanding of and connection to the natural world. Only through exposure to nature and education about our fragile ecosystem can we create the next generation of stewards. ”
“This is a momentous day not only for Maryland but for educators across the country who are watching what Maryland does, and hoping to increase outdoor learning in their states,” Don Baugh, director of the environmental advocacy group No Child Left Inside Coalition (NCLI), which pushed for the vote, said in a release. “Governor O’Malley and Dr. Grasmick deserve our profound gratitude. For years they have put Maryland at the forefront of the environmental education movement.”
The Washington Post reports on what the requirement means: “Under the graduation requirement, public schools will be required to infuse core subjects with lessons on conservation, smart growth and other environmental topics. School systems will be able to shape their programs, but they must align with state standards.”
“With today’s vote school districts must now move beyond standard science courses that provide minimal focus on the environment,” NCLI added in its release. “The Maryland State Department of Education has established two workgroups to begin revising and aligning Maryland environmental literacy standards, and developing guidelines to provide school systems with guidance and support for implementation.”
According to the Post, 48 other states are considering similar requirements.
“The No Child Left Inside Act would increase environmental education opportunities for students across the country,” Congressman John Sarbanes of Maryland, author of the bill, said. “Such opportunities are essential to grow the next generation of scientists, promote environmental stewardship, and encourage Americans to live healthier lifestyles.”
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