Will NCLB Go Green?
Several environmental groups have formed a coalition to advance the No Child Left Inside campaign, which aims to insert environmental education into the NCLB reauthorization (NCLB Act II Blog, July 17, 2007). According to the campaign, NCLB’s emphasis on testing in the core subjects is pushing environmental education out of classrooms, even in subjects such as science where it fits more logically into the curriculum.
This Stat of the Week examines which states have standards and assessments that include environmental education. According to data collected by the North American Association of Environmental Education, a coalition member, about half the states do not include environmental education in either state standards or assessments. Of the states with policies in place, about an equal number address environmental education through both standards and assessments and through standards only.
The No Child Left Inside coalition is pushing an amendment to NCLB that includes, among other things, the initiation of a grant program to help states develop environmental education standards. This effort could contribute to a rise in these numbers in the future.
For more state-by-state information on policies related to academic standards, please see the EPE Research Center's Education Counts database.