Good news for ‘Environmental education’ : Graduates must be ‘green’

Students watching birds at Nador Lagoon
Image via Wikipedia

Maryland has become the first state in the country to require students to be “environmentally literate” in order to graduate from high school.

The vote by the Maryland board of education requires that students get a “comprehensive, multi-disciplinary environmental education” before receiving a diploma. Districts will have to develop plans for coursework that meets state standards in environmental literacy and have their plans approved by the state superintendent of schools. They will also have to develop ways to assess students’ mastery of the material in order to determine if they are eligible for graduation.

The action today follows a decision by the board last summer to require that students get a bigger dose of environmental literacy than they had been getting in typical science classes. There was some confusion, however, about whether that action actually made environmental literacy a graduation requirement. Today’s vote was intended to clear up that confusion and make the requirement official.



  1. OH HEAR HEAR …. waht an absolutley brilliant idea and a gr8 way to ensure that such green and ethical values are instilled at a young age. Unless of course they don’t get it right and it’s some sort of … well Im not sure what to describe it as… its possible they could teach the wrong things and focus on things like nuclear. Now that wouldnt be such great learning would it?

    1. True environmental education programmes would invite and encourage frank and open discussion about all options including the nuclear one, but would a robust curriculum would require quality assurance. We have hope learned from the recent Japanese experience!

      Thanks for contributing.


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