Solution: Incorporating environmental science into NCLB science standards and assessments
The No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB) has fundamentally changed the way that education is delivered in this country. It has defined the core content that all students in the US must learn to be considered proficient at each grade level. As of 2007, this includes content standards in reading, math, and science. In many school, districts, this has translated into teaching only those subjects and standards that are assessed.
Currently, many states have science standards addressing the environment in place at each grade level; however, those standards are not assessed in the States’ exiting science assessment.
Students cannot meet environmental science standards due to the intense focus of teachers and schools on meeting AYP in math and reading. This effect is greatly magnified in under-performing schools. At the same time, our nation faces unprecedented environmental challenges related to human health, energy use, ob development, and the conservation of natural resources.
Proposal: Require that environmental science standards be tested as part of the NCLB science assessment requirement
Adjusting the current NCLB Act toi reflect the need for all students to receive environmental education would:
- Add no new assessments and no additional testing days
- Require the development of no new standards (in some states)
- Assess the preparedness of students to deal with complex environmental issues facing individuals and society
- Encourage teachers, administrators, and school systems to make time and resources available for environmental education for all students