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National Overview: State Level EE Legislation/Policy
        
States with A By-law or Requirement for K-12 EE instruction

State

Details

Arkansas

Department of Education Standards for accreditation

California

Assembly Bill 1548, Chapter 665, Statutes of 2003
(www.calepa.ca.gov/Education/AB1548)

Hawaii

Hawaii Revised Statutes Act 247 Section 4 encourages all public schools to teach environmental ethics to all students in grades K-12.

Iowa

Iowa Administrative Code, Education Section says that EE must be a part of all K-12 science

Illinois

The legislative record says that conservation education will be taught in the schools (http://dnr.state.il.us/entice/partners/ELIL.htm) but it isn’t enforced.

Kansas

Kansas has a Legislative Mandate for EE

Maryland

(www.msde.state.md.us)

North Carolina

Earth/Environmental Science requirement for high school  (www.dpi.state.nc.us/curriculum/science/standard/114earth.html)

Oregon

Very old bill passed by Oregon legislature - unfunded.  Not current.

Pennsylvania

State-wide standards for environment and ecology k-12.  It may be taught as a separate subject or integrated into existing curriculum. 

Washington

Washington State Mandates: WAC 180-50-115 and RCW28A.230.020

Wisconsin

The Legislature enacted a curriculum planning standard requiring that school districts develop and implement a K-12 environmental education curriculum by 1990. (State statutes 121.02(1)(k)1,2, and 3)

Note: Arizona passed a K-12 mandate in 1990 and then rescinded it in 1994. Montana’s State Office of Public Instruction is planning to re-write state standards to include EE.

 

States which Require EE Teacher Training Prior to Teacher Certification or Licensing

The following are states where EE preservice training is required for teachers desiring to teach certain subjects or grade levels that provides instruction in and ensures competencies in environmental/ecological concepts, the range of instructional and assessment methodologies used with EE and effective approaches for infusing or inserting EE into the curriculum.

State

Details

Arkansas

There is an old law requiring this but it is not enforced.

Pennsylvania

Department of Education requires certification for those who teach courses entitled Environment or Ecology. PA has an environmental education k-12 certification program through the Pa Dept of Education.

 

Wisconsin

1935: Wisconsin Conservation Education Statute requires adequate instruction in the conservation of natural resources in order to be certified to teach science or social studies.  1983: State DPI Superintendent Herbert Grover promulgates a new teacher EE certification rule requiring newly certified early childhood, elementary, agriculture, secondary science and social studies teachers to be able to demonstrate four content area and three methodology competencies.  Teacher preparation institutions are required to have programs in place to achieve this by July 1, 1985.

States with Assessments that Includes EE

States that apply assessment “tools” (including standardized testing, authentic/performance assessment measures and other evaluation methods) to determine the extent to which EE curriculum and instruction is having the desired impact on students. Again, these are usually not stand-alone (and thus not driven by environmental literacy) but embedded in science assessments.

State

Details

Idaho

Idaho Standards Achievement Tests, especially science component

Illinois

One third of the questions on the science portion of the state assessment are related to EE

Missouri

MS and HS programs often include environmental sciences (may be electives)

New Jersey

DOE includes environmental science questions in their state tests for 4th, 8th and 11th grades.

Nevada

Science Criteria Reference Test includes significant reference to Environmental Science (www.doe.nv.gov/sca/testing/crt/)

Ohio

New state standards have EE related questions that are included in state proficiency tests and the new state achievement tests.

Pennsylvania

PDE is developing a student assessment of E&E in conjunction with science and technology.  It has been developed and tested several times and will be implemented in 2007.

Washington

Pacific Education Institute; Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction: Washington State Environmental Education Needs Assessment (2001)

States with Formal EE Learner Objectives/Outcomes

Learner Objectives/Outcomes are intended to assist educators in developing specific instructional plans and assessment strategies for incorporating EE in given subject areas.  Within many of the states, these found within science and social studies standards.

State

Details

Arkansas

Department of Education Benchmarks

California

See the Education and the Environment state plan document.
www.cde.ca.gov

Florida

Teaching Naturally/ Florida Sunshine State Standards (www.firn.edu/doe/curriculum/environ/teaching_naturally.html)

Iowa

Each district must have its own standards showing how the Iowa Admin Code is met.

Illinois

Illinois State Board of Education Illinois Learning Standards and Green Standards (www.isbe.net/ils/)

Kansas

Kansas Department of Education website has non-tested ee standards including objectives and outcomes listed on their website; so does the KACEE website (www.kacee.org)

Massachusetts

‘Benchmarks On the Way to Environmental Literacy’ K-12 www.eetap.org/media/pdf/Benchmark.pdf

Maryland

 

Minnesota

Three statutes related to environmental education in the Waste Management Act (Chapter 115A). www.seek.state.mn.us/eemn_g.cfm

Montana

In progress

New Jersey

NJ's revised science and social studies core curriculum content standards include an environmental studies standard in science and a geography/environmental standard in social studies, both for grades K-12. (www.nj.gov/njded/aps/) standards available at DOE home page.

New Mexico

Instructional Strategies for the Implementation of NM Content Standards and Benchmarks. Science Content Standards include Environmental Science, not other subjects, at www.doe.nv.gov/sca/standards/standardsfiles/science/index.html

Ohio

There are no specific standards for EE, however there are strong EE related indictors that are embedded in the Science, Social Studies and Technology as well as in English, language arts, and math academic standards.  EL Connections Focus Group www.okcel.org

Pennsylvania

PA has a matrix by grade category which gives examples of what a student should know at what grade level related to the EE standards.  (www.state.pa.us keywords: academic standards)

Texas

TEA web site - Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills

Washington

Pacific Education Institute Technical Report 1 and 2

Wisconsin

Wisconsin's Model Academic Standards for Environmental Education.  www.dpi.state.wi.us/standards/index.html

West Virginia

WV Science Content Standards, WV Department of Education.  http://wvde.state.wv.us (look under CSOs  ex. SC.3.4.3)

 

SOURCE: National Environmental Education Advancement Project 50 State Survey