A recent article in Grist (one of my most favoritest sources of environmental information) gave me some cause for cheer today. New National Science Standards will bring educational standards for teaching the science of the climate and climate change to our public schools across the country.
The Next Generation Science Standards are a state-led process to improve and unify teaching standards for science and math education. It is no news to most of us that our science education and American acheivements in math and science are lagging far behind those of many other countries. Meanwhile, the pace of advancement in science is staggering, and it is incredibly challenging for our public schools to keep up with scientific advancement, new approaches, and new methods in order to prepare our students for the scientific and technological challenges that will face them. And one of those major challenges is, of course, climate change. By creating standards and guidance for teaching climate science early, at the middle school level, this is a great step in the direction of educating our country on this critical issue.
My state is one of the 26 states leading the development of this guidance, and today I sent a note to the Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction to thank them for taking a leadership role in developing these guidelines. These 26 states will likely adopt the resulting guidance, and other states may as well. Texas, unfortunately, has already said they will not. Check and see if your state is among the leaders or needs more encouragement to join in, at http://www.nextgenscience.org/lead-state-partners.