Maryland now requires environmental proficiency to graduate from high school.
In an historic vote today, the Maryland State Board of Education provided specific guidance to all public schools to require that each student be environmentally literate before he or she graduates from high school. The vote cements Maryland as the first state in the country to approve a graduation requirement in environmental literacy, a credit to Governor O’Malley, to board members, and to Dr. Nancy Grasmick, State Superintendent of Schools.
“This is a momentous day not only for Maryland but for educators across the country who are watching what Maryland does, and hoping to increase outdoor learning in their states, “said Don Baugh, director of the No Child Left Inside Coalition (NCLI). “ Governor O’Malley and Dr. Grasmick deserve our profound gratitude. For years they have put Maryland at the forefront of the environmental education movement.”
The state school board vote clarifies for schools that each child must receive a comprehensive, multi-disciplinary environmental education that meets the approval of the State Superintendent of Schools. Regulations given final approval by the board provide critical flexibility and oversight for school systems as they develop effective environmental literacy programs aligned with the Maryland State Environmental Literacy Standards.
Update: Maryland is also last — last! — in personal freedom. Someone get Jerry Brown on the horn.