Monday, June 7, 2021

Chesapeake Bay Foundation: Your Help Needed To Restore PA Environment, Ecology And Agriculture K-12 Education Standards

The state Board of Education published
notice in the June 5 PA Bulletin asking for comments on proposed education standards that eliminate the current Environment, Ecology and Agriculture Education Standards in K-12 education.

The Chesapeake Bay Foundation is asking for your help in restoring these standards so the next generation of students can learn about Pennsylvania’s environment, ecology and agriculture.  Action Needed Now.

Since 2002 Pennsylvania students and teachers have benefitted from having local stream and water quality investigations supported by the environment and ecology standards. 

The new proposed education standards eliminate the focus on environment and ecology in science and will therefore threaten the ability of teachers to engage students in meaningful watershed investigations and relevant, real world learning.

Why do we need these standards?

-- To advance Environmental Literacy: The proposed standards have four domains and because none of them include the issues and investigations critical to understanding Pennsylvania's ecosystems, no middle or high school teacher will be held accountable for teaching about our wildlife and water, and therefore it will gradually disappear from teaching practice.

-- To support our legal obligations and continue to promote our state as a leader in science education: Creating specific standards for environment, ecology and agriculture would allow for the integration of the Meaningful Watershed Educational Experience, which the state is required to do under state law and regional commitments.

--  To prepare our students for future careers: Environmental investigations develop the critical thinking skills, problem-solving abilities, and job readiness for the 21st century careers. In addition, specific standards for Environment, Ecology, and Agriculture would allow for the student's exploration of and commitment to our state’s natural heritage, including forestry, fishing, and farming.

The comment period for the regulations closes on July 4.  

Your action is critical to developing environmentally literate students, preparing the next generation for 21st century jobs, and fulfilling our state, regional, and national obligations.

Send a message TODAY to Karen Molchanow, Executive Director of the State Board of Education, and urge her to include specific and meaningful standards for Environment, Ecology, and Agriculture in the science standards.

Click Here to take action now.

For more on Chesapeake Bay-related issues in Pennsylvania, visit the Chesapeake Bay Foundation-PA webpage.  Click Here to sign up for Pennsylvania updates (bottom of left column).  Click Here to support their work.

Also visit the Keystone 10 Million Trees Partnership to learn how you can help clean water grow on trees.

CBF has over 275,000 members in Bay Watershed.

Related Articles:

-- Board Of Education Posts Education Standards Eliminating Environment, Ecology & Agriculture Standards For Comment; Environmental Educators Oppose 

-- DCNR: Having Strong Environment & Ecology Education Standards Critical To Developing Career Opportunities & Good Stewards Of PA’s Environment, Natural Resources

-- Guest Essay: Why Environmental Literacy Should Be Part Of Pennsylvania’s Education Standards - Anna R. Pauletta, PA Student Member, Chesapeake Bay Foundation Board Of Trustees

[Posted: June 7, 2021]  PA Environment Digest

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