State officials in Maryland, including Gov. Martin O’Malley, are promoting a proposal to make environmental education a requirement for high school graduation in that state, according to an article in Education Week. If the idea is adopted by the Maryland State Board of Education this fall, it apparently would be the first time a state has imposed a graduation requirement focused on environmental literacy.
The proposal wouldn’t require students to take a particular course but would ensure that environmental literacy is “threaded through” the curriculum.
I have difficulty imagining Texas following Maryland’s lead, and maybe we shouldn’t, at least not until we have a different State Board of Education to write our curriculum standards. As long as conservative ideologues keep driving the SBOE train here, I can easily imagine “environmental” curriculum standards such as the following:
# Global warming is a fairy tale.
# Cap and trade is the work of the Devil.
# Carpooling is a form of socialism.
# Rapid transit spreads disease.
# Every Texas family should drive at least two SUVs, and preferably three. Biggerthanlife people need biggerthanlife cars, and the busier our refineries, the healthier our economic environment.
# Water pollution is harmless because you can buy the bottled variety at the store.
# The BP oil spill was an act of God.
# And, BP CEO Tony Hayward was an environmental hero for sacrificing a large chunk of his life to help feed the nosy media’s morbid curiosity.