Leaving No Child, or Adult, Inside

The No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB) is often touted as one of
President Bush’s few legislative successes, but many in the
educational community believe the law needs vast improvement.
According to the
environmental nonprofit organization the
Chesapeake Bay Foundation
, the federal enactment of NCLB in
2002 meant narrowly focusing on core subject areas and ‘reducing
the amount of environmental education taking place in K-12
As Utne.com has reported, children’s
advocates and environmentalists have been working to get more
environmental education in and outside of the classroom. The
movement is gaining traction on the legislative front, with the
Chesapeake Bay Foundation pushing for a federal No Child Left
Inside amendment to improve the NCBL act. If passed, the amendment
would increase funding for state environmental literacy plans and
provide more flexibility and training for teachers to address
crucial environmental issues.

Though children’s education may help environmental literacy in
the future, current trends indicate that adult education programs
are desperately needed, too.
A 2005
report by the National Environmental Education & Training
Foundation ?(NEETF)
(PDF) found that, ’45 million Americans
think the ocean is a source of fresh water.’ Many Americans realize
that environmental issues are important, but the NEETF found that
only 12 percent could ‘pass a basic quiz on awareness of energy
topics.’ So while educating children on environmental issues is
important, neglecting adults might minimize the initiatvies’
effects. According to the NEETF, ‘Effective environmental education
is not a panacea for all of society’s problems, but it is a
responsibility that we owe both ourselves and future

Go there >>
No Child Left Inside

Go there too >>
Environmental Literacy in America (PDF)

Related Links:

Related Links from the Utne Reader Archive:

Comments? Story tips?
Write a letter to the editor

Like this? Want more?Subscribe to
Utne Reader

In-depth coverage of eye-opening issues that affect your life.