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House Members Pick Wrong Day to Work Outside


On Earth Day tomorrow, members of the House's K-12 subcommittee will be working at the Patuxent Wildlife Research Refuge in Laurel, Md. They'll be at a hearing on the No Child Left Inside Act, which would authorize $100 million a year for states to develop curriculum to address environmental issues. For background, see this post from July.

The bill would increase student achievement in core subjects, improve the health of children, and develop a skill critical for the 21st Century workforce, says the coalition of almost 200 environmental groups supporting the legislation.

"We'll be passing on complicated environmental problems to future generations," the coalition says in this action alert. "We must give the next generation a solid understanding of these problems and the basic tools to overcome them and make informed choices in their own lives." The action alert also notes that House committee leaders included much of the No Child Left Inside bill in the NCLB discussion draft that they circulated last year.

Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley, a Democrat, will be the star witness at the hearing. Nancy S. Grasmick, Maryland's state superintendent, also will be there, as will a local principal and a conservation biologist. The hearing is scheduled to be outside, I hear.

I won't be there, unfortunately, because I'll be on assignment in Chicago. If you're planning to attend, I'd recommend wearing Gore-Tex.


Perhaps we can get science back into our core curriculum on a regular basis through somebody's creative initiative to save our planet. I think every school should have an outdoor science classroom at every school in a district. Additionally, in order to maximize the resources and the learning experience, each school should have to focus on one specific science. Then the kids can go to different schools to learn a different area of science and get a field trip too.

It would be great if schools could do this, but is it a good idea to legislate it when schools are already having trouble meeting NCLB requirements? Will this be a mandate? Or will it just mean funding will be available for schools that choose to do this?

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