Tuesday, January 10, 2012
Thank you for your recent article on the No Child Left Behind Act. Many agree that No Child Left Behind’s emphasis on standardized testing places undue emphasis on reading, writing and math at the expense of science instruction, environmental studies and outdoor education and recreation. Environmental education promotes higher-order thinking skills and is correlated with higher test scores in math and reading, in addition to helping combat childhood obesity. Yampatika has joined nearly 1,500 other groups representing more than 47.5 million Americans in support of the No Child Left Inside Act.
No Child Left Inside would amend No Child Left Behind to include environmental education for the first time. The legislation would provide new funding for environmental education, particularly to develop rigorous standards, train teachers and develop state environmental literacy plans. It also proposes giving states that develop such environmental literacy plans access to additional funds. Colorado’s draft environmental literacy plan is slated to be released this February. It features Yampatika’s environmental literacy program.
We are working with the No Child Left Inside Coalition to alert the public about the need for our schools to devote more attention to environmental education. And in the meantime, No Child Left Inside legislation is working its way through Congress, co-sponsored by our own Sen. Michael Bennet. The legislation represents a critical opportunity to give American students the knowledge they will need to make informed personal decisions and act as responsible citizens as they face environmental challenges that previous generations never imagined.
We thank all three school districts in Routt County for their leadership in embracing this emerging best practice. We hope you will join us in celebrating the exciting legislative opportunity No Child Left Inside presents. To learn more about the No Child Left Inside Coalition, visit www.cbf.org and search for “NCLI.”
Executive director of Yampatika