Climate change education in Texas and around the world

A story in the Financial Times (October 31, 2021) on climate change education around the world began with Texas, where the state board of education is expected to consider new state science standards for kindergarten though grade 8 that include climate change. Dan Quinn of the Texas Freedom Network was quoted as observing, "What millions of Texas kids learn in their public schools is determined too often by the political ideology of partisan board members, rather than facts and sound scholarship."

Addressing the landscape of climate change education in the United States, the Financial Times cited "Making the Grade? How State Public School Science Standards Address Climate Change" — the 2020 report from NCSE and the Texas Freedom Network Education Fund — in which Texas's current state science standards received a grade of F for their treatment of climate change, although NCSE's deputy director Glenn Branch noted that the quality of state science standards is only a single factor affecting the quality of classroom instruction.

"In other countries," the Financial Times continued, "the pattern of climate change practices is just as patchy." A recent report from the United Nations agency UNESCO found, in a study of 46 nations, that more than half failed to mention climate change in their educational policies and curricula, while a recent report by Education International found, in a study of 74 countries, that none of them adequately integrated climate change into their education systems, with most of their efforts to do so judged "tokenistic."

Glenn Branch
Short Bio

Glenn Branch is Deputy Director of NCSE.