Climate change perceived and taught differently across Florida

Public schools in Florida are not teaching about climate change consistently or adequately, according to a detailed story in the Bradenton Herald (November 2, 2019). 

"Though it starts to broach the subject of climate change, along with greenhouse gases and fossil fuels, even Florida's strongest climate standard is lacking, according to Rebecca Anderson, a leader with the Alliance for Climate Education. It falls short of delving into the human-caused elements of climate change," the story noted. 

NCSE's Glenn Branch told the Herald that while dozens of states recognize the reality of human-caused climate change in their state science standards, Florida — along with Alabama, Georgia, Oklahoma, and Virginia — mentions human impact on climate change only "as a possibility or in a list of factors."

Frank Niepold, climate education coordinator for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, emphasized the importance of resources and local support for teachers. "Leaders are calling for this increase, but the teachers are in this kind of a sticky spot where they don't have the training, even if they agree it's important."

The Herald's story also quoted a Sarasota high school junior, Moriya White, who lamented that global warming "wasn't emphasized and it's not in our school structure."

Glenn Branch
Short Bio

Glenn Branch is Deputy Director of NCSE.

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