NCSE and New Jersey climate change education in the Washington Post

Climate change wall of messages.

The hallway outside Cari Gallagher’s third grade classroom at Lawrenceville Elementary School in New Jersey is decorated with messages from students about what they can do to fight climate change. Credit: Caroline Preston/The Hechinger Report

NCSE was cited in the Washington Post's article (November 5, 2022) on New Jersey's incorporation of climate change throughout its state education standards.

"Two years ago, New Jersey became the first state in the country to adopt learning standards obligating teachers to instruct kids about climate change across grade levels and subjects," the article explains. "The standards, which went into effect this fall, introduce students as young as kindergartners to the subject, not just in science class but in the arts, world languages, social studies and physical education."

New Jersey's accomplishment is striking, given that only twenty states (including New Jersey) have adopted the relatively climate-friendly Next Generation Science Standards. "Other states may not mention the human causes of the crisis, and a few even promote falsehoods about it, according to a 2020 report from the National Center for Science Education and Texas Freedom Network Education Fund," namely "Making the Grade?"

In a 2020 op-ed, NCSE's Deputy Director Glenn Branch observed, "But having taken such a huge step forward, New Jersey needs not to falter. In particular, it will be necessary to equip teachers to meet the increased demands of the new standards." The Post's article reports, "The state has set aside $5 million for lesson plans and professional development, and it is enlisting teachers ... to develop model lessons."

The article was produced by The Hechinger Report, and a longer version appeared (November 5, 2022) on its website.

Glenn Branch
Short Bio

Glenn Branch is Deputy Director of NCSE.