In May, Earth Day Network applauded the Portland Public School Board and the organizations that worked to stop the fossil fuel industry from diluting the scientific fact of climate change presented in school textbooks. This week, the National Education Association has gone one step further to encourage state and local affiliates to create and promote climate literacy resolutions in their own communities, using the Portland resolution as a model.
A blog in the Huffington Post by Bill Bigelow stated “NEA delegates passed a second resolution, sponsored by Noam Gundle of the Seattle Education Association, calling for the teachers’ union to ‘publicize the work of NEA members educating students and their communities on issues of anthropogenic (human-caused) climate change using innovative project-based learning and cross-curricular methods’”.
Earth Day Network is committed to working with the NEA and other organizations to ensure climate justice and disseminate materials to teachers to help accurately and scientifically teach about climate change.
“The decision by the Portland Public School Board is a step in the right direction, but it cannot stop there. Climate education and environmental literacy can no longer be an option. They need to be the standard in order for our future decision-makers, politicians, scientists, engineers, and world leaders to be able to make scientifically informed decisions about the consequences of climate change,” explained Dr. Karena Mary Ruggiero, Director of Education at Earth Day Network. “Portland is setting a great example, but now the entire state of Oregon needs to step up, and then Texas, Virginia, Tennessee, and so on. We can no longer allow the fossil fuel industry to influence what is taught in our classrooms, particularly when climate change denial threatens the integrity of science education on a larger scale.”
Clearly the NEA, and the three million members it represents, agrees.