Maryland Environmental Literacy Standards & Graduation Requirement

In 2011 Maryland became the first state in the nation to pass an environmental literacy high school graduation requirement mandating that every local school system in the state must now provide in public schools (preK-12) a comprehensive, multi-disciplinary environmental education program infused with current curricular offerings and aligned with the state environmental literacy standards. By September 1, 2015 and each five years after, each local superintendent of schools must certify their county environmental literacy plan with the State Superintendent of Schools.

There is no requirement for an additional course or specific number of environmental education experiences. Successful implementation focuses on alignment with the Maryland environmental literacy standards and proper infusion of environmental content into existing curriculum. Research has shown that when integrated into the core curricula or used as an integrating theme across the curriculum, environmental education has a measurably positive impact on student achievement in science, reading, math, and social studies.  Environmental education also provides a rich context for learning the specific instructional objectives within the Career & College Readiness Standards (aka Common Core) in English language arts and mathematics.

The ultimate goal of these efforts is to ensure that all students are provided with the opportunity and resources to develop the knowledge, intellectual skills, attitudes, experiences and motivation to make and act upon responsible environmental decisions as individuals and as members of their community while developing the critical tools necessary to succeed in a 21st century workforce.

Learn more about the environmental literacy graduation requirement and standards: