money in policy change has been shown to produce
lasting and ongoing returns far in excess of the
What follows is a summary of how these states
arrived at these exemplary models. Individual
participants in these victories will inevitably have
different recollections and perspectives, which can
further enrich any effort to replicate their outcomes.
However, these stories can readily form the basis for
other states’ future success stories.
Maryland’s Environmental Literacy Graduation
Maryland unique mandate that all students must
be environmentally literate3 to graduate from high
school leads the nation in implementing universal
environmental education. By September 2015, and
every five years thereafter, each local superintendent
of schools must certify a county environmental
literacy plan with the State Superintendent of
Schools. 255,000 or so students are currently enrolled
in Maryland public high schools, which graduated
roughly 65,000 students in 2015 alone under
requirements that include these standards.
4 How did
Maryland get here?
Maryland’s long history of environmental education
can be traced back to the nation’s first federal
environmental education law, the Environmental
Education Act, which was passed in 1970 (and
repealed in 1981)
5. In response, the Maryland State
Department of Education (MSDE) developed an
Environmental Education Framework that provided
Kraxberger Middle School