PA K-12 Academic Standards for Environment & Ecology – Public Comment Period Open Now

Posted by Pennsylvania Integrated Pest Management (PA IPM) Program on June 15, 2021

If you think that children in grades K-12 in Pennsylvania should learn about the environment and understand how ecological systems work, then you need to make your opinion known now. It is Pennsylvania State Law – Environmental Education Act of 1993 – that the Commonwealth is to have environmental education standards for children to learn. And that Pennsylvania, with its history of conservation and its abundant natural resources, has long been known as a leader in environmental education.

The last legislatively approved set of K-12 academic standards are dated 2002. As you may or may not be aware, the Pennsylvania K-12 Environment & Ecology and the Pennsylvania K-12 Science & Technology Standards are currently under review. The revision process began in September 2019 and on September 9, 2020, the newly proposed “integrated” science standards were unanimously approved by the State Board of Education.

Unfortunately, the newly proposed integrated science standards have largely omitted Environment & Ecology. Without explicit standards for Environment & Ecology, educators will not be responsible for covering the content and our youth will lack basic understanding of current environmental, ecological, and agricultural topics. The future leaders of our Commonwealth deserve to have rich, environmental, and agricultural education opportunities.

We encourage you to submit a written comment to the State Board of Education imploring them to explicitly include Environment & Ecology (and specifically Agriculture & Society and IPM) in the newly revised standards. Only comments that mention specific content that is missing will be counted. Content from the currently legislated standards (2002) that were identified as having one or no connections to the proposed standards can be found here. Please submit a comment as a private citizen, and spread the word to other formal and non-formal educators, parents, businesses, communities, etc.

Please encourage as many individuals as possible to send comments. The reviewers of the submitted comments will be counting the number of comments asking for certain things, and then make a determination to allow the proposed standards to go through a round of revisions/updates, or to finalize these as is.

How do I comment to voice my concern?  

Comments are being accepted in writing, starting June 5, 2021 (Remember to mention specific content missing from the proposed standards):

    • This alert can be modified (see personalized action alert) if there are more specific pieces of information you would like to add OR it can be sent as is, from you!
  • Send a formal letter via USPS:  Karen Molchanow, State Board of Education, 333 Market Street, 1st Floor, Harrisburg, PA 17126.

Additional Resources:

Announcement in PA Code and Bulletin (June 5th, 2021)

2002 Legislatively Approved Standards:

Proposed Standards:

PA Department of Education:  Pennsylvania Science and Technology and Environment and Ecology Standards

North American Association for Environmental Education (NAAEE):  Guidelines for Excellence:  Best Practice in EE

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