(Daily Caller News Foundation) – The New Jersey Board of Education adopted K-12 standards for math and language arts that include climate change education Wednesday, according to New Jersey Spotlight News.
In 2020, the state became the first in the nation to approve adding climate change content to its standards in order to foster a new generation of “students that can analyze, question, interpret, to think independently, and bring critical deduction” to the “burgeoning industries of the future green economy,” according to the new standards. The board, which had previously included the content in classes on technology, health, science and world history, approved the changes in math and language arts by a 6 to 4 vote, according to New Jersey Spotlight News.
“These standards are really meaningful because it gives a way to teach,” Elaine Bobrove, a board member, told New Jersey Spotlight News. “You need to have some kind of an example so students can feel like ‘I’m learning something. I’m doing something,’ that there is a meaning, that it’s not just numbers, it’s not just sounds of words.”
The standards now include small green symbols that mark areas where students can find “opportunities to integrate specific examples of climate change education provided by additional age-appropriate resources.” These notes are supposed to help educators create additional units to discuss climate change and create “authentic learning experiences integrating a range of perspectives.”
The majority of the public commenters that spoke ahead of the board’s vote indicated their support of the changes, but some felt that the content was not necessary for every single subject and should stick to related classes in science, according to New Jersey Spotlight News.
Not all board members were pleased by the changes, specifically Andrew Mulvihill, vice president of the board, who raised concerns about adding politics to the “board’s business,” according to New Jersey Spotlight News.
“I don’t think we should be teaching subjects that have nothing to do with math and English in math and English,” Mulvihill said. “This idea of teaching climate change in every class, in every subject matter, it kind of smells of indoctrination.”
The board did not immediately respond to the Daily Caller News Foundation’s request for comment.