NEW JERSEY – In June of 2020 First Lady Tammy Murphy announced that the New Jersey State Board of Education adopted her initiative to make New Jersey the first state in the nation to incorporate climate change education across its K-12 academic standards.
As thousands of New Jersey students enter a new school year, the incorporation of climate change education for K-12 schools begins. This first of its kind curriculum will prepare and propel New Jersey students to the top of the ranks for the thousands of green economy jobs that will be made available in the future.
“New Jersey has the number one public education system in the nation, and our teachers and school administrators are well equipped to prepare our future climate change leaders to take on the climate crisis,” said Governor Murphy. “Our children are our future, and the lessons New Jersey students will learn with this new curriculum will bring us one step closer to building our green economy and reaching and sustaining 100 percent clean energy in New Jersey by 2050.”
“Today marks the first day of the highly anticipated climate change education curriculum in our K-12 school systems, and I cannot be more thrilled about the future for our students and for our state,” said First Lady Tammy Murphy. “New Jersey will be on the forefront of the climate movement, and these new standards will give our children the tools necessary to combat the effects of climate change. We are building the world’s next generation of climate literate leaders, including policymakers, historians, teachers, and more, who will discover new ways to address the climate crisis.”
“New Jersey will continue to be a national leader in preparing students to address issues related to climate change in the next decade,” said Dr. Angelica Allen-McMillan, Acting Commissioner of Education. “Our standards provide students with the tools to learn how climate change impacts our society, but how to also work collaboratively with peers and communities to address the issue of climate change.”
The New Jersey Student Learning Standards (NJSLS), which outline what is taught in New Jersey’s public schools and set the foundation for school districts to craft instruction and curricula, adopted climate change education in 2020. The climate change aspects of the NJSLS are designed to prepare students to understand how and why climate change happens and the impact it has on our local and global communities as well as to act in informed and sustainable ways.
These standards will be incorporated across seven content areas:
- 21st Century Life and Careers
- Comprehensive Health and Physical Education
- Social Studies
- Visual and Performing Arts
- World Languages
Climate change standards have also been added to the appendices of the Mathematics and English Language Arts guidelines, which are up for review this year.