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4c9bc13ed4ac6 Source: U.S. Department of Education File Photo
Source: U.S. Department of Education File Photo

Duncan: 'US Department of Education Has Been Mostly Absent' in Green Schools Movement

Department of Ed Starts to Catch Up with Green Charter Schools

September 21, 2023

"Until now, we've been mostly absent from the movement to educate our children to be stewards of our environment and prepare them to participate in a sustainable economy. That work is taking hold in corporations, in other agencies of the federal government, as well as colleges, universities, and schools across the country," said U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan this week at a congressionally mandated U.S. Sustainability Summit held in Washington, D.C.

More than 300 participants at the summit began developing an action plan for a broad national approach to economic sustainability, centering on higher education and the education system in general.

Green charter school entrepreneurs throughout the country have been quietly leading this movement mostly under the radar of the USDOE because charter schools are breaking the mold of traditional school, which is bound by bricks-and-mortar, industrial-era ideas about classrooms and instruction and the related regulatory framework administered by state and federal departments of education—the very boundaries that have heretofore limited exploration of new terrain. Charter schools allow public school districts to pilot fresh programs and policies that can vary considerably from other more traditional approaches. 

Does bringing the U.S. Department of Education and its regulatory apparatus on board in this movement leave innovative green charter school entrepreneurs somewhere between rapture and despair? Time will tell.


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