Many states do not require schools to adequately teach students about climate change.

That’s according to a report from the Texas Freedom Network Education Fund and the National Center for Science Education, or NCSE. They evaluated each state’s science standards to see how clearly and accurately they cover the causes and consequences of climate change.

Each state received a grade. Wyoming was the only one to receive an A.

“Twenty earned a C+ or worse. Ten received a D or worse, and those include some of the most populous states in the country, such as Texas, Florida, Pennsylvania, and Ohio,” says Glenn Branch of NCSE.

State standards influence not only what’s taught in the classroom but the content of textbooks, tests, and teacher training. So Branch says it’s important for all states to implement standards that reflect the scientific consensus that climate change is real and human-caused.

Until they do, he suggests that concerned parents encourage their local schools to go beyond what the standards require.

“Merely reassuring your child’s science teacher that you fully support their teaching climate change in an accurate, honest, and complete fashion can do a lot to encourage them,” he says.

Reporting credit: Sarah Kennedy/ChavoBart Digital Media.

Diana Madson contributed regularly to Yale Climate Connections from 2014 to 2021. She enjoys exploring U.S.-based stories about unexpected and innovative solutions to climate change. In addition to her...