Thursday, July 2, 2009

Environmental Education Helps Minority Students Come Farther on Florida Assessment Exam

Several schools participate in environment-based education programs at the Pine Jog Environmental Education Center in Florida. These schools were tracked from 1995 to 1999 to see how the students reacted to environmental education programming as measured against standardized statewide achievement tests. The Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test (FCAT).

There were four schools participating at the Center. One of the schools (Del Prado) had mostly Caucasian students; the three others have mostly minority students. The (FCAT) tells an important part of the story. For language skills and critical expository writing skills, the Del Prado School had FCAT scores of 2.4. At three other schools, including Westward, which is 80% African American and 7% Hispanic, the same FCAT measurement was 1.7 and at the two other schools, both 50% minority, the FCAT score was 1.5.
From 1995 to 1999, Del Prado students in the environmental program advanced from 2.4 to an outstanding level of 3.1, moving up .7 point on the FCAT scale. But the schools with a higher percentage of minority students improved even more. At Westward School, for example, the increase was from 1.7 to 2.8 or 1.1 points on the scale. At Melaleuca School, the increase also totaled 1.1, and Green Acres School experienced a 1.2 point increase

Download Report: see page 37. National Environmental Education Foundation and North American Association for Environmental Education.

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