Governors, Corporations, and Legislators Join Call to Support Geography Education in U.S.
Former U.S. Secretaries of State George P. Shultz, James A. Baker III, and Madeleine K. Albright have endorsed a resolution calling on Congress to “include authorizations and appropriations for geography education consistent with other core academic subjects for K-12, as part of a reauthorized Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA).” The resolution issued by the Association of American Geographers (AAG) also supports geography programs such as the Teaching Geography is Fundamental Act, and urges the Obama Administration to include geography education as part of its proposals for improving STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) education.
A bipartisan group of 12 current governors, other key individuals, and major national organizations and corporations have also signed onto the resolution. The supporting governors are: Haley Barbour (R-Mississippi); Martin O’Malley (D-Maryland); Rick Scott (R-Florida); Pat Quinn (D-Illinois); Sam Brownback (R-Kansas); Mark Dayton (D-Minnesota); Mary Fallin (R-Oklahoma); Peter Shumlin (D-Vermont); Gary Herbert (R-Utah); Earl Ray Tomblin (D-West Virginia); Paul LePage (R-Maine); and Lincoln Chafee (I-Rhode Island).
In endorsing the document, Secretary Baker stated, “During my time as Secretary of State, I witnessed firsthand how important it was that Americans understood geography and the world around them. Since then, as countries have become even more interconnected, that need has grown. As a result, I support the efforts by the AAG to promote geography education in our schools, and I encourage the White House and Congress to do the same.”
Secretary Albright asserted, “Geography played a leading role in nearly every policy decision I was involved in as Secretary of State. Young Americans with an understanding of peoples, places, and cultures have a clear advantage in today’s rapidly-changing global economy and I am encouraged that the AAG is working with Congress and the Administration to build support for geography education at the K-12 level.”
Douglas Richardson, Executive Director of the AAG, added, “We are delighted to have the support of so many significant individuals and groups as we champion greater federal funding for and attention to K-12 geography. Geography is the only one of the ten core academic subjects identified in the ESEA that does not have a specific funding authorization in the national program designed to support its teaching. As Congress works on reauthorizing the ESEA, this oversight must be addressed.”
About the Association of American Geographers
The AAG is a scientific and educational society with a current membership of over 11,000 individuals from more than 60 countries. Its members are geographers and related professionals who work in the public, private, and academic sectors to advance the theory, methods, and practice of geography. The AAG Resolution Supporting K-12 Geography Education, with a full listing of endorsing organizations and individuals, is available at http://www.aag.org/galleries/education-policy/AAG_Geography_Education_Resolution.pdf.
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