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Education chief asks for public comments on new school course materials

Changes are part of 2009 Education and the Environment Initiative

California Superintendent of Public Instruction Jack O'Connell has invited parents, teachers, students and interested members of the public to review and comment on proposed changes to the curricula to be taught in the state's public schools, from kindergarten through grade 12.

The proposed changes to course materials, part of a 2009 Education and the Environment Initiative, hope to upgrade and update the scope of public education in California and are posted on the California Department of Education's Web site for public comment and review.

The plan proposes to address familiar subjects like science, history and the social sciences, as well as contemporary subjects relevant to

the future of California like sustainability, lobal climate change, waste, water, energy and resource conservation.

Comments received by September 1, 2009 will be forwarded to the state Curriculum Commission prior to a meeting on September 24-25. The commission acts as an advisory body to the California State Board of Education (SBE) on curriculum and instructional materials, and will be addressing the new course proposals and the public's input.

"Students today will be responsible for making decisions that influence the future health of the environment," O'Connell said in a statement.

"This curriculum provides the foundation to prepare students to be informed, environmentally conscious decision makers," he said. "I encourage educators, parents, and all interested parties to participate in the review of these landmark environmental instructional materials. Their input will help ensure that high-quality, standards-based environmental curricula are available to teachers and schools in California."

Curricula and instructions to comment can be found online at: http://www.cde.ca.gov/ci/sc/ee/index.asp.

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