Dear Rethinking Schools friends,

You may have read that last May, the Portland, Oregon, school board passed the most comprehensive "climate justice" resolution in the country. Portland's policy requires the school district to abandon teaching materials that express doubt about the human origins of the climate crisis or that minimize the severity of the crisis. The new resolution calls for robust professional development around climate issues and declares that "all Portland Public Schools students should develop confidence and passion when it comes to making a positive difference in society, and come to see themselves as activists and leaders for social and environmental justice."

At its summer convention, the National Education Association representatives voted to endorse Portland's resolution and called on local teacher unions around the country to organize for climate justice policies of their own. 

Portland's resolution began in a workshop that Tim Swinehart and I led on our Rethinking Schools book, A People's Curriculum for the Earth: Teaching Climate Change and the Environmental Crisis. The session was sponsored by the Portland affiliate of 350.org, and included teachers, parents, and climate activists. Out of this grew a workgroup to make sure that Portland's climate curriculum matched the urgency of the crisis. 

Over the summer, Rethinking Schools put together a "seed packet" of materials to help others around the country plan their own climate justice work. Thanks to a grant from the Mayer and Morris Kaplan Family Foundation, a foundation interested in addressing climate change through education and policy, we were able to send these—along with copies of A People's Curriculum for the Earth—to educators and activists around the country. 

Now we have put these materials online, including a preview PDF of the book, and want to make them available more widely. Check them out here and spread the word.

If you are interested in purchasing A People's Curriculum for the Earth, we are currently running a back-to-school sale and offering a 25% discount on all books and subscriptions. Use code SCHOOLH16 at checkout

Thanks for your important work.

Warmly, 

Bill Bigelow
Curriculum Editor
Rethinking Schools

P.S. Rethinking Schools depends on donations to support this work. Please contribute, if you can.
 
 
 
 
PORTLAND PUBLIC SCHOOLS
RESOLUTION No. 5272
 
 
At a time when the science of global warming has prompted governments around the world to begin redefining our economies and to call for an end to the fossil fuel era, it is time for school districts to redefine what it means to educate students for a future of certain climate change. Climate literacy is essential for the success of Portland Public Schools students, both as members of their communities and citizens of the world. 
 
 
READ MORE +
 
 
 
HEATING UP THE FIGHT TO GET ACCURATE CLIMATE CHANGE INFO INTO TEXTBOOKS
By Liz Dwyer
 
 
Textbooks that cast doubt on whether climate change is real could soon be a thing of the past in the nation’s K–12 classrooms. That’s the hope of environmental activists in the United States, including Bill Bigelow, a Portland, Oregon–based former social studies teacher who is the curriculum editor at the nonprofit Rethinking Schools.
 
 
READ MORE +
 
 
 
ABANDONING DOUBT & DENIAL, SCHOOL DISTRICT OFFICIALLY EMBRACES CLIMATE LITERACY
By Bill Bigelow
 
 
"All Portland Public Schools students should develop confidence and passion when it comes to making a positive difference in society, and come to see themselves as activists and leaders for social and environmental justice—especially through seeing the diversity of people around the world who are fighting the root causes of climate change."
 
 
READ MORE +
 
 
 
RETHINKING SCHOOLS
800-669-4192
PO BOX 2222
82 WINTER SPORT LN, WILLISTON VT 05495