Sustainable Schools Could Improve Student Test Scores

A recent survey conducted by University of Colorado Denver’s Department of Geography and Environmental Sciences shows a positive correlation between student achievement in science and sustainable, high-performance school practices. The data was collected from a nationwide study of 100 schools in 28 states that have each implemented “green” school practices, including environmental literacy and sustainability curriculum. Student achievement data was gathered from recent assessment scores in science from state department of education websites as well as the survey.

Schools that took part in the survey observe GreenPrint core practices as defined by the Green Schools National Network (GSNN). The core practices are:

  • Curriculum that advances environmental literacy and sustainability
  • Stewardship and service learning
  • Sustainable facilities design and management
  • Health and well being
  • Strong partnerships and networks

To find more information about the importance of sustainable schools in the United States, Bryan Shao-Chang Wee, PhD, assistant professor of environmental science education, and his team of researchers would like to do further research by refining the survey and obtaining a larger sample. The researchers would also like to visit “green” schools to collect more data and determine whether the GreenPrint core practices have any relationship to subjects such as reading, writing, social studies and math.

Arizona State University Polytechnic Academic Complex in Mesa, AZ is LEED-certified and features Shaw Contract Group's Parody tile carpet

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