The following is to read with the appropriate breathlessness:
In an historic vote today, the Maryland State Board of Education provided specific guidance to all public schools to require that each student be environmentally literate before he or she graduates from high school.
The vote cements Maryland as the first state in the country to approve a graduation requirement in environmental literacy, a credit to Governor O'Malley, to board members, and to Dr. Nancy Grasmick, State Superintendent of Schools.
"This is a momentous day not only for Maryland but for educators across the country who are watching what Maryland does, and hoping to increase outdoor learning in their states," said Don Baugh, Director of the No Child Left Inside Coalition (NCLI). "Governor O'Malley and Dr. Grasmick deserve our profound gratitude. For years they have put Maryland at the forefront of the environmental education movement."
The state school board vote clarifies for schools that each child must receive a comprehensive, multi-disciplinary environmental education that meets the approval of the State Superintendent of Schools. Regulations given final approval by the board provide critical flexibility and oversight for school systems as they develop effective environmental literacy programs aligned with the Maryland State Environmental Literacy Standards.
... Yada, yada, yada.
Of course, we'd settle for merely literate but in quite possibly related news:
Maryland has earned yet another dubious distinction: The lowest-ranked state for personal freedom in the country.
A recent study, "Freedom in the 50 states," from the market-oriented Mercatus Center at George Mason University faults Maryland's strict gun control laws, extensive automobile regulations, tight gambling laws, burdensome home-schooling laws and high drug arrest rates for our state's low ranking.
Maryland -- nicknamed "The Free State" -- is also ranked 28th in economic freedom and 43rd in overall freedom.
The study faults Maryland for "severe" labor regulation, high health insurance coverage mandates, eminent domain abuse and smoking bans.
And the state has been getting consistently less free since 2007, the study states.
Horrible ideas and bad government would appear to travel in pairs, it would appear.