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Blueprint for Geography Education

On March 13, the Obama Administration released its "blueprint for revising the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA)," also commonly known as No Child Left Behind. The ESEA was last reauthorized in 2002. The law has been due for Congressional renewal since 2007, but political clashes have prevented action until now. Our biggest concern is that geography is the only "core academic subject" identified within the law that does not receive a specific funding allocation or implementing program to further teaching of geography at the K-12 level.

The general Obama ESEA blueprint does not mention geography or provide any dedicated funding for the teaching of our discipline to K-12 students. The blueprint is general in nature and offers only a big-picture look at the major changes the Administration is seeking. As an integral part of our long-term effort to address the ESEA reauthorization, we are now developing an AAG Blueprint for Geography Education to complement President Obama's initiative, and to lay our a more comprehensive strategy for enhancing geography education in the United States. We urge our members and other organizations engaged in geography education to join us in this project and its implementation. We welcome comments and suggestions on a current draft outline of the AAG Blueprint for Geography Education.

Download the AAG Blueprint for Geography Education (PDF).

Please send your comments and suggestions by May 24, 2010, to Susan Gallagher (

Comments adapted from the April 2010 AAG Newsletter column, "From the Meridian," by Doug Richardson and John Wertman.

Send comments
to John Wertman at