Green Cleaning in the Spotlight for State Boards of Education

April 09, 2012

State-level education leaders received a treasure trove of information on the “why” and “how-to” of green cleaning in schools with the winter 2012 edition of the State Education Standard, the journal of the National Association of State Board of Education (NASBE).  

This special focus on green cleaning by such a respected association of education leaders illustrates growing recognition of the crucial role that healthy school environments play in children’s learning. NASBE has been a participating organization supporting The Quick & Easy Guide to Green Cleaning in Schools since the guide’s launch in 2006. With this tremendous commitment in their own journal, NASBE is taking this support a step further by making it a strong priority to educate state school leaders about the value of green cleaning. 

“We’re thrilled to see education leaders recognizing more and more the connection between healthy environments and educational success,” said Rochelle Davis, HSC President and CEO. 

In her introduction to the special issue, NASBE executive director Brenda Lilienthal Welburn explains the importance of that connection. She writes: 

When we were first approached about doing an issue of the Standard on green cleaning in schools, I wasn’t sure about devoting a whole edition to this topic. But after listening to staff discuss the implications of toxic environments on learning and on student and staff health, as well as seizing the instructional moment for environmental education for students, I was convinced that this was a topic worth exploring with our members. . . .

Throughout my tenure at NASBE, I have been particularly proud of our capacity to recognize and address a diversity of issues that impact the learning environment of students. Some of those issues may have appeared to be out of the purview of state boards, but giving voice to those issues have frequently made a huge difference in the lives of students. Green cleaning is one such issue. It speaks to the most basic right of students and school personnel to work and learn in a healthy environment.

Research shows matters of health, well-being, and school climate—both emotional and physical—have a direct impact on the academic success of students. As some of our authors write, implementing green cleaning practices in schools has improved attendance and increased the instructional time for students who are in school more. In light of the research and a better understanding of environmental impact, schools throughout the nation are moving to green cleaning to improve physical plants, save resources and create a healthier environment for students and school personnel. This is one of those issues where using existing resources in a smarter way can lead to very positive outcomes.

This issue of the State Education Standard is available online here in a format that allows readers to download each article. (Scroll to the end of the press release to access downloads). Take a moment to check it out and share these resources with education leaders you may know. 

Kudos to NASBE for bringing this excellent resource to state school leaders! Kudos as well to ISSA, also a long-time supporter of The Quick & Easy Guide, for supporting NASBE in creating this special issue.