State Geography Standards

State Geography Standards
November 1, 1998

Of 38 states with geography standards in place (the other 12 either have no standards or are comprehensively revising existing ones), only six earned “honor” grades from the team of distinguished geographers pulled together by Susan Munroe and Terry Smith of the Casados Group.

Three states received As from the evaluators, with Colorado topping the list with a perfect score. “Its standards present geography as an important and compellingly interesting field of study,” note Munroe and Smith. The state’s geography standards “are rigorous and comprehensive and nicely presented.” Also earning As were Indiana and Texas.

Three states--Michigan, New Hampshire, and West Virginia--earned Bs.

Overall, report Munroe and Smith, “the good news is that geography has regained a place in the U.S. curriculum and is being taken seriously by a number of states. The bad news is that most current state standards for what students should know and be able to do in this discipline are weak.”