Ed News: Scientists Take on New Roles in K–12 Classrooms

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This week in education news, scientists take on new roles in K–12 classrooms, the U.S. Senate confirmed Betsy DeVos as Education Secretary, a new report finds California teacher shortages have led to ‘severe consequences’, the U.S. House voted to overturn ESSA accountability, and a bill to boost STEM education advances in New Mexico.

Scientists Take on New Roles in K–12 Classrooms

As schools work to implement the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS), practicing scientists are also rethinking how they work with schools to advance understanding of their field. The NGSS broaden opportunities for science-educator partnerships because they represent new approaches to scientists working with schools. Click here to read the article featured in Education Week.

Lawmakers File Bill to Protect ‘Religious Expression’ in FL Schools

Two state lawmakers, filed a bill—SB 436: Religious Express in Public Schools—which would prohibit a school district from discriminating against students on the basis of religious expression if they share their religious beliefs in their school work. A Florida advocacy group said the bill could be trouble for science education in Florida’s public schools if passed. Click here to read the article featured in the Orlando Sentinel.

Betsy DeVos Confirmed as Education Secretary, Pence Breaks Tie

Betsy DeVos was confirmed by the Senate as the nation’s education secretary on February 7, but only with the help of a historic tiebreaking vote from Vice President Mike Pence after weeks of protests and two defections within her own party. Read more in the Legislative Update.

Worsening Teacher Shortage Puts More Underprepared Teachers in Classrooms, Report Says

According to a new report from the Learning Policy Institute, the number of underprepared teachers working in California’s public school classrooms has more than doubled in just three years. These shortages remain particularly troubling in special education, science and math, and bilingual education. Click here to read the article published by EdSource.

House Votes to Overturn ESSA Accountability

The House of Representatives voted February 7 to overturn regulations created by the Obama administration for accountability under the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), as well as those for teacher-preparation programs. If the ESSA resolution overturning the accountability rules is successful, it could have far-reaching consequences for the U.S. Department of Education, state officials, and local district leaders. Read more in the Legislative Update.

U.S. Senate Bill Aims to Make Sure Federal Scientists Aren’t ‘Muzzled’

Senator Bill Nelson introduced legislation (S.338) to protect federal scientists from attempts to interfere with scientific discourse and dissemination of research results. The legislation is aimed at blocking attempts by political appointees to manipulate or suppress the results of research that could undermine the administration’s position on an issue. Click here to read the article featured in Science.

Bill to Boost STEM Education Advances

Legislation that would require the Public Education Department to adopt the Next Generation Science Standards for New Mexico schools cleared the House Education Committee on an 8–3 vote on February 8. The bill has now advanced to the House floor, and has been placed on the temporary calendar. Click here to read the article featured in Las Cruces Sun-News.

Stay tuned for next week’s top education news stories.

The Communication, Legislative & Public Affairs (CLPA) team strives to keep NSTA members, teachers, science education leaders, and the general public informed about NSTA programs, products, and services and key science education issues and legislation. In the association’s role as the national voice for science education, its CLPA team actively promotes NSTA’s positions on science education issues and communicates key NSTA messages to essential audiences.

The mission of NSTA is to promote excellence and innovation in science teaching and learning for all.

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One Comment

  1. gina smith
    Posted February 13, 2017 at 8:44 pm | Permalink

    Don’t believe that the teachers are unprepared. The problem , as having been in the classroom for more than 35 years, that the teachers have a “know it all” attitude coming out from teacher training. They may have been led to believe that they are the best trained….but that doesn’t mean they don’t have lessons to learn about teaching. This means content areas as well as the art of teaching. The better teachers seek answers through pairing with an experienced teacher. In some states that is a requirement. However, even some of the entry level teachers only comply because they are required. (which they should do) However, the better entry level teachers continue their quest to collaborate , borrow, share, and brainstorm with other teachers for teaching improvement. I have seen it all and there is a trend toward being the”expert” upon receiving the certification/licensure.

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