Ed News: What The Latest Assaults on Science Education Look Like

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This week in education news, Bill Nye thinks Pruitt and DeVos are the least qualified people for their agencies; science advocates double down on their outreach attempts; some teachers may be misleading students about climate change; Trump signs executive order reviewing federal role in education; Alabama is changing how it teaches science; and researchers debate how educators and policymakers can better understand what influences teacher shortages from state to state.

What The Latest Assaults On Science Education Look Like

Each year, anti-science education legislation is introduced in state legislatures around the country — and, in a few cases, has been passed. So what is an anti-science education bill — and how many have been introduced in 2017? Click here to read the article featured in the Washington Post.

Bill Nye: Pruitt, DeVos ‘The Least Qualified People On The Planet’ For Their Agencies

Bill Nye the “Science Guy” is taking aim at President Trump’s Cabinet picks, singling out Environmental Protection Agency Administrator (EPA) Scott Pruitt and Education Secretary Betsy DeVos as “the least qualified people on the planet” to head their agencies. Click here to read the article featured in The Hill.

After The March: Science Advocates Prepare For A ‘Marathon’

The March for Science brought tens of thousands of science supporters into the streets of Washington, D.C., and to around 500 satellite marches around the world on Saturday (April 22). Now, supporters say, the challenge is to turn the energy in the streets into sustained science advocacy. After the march, science organizations and universities are doubling down on their outreach attempts. Click here to read the article featured on Live Science.

Climate Denial In Schools

Senate Bill 393 in Oklahoma permits teachers to paint established science on both evolution and climate change as “controversial.” The “controversy,” however, doesn’t really exist — more than 97 percent of actively publishing, accredited climate scientists agree that global warming trends over the past century are directly attributable to human activity. And some teachers might already be misleading students. Click here to read the article featured in VICE News.

Betsy DeVos Said, ‘There Isn’t Really Any Common Core Any More.’ Um, Yes, There Is.

Recently, DeVos told Michigan radio station host Frank Beckmann that the Every Student Succeeds Act effectively does away “with the notion of the Common Core,” Education Week reported. The ESSA, the successor law to No Child Left Behind, left it to states to decide on their standards, but, then again, the states had that right before. And many states are still using them. Then on Monday, DeVos told Fox News anchor Bill Hemmer that the ESSA “essentially does away with the whole argument about Common Core.” Click here to read the article featured in the Washington Post.

In Elementary School Science, What’s At Stake When We Call An ‘Argument’ An ‘Opinion’?

As more teachers are using both the Common Core State Standards and the Next Generation Science Standards, they will increasingly be confronted with a challenge: The standards in literacy and science—and the research literature in the two fields—disagree about when and how students learn to form arguments. Click here to read the article featured in Education Week.

Trump Signs Executive Order Reviewing Federal Role In Education

President Donald Trump signed an executive order on Wednesday aimed at decreasing the role of the federal government in education while giving states and local school districts more power over decision-making. Trump called the called order, which directs Education Secretary Betsy DeVos to study federal overreach in education, “another critical step to restoring local control, which is so important.” Click here to read the article featured on NBCNews.com.

Alabama’s In The Mainstream With A New Way To Teach Science

Science teaching is changing across America, and Alabama is changing how it teaches science, too. But will the changes be enough or too much? Dr. Bruce Alberts, a biochemist who headed the National Academy of Sciences and edited “Science” magazine, recently discussed the new way at Huntsville’s HudsonAlpha Institute for Biotechnology. Afterward, Dr. Neil Lamb, the institute’s vice president for educational outreach, talked about Alabama’s approach. Click here to read the article featured on Al.com.

AERA: What Do We Mean When We Talk About Teacher Shortages?

Debates over perceived teacher shortages often conflate different problems and make it more difficult to find sustainable ways to get every student a good teacher. That was the consensus at one of the opening symposiums of the American Educational Research Association’s annual conference on Thursday. Linda Darling-Hammond, founder of the Learning Policy Institute, at Stanford University think tank, led researchers debating how educators and policymakers can better understand what influences teacher shortages from state to state. Click here to read the article featured in Education Week.

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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