Ed News: Are Teachers Underpaid? Around the World, People Say Yes

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This week in education news, as personalized learning spreads rapidly among U.S. schools, critics contend the term often is a misnomer; Americans think that U.S. teachers are underpaid by an average of $7,500 a year; it’s still difficult to teach evolution in many public school classrooms; Hawaii has teacher recruitment and retention challenges; incorporating arts education through STEAM engages the right side of the brain; and the panel that sets policy for the National Assessment of Educational Progress approved small but significant changes to the test’s description of what constitutes “advanced,” “proficient,” and “basic” performance.

STEM and Blacks

More Blacks are attending colleges and universities than ever before. Over the last 60 years, the percentage of Blacks attending and graduating from colleges and Universities has nearly quadrupled from less than 5 percent in 1960 to nearly 15 percent in 1998 and 22 percent in 2015. For the last 50+ years Blacks have enjoyed access to opportunities available in every occupation and profession, however Blacks still gravitate toward the same types of professions. Read the article featured in DIVERSE.

Why Does Personalized Learning Sometimes Feel Impersonal?

Fourth graders aren’t great at keeping secrets, but in Jeremy Crowe’s class, they stand shoulder to shoulder and try to stay poker-faced as they pass a small beanbag behind their backs. A girl in the middle of their circle scrutinizes each face, trying to guess who has the toy. The game is part of the class’ morning meeting—based on the theme “How do we reveal ourselves to others?”—and the students’ conversation wraps in role-playing for handling distracting friends as well as ways to create a new character for a class writing assignment on the Lexia reading program. Read the article featured in Education Week.

Are Teachers Underpaid? Around the World, People Say Yes

Americans think that U.S. teachers are underpaid by an average of $7,500 a year, according to a new global survey. The Global Teacher Status Index, conducted by the Varkey Foundation, a global charity that supports teachers, surveyed more than 1,000 people from each of 35 countries. Overall, in 28 of the 35 countries surveyed, teachers are being paid less than the amount the general public considers to be a fair wage for the job. Read the article featured in Education Week.

In a Shift, More Education Reformers Say They’re Worried about Schools’ Focus on Testing

It was not the place you’d expect to hear sharp critiques of standardized testing. But they just kept coming at an event put on by the Center on Reinventing Public Education, an organization that has spent 25 years studying and supporting key tenets of education reform. Read the article featured in Chalkbeat.

It’s Still Hard to Teach Evolution in Too Many Public School Classrooms

Supreme Court cases involving the role of religious beliefs in civic life have repeatedly made headlines in recent years. Such conflicts, of course, are not new. Last week marked the 50th anniversary of the Supreme Court’s decision in Epperson vs. Arkansas, which struck down the state’s ban on teaching evolution in public schools. The Epperson ruling did not, however, end interference with the teaching of evolution. Read the article featured in the Los Angeles Times.

Hawaii Faces Major Teacher Recruitment, Retention Challenges

The Hawaii Department of Education has released a new strategic plan for recruiting and retaining more teachers after recent reports showing that its five-year retention rate is only 51% and that there still more than 500 vacancies for the current school year, Hawaii News Now reports. Read the brief featured in Education DIVE.

Don’t Forget about the A in STEAM!

Over the years, an increasing amount of schools nationwide have incorporated the STEM framework into their curriculum, engaging students around the subjects of science, technology, engineering, and math. The framework has proved to be a critical component to elementary education that better prepares students’ for future careers, especially since the United States is expecting to see more than three million job openings in the STEM-related fields in 2018. Recently, however, educators have recognized the benefits of integrating arts education into STEM subjects, which has led to a new framework. Read the article featured in eSchool News.

Alaska Native Students Pursue STEM, with Great Success

Sam Larson was looking for loopholes. Crouched on the floor of a sunny student building at the University of Alaska, Anchorage, Sam was surrounded by cardboard, scissors, rulers and about a dozen other high school students. All of them were attending a residential summer “Acceleration Academy” hosted at the university by the Alaska Native Science and Engineering Program, or ANSEP. On this July day, with pop music playing in the background, Sam and his classmates were trying to build cardboard canoes capable of transporting at least one paddling student to a target and back. Read the article featured in The Hechinger Report.

Is ‘Proficient’ Insufficient? A New Wrinkle in the Debate Over NAEP Achievement Levels

Members of the panel that sets policy for the National Assessment of Educational Progress—better known as the Nation’s Report Card—approved small but significant changes to the test’s description of what constitutes “advanced,” “proficient,” and “basic” performance. From now on, they’ll be preceded by the word NAEP, as in “NAEP advanced”, “NAEP proficient,” and “NAEP basic,” and references to performance in a grade will be stricken and replaced with performance on the NAEP assessment. 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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