This week in education news, New Mexico governor vetoes a measure to force the adoption of new state science standards; New Hampshire rejects new education commissioner’s proposal to reconsider the state’s science standards; Idaho education leaders hear comments on science standards; top Democrats condemn climate change skeptics for targeting teachers; and Oklahoma panel advances bill critcized as threat to science education.
To the surprise of no one who’s been following the long, winding road to updating the science taught in New Mexico’s schools, Gov. Susana Martinez vetoed a measure designed to force the adoption of new standards. House Bill 211 would have required the state to adopt the Next Generation Science Standards, nationally vetted benchmarks for teaching public school children science from K-12. Click here to read the article featured in the Santa Fe Reporter.
When New Hampshire Education Commissioner Frank Edelblut was appointed to his post in January, the politician assured critics that whatever his personal beliefs, he would consider himself “the implementation guy” for an agenda largely dictated by others. In response to a question by Democratic Executive Councilor Andru Volinksy regarding whether he would object to local schools teaching creationism in their science curriculum, Edelblut called his point of view “irrelevant.” And at a recent State Board of Education meeting, the commissioner was sharply reminded of his circumscribed role when the State Board of Education unanimously rejected his proposal to reconsider the state’s science standards. Click here to read the article featured in the Concord Monitor.
Paul Reyna, now in his 28th year as a teacher, was among the many attendees of this year’s national conference of the NSTA, the world’s largest professional organization representing science educators of all grade levels. Reyna credits his family with his decision to become a science educator, but the Texan says that it’s professional development, like the NSTA’s conference, that has been key to his success. Click here to read the article featured on PBS NewsHour.
On Tuesday night in Twin Falls, the Idaho Department of Education held the first in a series of six public meetings across the Gem State to gather feedback from educators, parents and community members. Proposed changes to science standards drew controversy and debate during the legislative session — particularly, about climate change. Click here to read the article featured in Atchison Globe Now.
Three top Democrats have urged a libertarian think tank to stop mailing climate change skeptical classroom materials to teachers across America. The ranking Democrats on the House committees overseeing education, natural resources and science condemned the group’s mass-mailing campaign and counseled teachers to throw away the materials when they arrive. Click here to read the article featured on PBS FRONTLINE.
A House panel narrowly approved legislation that would protect teachers who help foster discussions about scientific controversy. Opponents of Senate Bill 393 believe it could let teachers promote unproven theories, giving credence to topics like creationism, climate change denial, or as one parent said, ancient aliens. Click here to read the article featured in The Oklahoman.
As California rolls out new K-12 science standards, some educators believe the new curriculum will spark a love of science and boost test scores among African Americans and Latinos, and ultimately lead to a more diverse STEM workforce. Click here to read the article featured in EdSource.
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.