Ed News: Can Grade-Skipping Close The STEM Gender Gap?

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This week in education news, the March for Science has special relevance for K-12 science teachers; survey results show that parents generally rank math and science lower than reading and writing in terms of importance and relevance; young children are more likely to be held back in school, than they are given the opportunity to skip grades; and Texas State Board of Education voted unanimously to change language in its science standards.

What Does The ‘March For Science’ Mean For STEM Education?

Scientists and educators across the country will converge on the National Mall tomorrow for the March for Science, an event meant to highlight the importance of science to society and advocate for evidence-based policymaking. The march has special relevance for K-12 science teachers, who will be well-represented in Washington and in 374 satellite marches across the country, said David Evans, the executive director of the National Science Teachers Association, which is partnering with the march. Click here to read the article featured in Education Week.

Parent Perspectives On Math And Science: 2017 Public Opinion Survey

Earlier this year, the Overdeck Family Foundation and the Simons Foundation commissioned a survey to determine how parents of school-aged children view math and science in relation to other academic subjects. The findings show that though children enjoy math and science, parents generally rank these subjects lower than reading and writing in terms of importance and relevance. Science in particular was notably less valued than the others, suggesting that rigid definitions of “science” limit interest and engagement for both parents and children. Click here to read the results of the survey.

Could The Education Department’s Days Be Numbered?

U.S. Rep. Virginia Foxx wants the federal Department of Education to disappear. She wants Washington to stop passing down rules and regulations schools have to follow. As the new chair of the House Education and Workforce Committee, the seven-term North Carolina congresswoman has a powerful forum to talk about all that. Trouble is, she probably doesn’t have the votes to do much of what she wants. It takes 60 to get most legislation through the Senate, where Republicans control only 52 seats, and she’s up against a powerful education lobby that resists sweeping change in federal policy. Click here to read the article by the McClatchy Washington Bureau and featured on eSchool News.

Can Grade-Skipping Close The STEM Gender Gap?

Creating more opportunities for super-bright girls to skip grades might be one of the most viable ways to open cracks in the glass ceiling that has plagued STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) fields for decades. But these days, young children are far more likely to be “redshirted”—held back from school to allow extra time for physical, socioemotional, or intellectual growth—than they are to charge ahead of their same-age peers. Click here to read the article featured in The Atlantic.

State Ed Board Reins In Science Standards Hinting At Creationism

The Texas State Board of Education on Wednesday took a preliminary vote to compromise on a pair of high-school science standards that critics say encouraged the teaching of creationism. The 15-member board voted unanimously to change language in its standards to take the pressure off teachers to delve deep in evaluating cell biology and DNA evolution. Click here to read the article featured in the Houston Chronicle.

Trump To Hold A White House Science Fair, Extending On Obama Tradition

The White House still doesn’t have a top science adviser, but it has a science fair in the works. A White House official said Friday that the science fair, an annual tradition started by former President Barack Obama in 2010, will continue under President Trump. Click here to read the article featured in STAT.

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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