This week in education news, should teachers stay in the classroom or move to an administrator role; President Trump orders hard look at federal reach on K-12 policy; the nation’s elementary school children still receive thin and infrequent science instruction; DeVos reiterates school choice agenda and suggests scrapping the Higher Education Act; and teachers’ concerns lead to changes in California’s testing contract.
In Idaho, lawmakers removed references to climate change from the state’s science standards. In Alabama and Indiana, they passed resolutions urging support for educators who teach “diverse” views on climate change, evolution and human cloning. And in Florida, the legislature on Friday adopted one bill that would give educators and students more freedom to express religious beliefs in school, and a second that would give residents new power to oppose classroom materials they dislike — including science textbooks. Click here to read the article featured on PBS Frontline.
It’s a question that all teachers ask themselves — or in many cases are asked by friends and family — stay in the classroom and continue to teach or move to an administrative role? For educators in the United States, moving up to a principal or other school leadership position is often the go-to path in order to advance their careers and make more money. The dilemma is that a large number of teachers have little interest in leaving the classroom. Click here to read the article featured in Education World.
President Donald Trump and his education secretary, Betsy DeVos, have made local control a major focus of their statements on K-12. And Trump underscored that priority in his recent executive order calling on DeVos to take a hard look at where the federal government has overreached on K-12 education. The order directs DeVos to review, tweak, and even repeal regulations and guidance issued by the U.S. Department of Education recently, as well as identify places where the federal government has overstepped its legal authority. Click here to read the article featured in Education Week.
Great science standards can help schools accomplish great things, but only if those schools spend time teaching them. That may sound like a truism, but that simple fact could hamstring efforts to improve science education across the country. Change the Equation dug into survey data from the 2015 National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) for fourth-grade science and found that many of the nation’s elementary school children were on a starvation diet of thin and infrequent science instruction. Click here to read the blog post by Change the Equation.
In a Tuesday afternoon keynote address and fireside chat at the annual ASU+GSV Summit in Salt Lake City, U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos reiterated her reform and school choice agenda and said that the existing K-12 public education system is flawed because it is based on an outdated Prussian education model.When asked about Higher Education Act reauthorization, DeVos asked why they should reauthorize a 50 year old system rather than starting from scratch, noting that the needs of students and individuals should be the focus, rather than “systems” and “buildings” in both higher ed and K-12. Click here to read the article featured in Education DIVE.
Understanding science is fundamentally an education issue, said David Evans, executive director of the National Science Teachers Association, who spent 40 years as a scientist before moving into science education. With growing political pressure on science teachers, including challenges by state school boards and legislatures to remove science standards on human-made climate change and a presidential administration that has proposed aggressive cuts to environmental protections, teachers — the ones on the front lines — need to know they are supported, Evans said. Click here to read the article featured on PBS Newshour.
Teacher complaints have been heard by the vendor that designs some of the state’s academic tests. Partially in response to concerns raised by educators, the California Board of Education Wednesday approved a $1.5 million contract amendment with Educational Testing Service that will help pay for teacher training in science. Click here to read the article featured on EdSource.
More than ever, a high-quality math and science education is the foundation for opportunity. By 2020, almost two-thirds of all jobs will require post-secondary education or training – education that is supported by the critical thinking and problem-solving skills learned in math and science. In the same period, almost as many jobs will require basic literacy in science, technology, engineering and math. Yet, we as a nation continue with a familiar pattern in which access to high-quality STEM learning is unevenly distributed. Millions of students across the country live in what we call STEM deserts – school communities without access to rigorous and engaging math and science courses. Click here to read the article featured in U.S. News & World Report.
Stay tuned for next week’s top education news stories.
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