Ed News: The Role Of Science In Boosting Outcomes For English Learners

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This week in education news, students attending high-poverty schools have fewer opportunities than students attending low-poverty schools; K-12 school spending got caught up in budget standoffs this year; the number of girls taking AP computer-science exams more than doubled; writing improves all learning; and a South Dakota science teacher selected as a national ambassador.

The Role Of Science In Boosting Outcomes For English Learners

All too often, English learners (ELs) do not receive the same educational opportunities as their non-EL peers. This pattern manifests in a variety of ways, including the disparate levels of access that ELs have to high-quality science instruction. Indeed, a recent Education Trust-West study of California school districts found that ELs are significantly underrepresented in advanced science courses throughout the state. The report also notes that ELs consistently score lower than the rest of the population on statewide science assessments at all grade levels. Click here to read the article featured in New America.

‘STEM Deserts’ In The Poorest Schools: How Can We Fix Them?

Students attending high-poverty schools tend to have fewer science materials, fewer opportunities, and less access to the most rigorous mathematics classes, like calculus and physics, than students attending low-poverty schools, a new analysis points out. That means that they’re less likely to encounter real-world problem-solving that characterizes advanced work in those fields—as well as the most rigorous content that serves as a benchmark for beginning college majors or minors in those fields. Click here to read the article featured in Education Week.

In My Classroom, Students Are The Teachers—Here’s Why It Works

We have all heard the words, “don’t give up!” It is a constant reminder to keep going, to persevere in tough situations and when things aren’t working well, try again. Frequently, students in my programming class get frustrated when working on a project and debugging code. As a teacher, how do you keep them inspired to work through their challenges? Click here to read the article featured in eSchool News.

K-12 Funding Entangled in States’ Budget Drama

K-12 school spending this year got caught up in budget standoffs that, in some states, led to brief government shutdowns. And the drama isn’t over yet. Though most state legislatures now have wrapped up business for the year, several this summer still are trying to design new revenue models, K-12 funding formulas, and—in the case of Kansas and Washington—awaiting court approval to assure their new school spending plans are constitutional. Click here to read the article featured in Education Week.

Number Of Girls Taking AP Computer-Science Exam More Than Doubles

More girls than ever took an AP computer-science exam this year, Seattle nonprofit Code.org announced Tuesday, calling the results “incredible.”Code.org crunched the numbers from the AP College Board, which shows that 29,708 girls in the U.S. took an Advanced Placement computer science exam this year, more than double the number from 2016. Girls made up about 27 percent of the 111,262 students who took an AP computer-science exam in 2017. Click here to read the article featured in the Seattle Times.

If We Fix Student Teaching, Will We Fix Teacher Shortages?

The president of the National Council on Teacher Quality presented what she sarcastically called a “radical” solution for both improving the pipeline of new teachers and filling specific teacher shortages: “Fix student teaching.” “There’s a misalignment between what’s needed [in districts] and what’s provided out of higher ed,” said Kate Walsh, speaking July 17 at an annual gathering of state teachers of the year.” Click here to read the article featured in Education Week.

Why Writing Doesn’t Just Improve Learning, It Improves All Learning-Including STEM

Writing is used to assess student learning more often than it is used to facilitate learning. We talk about writing as a product for assessment, a subject where paragraphs and commas are taught, or a skill that one either has developed or lacks. Rarely do we hear people, even teachers, discuss writing as a process for learning. Click here to read the article featured in eSchool News.

How States Can Boost Science Learning, Thanks To ESSA

Science education advocates are among those cheering the new federal education law known as the Every Student Succeeds Act: It’s an opportunity to get science on the radar screen in a way they couldn’t under ESSA’s predecessor. The former law didn’t count science tests towards anything, thereby relegating the subject, in many advocates’ eyes, to second-tier status. But under ESSA, states have a lot more flexibility to emphasize science in particular, and more generally, content in the STEM fields of science, technology, engineering, and math. Click here to read the article featured in Education Week.

MHS Science Teacher Selected As National Ambassador

A Mitchell educator has been selected as a national ambassador, tasked with the goal of empowering science teachers across the country. Julie Olson was selected as one of 10 math and science teacher leaders to serve as a 2017 STEM Teacher Ambassador, according to the National Science Teachers Association (NSTA) and the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM). STEM stands for science, technology, engineering and math. Click here to read the article featured in The Daily Republic.

Local Teacher Tapped As STEM Teacher Ambassador

A Williamsville science teacher has been named as a national 2017 STEM Teacher Ambassador. WBFO’s senior reporter Eileen Buckley says the middle school teacher is one of ten math and science teachers selected nationwide. “It’s important that teachers are at the table – that as teachers our opinions are heard,” said Kenneth Huff, science teacher at Mill Middle School in Williamsville. Click here to listen to the segment featured on WBFO.

The Power of Story In The Classroom

There is something incredibly compelling about a well-told story. In fact, it is one of the most powerful tools we possess. For most of human history, oral stories were the primary way that knowledge and tradition were passed down through generations. But the modern classroom is often devoid of stories. Information is most often delivered through bland lectures and textbooks, only to be discarded. 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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