This week in education news, Louisiana to start push to boost student interest in STEM, especially among women; Nebraska approves new science education standards that include climate change; Gallup 2017 Survey of K-12 superintendents highlights challenges facing districts; Next Generation Learning Standards to replace Common Core in New York; coding and the rise of STEAM learning are the trends to watch in K-12 educational technology this year; and California gets waiver from administering old science tests.
Louisiana is about to launch a new bid to elevate one of the hottest fields in education, and improve on the dismal number of women in science, technology, engineering and math. The targeted careers will be the topic of an influential panel authorized by the Legislature earlier this year. The goal is to boost student interest in science, technology, engineering and math; align those skills with fast-growing workforce needs and increase the number of women with STEM degrees. Read the article featured in The Advocate.
The Nebraska State Board of Education has approved new science standards that will see the state’s public schools teaching climate change for the first time. The board voted 6-1 to approve the standards. Read the article by the Associated Press.
According to the Gallup 2017 Survey of K-12 School District Superintendents, a majority of district leaders report that the greatest challenges facing their schools are budget shortfalls and assisting students whose achievement is impacted by socioeconomic conditions. Additionally, the data finds superintendents in urban or suburban districts are more likely to be engaged than those in their town or rural counterparts, and 66% across all types of districts are seeing fewer new teacher candidates. Read the brief featured in Education DIVE.
It’s official: New York has moved to adopt a revised set of learning standards that, among other changes, ditches the politically charged “Common Core” moniker. New York’s Board of Regents voted in committee Monday to accept the Next Generation Learning Standards, capping off a nearly two-year revision process. Read the article featured in Chalkbeat.
A new 68-page report from the Pullias Center for Higher Education at the University of Southern California hopes to address underrepresented students in STEM. The report emphasizes collaboration between existing academic affairs and student affairs programs — which are often separated — as well as specific interventions for struggling students. Read the article featured in Inside Higher Ed.
Coding and the rise of STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts, and math) learning are the trends to watch in K-12 educational technology this year, and schools may be expanding robotics programs and makerspaces, which are physical environments for hands-on learning, predicts a recent report from the New Media Consortium and the Consortium for School Networking. Read the article featured in Education Week.
A recent chart from Bloomberg on the future of artificial intelligence and employment lends evidence to a point I have been making for years: teachers will not be replaced by machines. The chart compares a wide array of professions based on required education levels, average annual wages, and likelihood of automation. Sure enough, elementary and secondary teachers are among the most educated yet least paid professionals; and their likelihood of automation: practically zero. Read the article featured in eSchool News.
In a partial victory for California, the U.S. Department of Education has granted the state a retroactive waiver from administering outdated science tests, instead allowing it to give students pilot tests based on new science standards. But the department granted the waiver only for the just completed school year. It made it clear that the waiver doesn’t apply to the current school year, and that if California did the same thing it did last year it could run afoul of the law and risk penalties that could include losing federal funds. Read the article featured in EdSource.
States have a new opportunity to emphasize science education and achievement–once largely ignored during the NCLB era–under new federal policies. ESSA gives states opportunities to create new educational goals and strategies, and states can set clear-cut goals for science achievement and leverage existing policies to meet those goals, according to a new brief from Achieve. The brief takes a look at science education efforts in the 16 states, plus the District of the Columbia, that submitted plans to the U.S. Department of Education during the first round of submissions in May 2017. Read the article in eSchool News.
Jane Dimyan-Ehrenfeld is a parent, educator and attorney who now serves as executive director of the Washington D.C.-based Center for Inspired Teaching, a nonprofit organization that trains teachers to use best practices and rethink their traditional roles in the classrooms. Here’s a piece by Dimyan-Ehrenfeld, who tells a personal story to discuss a key problem with the basic structure of most schools. Read the article featured in The Washington Post.
A Michigan State University professor has designed an app that helps teachers recognize their implicit biases using data collected from their own classrooms. Assistant professor of teacher education Niral Shah will test the app in 6th through 12th grade math classes in Michigan over the next two years. His colleague, assistant professor of STEM education at San Diego State University, Daniel Reinholz, will test the app in advanced math college classrooms. The two will explore how data generated by the app, coupled with information on students’ own experiences with equity and bias, can help educators make sure they are aren’t unconsciously excluding anyone. 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.